Kevin Bowe & The Okemah Prophets “Half Past Never”

Kill Room, 2023

Immediately catchy melodies and soaring choruses reflect influences such as Tom Petty and The Replacements.

artwork for Kevin Bowe Half Past Never albumKevin Bowe is quite possibly a new name to many, but you may well have come across him before without knowing, and it is certainly a cause for celebration that he decided to record this collection of songs, written over recent years, with a hugely talented group of musician friends- The Okemah Prophets – in his Minneapolis studio and release them on this excellent album, ‘Half Past Never’.

How might you have come across him? Well, as a singer, songwriter and producer, he has collaborated with a wide range of rock and blues musicians from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Etta James, Paul Westerberg to Gary Louris, and from John Mayall to Steve Van Zandt. His work has appeared on double-platinum and Grammy Award-winning albums, and in more than fifty films and television shows including The Sopranos, Shameless, The Tonight Show and David Letterman. He has even had his songs performed by Lucinda Williams and Bruce Springsteen. He had some success with his own 2012 album, ‘Natchez Trace’, but hadn’t actually planned to record another until lockdown, when his production work for the many Midwest artists and bands he supports dried up, which led him to reconsider.

Bowe takes lead vocals throughout and plays guitars, harmonica, mandolin and some percussion. The Okemah Prophets are Paul Mayasich on slide guitar, Pete Anderson and Noah Levy on drums, Ian Allison on bass with Gordy Johnson upright bass, and Tim O’Reagan on vocal harmonies. The ten songs, which never found a home on any previously recorded efforts by Bowe or other artists, reflect influences such as Tom Petty, The Replacements and Will Hoge, and feature immediately catchy melodies, soaring choruses and thoughtful lyrics. From up-tempo singalongs such as album opener ‘California Sober’, title track ‘Half Past Never’ and the urgent, pulsing ‘Hurt Me Beautiful’ to the slower paced, rootsy ‘Only Child’ and stripped back, acoustic ‘Another Word For God’ that closes the album, there is much to enjoy. Recommended.


About GrahamBollands 28 Articles
Proud dad of Jess, Harry and Lucie. Was a headteacher for 17 years and now pleased to share my experiences working as a university tutor training the next generation of primary teachers. Now living the dream in North Devon, doing up a barn, growing vegetables, walking the coastpath, volunteering on a farm alongside young adults with learning difficulties, presenting a weekly radio show, singing in a choir, and whenever possible, listening to great music and going to gigs.
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