Brian Bower Interview

Brian Bowers is a 38 year old musician from Virginia who plays a most unusual instrument - the autoharp. He's appeared on PBS Network with the Dilliards, Doc Watson, John Hartford, and performed on stage with Firefall, Loudin Wainwright. Mr. Bowers records for Flying Fish.

Q. How many autoharps do you use?
A. Presently I travel with four, but I traveled with up to seven. I'm the "roadie" the maintenance man, hauler, packer. I do it all.

Q. What made you go into music?  
A. Music made me go into music. I eat, breathe, and dream music. If I wasn't playing music in concerts, I'd be playing at home. Music is my marijuana, music is my "smack."

Q. What age did you start playing the autoharp?
A. I started playing at 24, when I was a senior in college majoring in Spanish. I don't read music, I play by ear.

Q. Do you prefer concerts or clubs?
A. That's like asking if you prefer cake or steak, they're both good.

Q. How would you describe your music?
A. I wouldn't. I'd get tongue-tied. There's a heap of music in the harp. You might say it's indigenous to country music.

Q. What artists do you listen to?
A. New Grass Revival, Norman Blake, Steve Goodman, and Loudin Wainwright.

Q. Where's home for you now?
A. Seattle. There's no other place like it. I love it there.

Q. Do you like "the road"?
A. I love "the road" and I love being home. Usually I'll go out for a month and return home for a month to rejuvenate myself.

Q. Do you see any new direction in music?
A. I see bands that'll be playing on hovering platforms, 300 feet above stadiums. They'll be swooping around places like Yankee Stadium giving people a good look at 'em.

Q. What advice would you give up and coming musicians?
A. Don't. But the don'ts don't matter. The ones who are gonna do it, are gonna do it anyway.

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