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How guitarist Damon Fowler found his way through isolation

Bill DeYoung

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Bay area bluesman Damon Fowler made good use of the lengthy live-music break brought about by Covid-19. He performed weekly, for tips, in a virtual stream from his Hillsborough County home (the show was, and is, titled Fowler’s Garage), and introduced a series of vignettes in which his musician buddies related experiences from their travels.

So far, there have been 26 episodes of Gig Stories.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way, the amiable Fowler, who performs with a power trio, said Tuesday on The Catalyst Sessions.

“From basically May to October, I was going to the Northeast, the West Coast, the Midwest … we had an offer to headline a blues festival in Poland. I was supposed to go to Vegas. It was like, ‘Man this is gonna be the best year ever.’”

He found the silver lining in staying at home. “My wife gave birth to our third child in June,” Fowler explained. “It’s really, truly been a blessing. And I started doing a livestream immediately … the overall community of music fans came together and really supported us. And it’s still getting us through.”

As restrictions ease, the singer/guitarist is dipping his toe, slowly, back into the chilly pool of live performance. He played a solo gig Tuesday night at the Big Catch at Salt Creek, and the trio has a gig this weekend in Fort Pierce.

The interview also touched deeply on Fowler’s family history of music, his early immersion in the blues, and his memories of playing with Allman Brothers legends Butch Trucks and Dickey Betts.

Kirei

Wednesday on The Catalyst Sessions: Vocalist Ona Kirei and bass guitarist Alejandro Arenas.

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube channel.

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