His mama made him take piano lessons. While the other boys were out playing football, Kevin Fowler was home playing the piano.
Fowler said he was lucky his mama pushed him that way because it led him to a professional career in country music including an upcoming performance at the Pratt County Fair.
Fowler will be the featured performer at the Pratt County Fair at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 on the main stage. Tickets that come with a fair membership or purchased at the gate are required.
Based out of Austin, Texas, Fowler has spent 14 years performing his Texas “Red Dirt” style of music. He said when he first started he fooled people into thinking he was a singer.
He started playing keg parties in college. He quickly realized a lot of people liked beer-drinking songs and he laughed when he said he held the record for the most country songs with beer in the title. He calls his music beer drinking with an attitude.
He’s had some great regional hits with “Deer, Bait and Ammo.” Mark Chestnut cut the record and has done well with it. Montgomery Gentry has also done well with Fowler’s “A Long Line of Losers.”
While some performers may not like playing live, Fowler loves it. His love for playing live helped push him into the business.
He doesn’t know how long he’ll be in the business but he enjoys it so much he might end up like Willie Nelson who is 81 and is playing 200 days this year, Fowler said.
Those piano lessons helped him develop a love for a wide variety of music from Lefty Frizzell to Merle Haggard to Van Halen.
“I love all kinds of music. From rock to old school country I like it all,” Fowler said. “You’ve got to be a sponge and soak it all up.”
All those musical styles worked their way into his musical soup. Fowler said he had to be careful what he listened to because it would creep into his musical style.
Fowler writes 99 percent of the songs he and his band perform. They do play a few cover songs but mainly it’s their music.
“I consider myself a song writer. That’s how I got into this,” Fowler said.
He said his live show is known for its high energy. He promises a fun time and encourages everyone to come out and see the show.
“We’re going to have a good time, I guarantee you,” Fowler said.
His current band has been together for eight years and he said he feels lucky to have them. As a musician, he has to snag musicians when he can find them and he is happy to have this group working together.
His band consists of himself singing and playing guitar, Artie Passes on steel guitar, Jason McBride on fiddle, Paul Eason on guitar, John Stacy on drums and Gary Herman on bass guitar.
Fowler’s music has caught the eye of several in the industry. Mark Chestnut, Montgomery Gentry and George Jones have all used one of his songs.
“The highest form of flattery is someone raising their career on my songs,” Fowler said.
Being on the road a lot makes it hard to juggle family and a career.
“It’s hard being gone all the time,” Fowler said. “But for my kids, it’s all they’ve ever known.”
He and wife Gillian have three daughters; Kambry age 7, Riley age 12 and Darian age 19.