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Natchez Trace: Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets

Andy Ellis | A&E Editor | 03-21-2013

Kevin Bowe and Dr. Dre have at least one thing in common.  They have fans who have learned the importance of patience when it comes to the release of new music.  The last time both released albums of new material was back in 1999 with Bowe’s Restoration and Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001.

If you’re a fan of Bowe’s music, however, you have reason to rejoice.  He and the Okemah Prophets are back with a new album, Natchez Trace.

The sound of the album makes it one of those you could listen to all the way through without having the urge to apologize to your eardrums like you do after any Black Eyed Peas song.  Bowe’s Springsteen-like vocals walk you through this musical experience whose songs have fingerprints left on them from a variety of guests.

Chuck Prophet appears via guitar on “Waitin’ For The Wheel.” The late Duane Jarvis co-wrote “Just Restless” with Bowe, and Nels Cline from Wilco provided the guitar solo. “Devil’s Garden” featured some guitar and banjo from the Meat Puppets. Scarlet Rivera brought the violin to “In Too Deep,” and Freedy Johnson added to the harmonies throughout the album.

If you want some songs to preview from the album, the album kicks off with “Fallen Satellites,” which guides you into the record with its easy going vibe.  There’s “Power Trip,” which is the one song whose sound alone standouts from the rest, and there’s “Never Don’t Stay,” which is just some simple rock and roll mixed with a hint of what may sound like what was considered alternative rock in the 1990s.  There’s “Waitin’ For The Wheel” which is the most country sounding part of the record. Finally there’s a cover of John Lennon’s “I Found Out,” which is definitely worth a listen.

For his first record of new material in 13 years, Bowe doesn’t disappoint.  He proves that all you need to make a good record is a guitar, bass, drums, and a few friends stopping by along the way.  It actually makes you forget about Dr. Dre.