John Cowan Band at Music at the Mission

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:07

Musical journey through multiple genres makes Cowan unique West Milford — Bluegrass, Newgrass, Gospelgrass, Rock N’ Rollgrass - innovators like John Cowan break boundaries. And on Saturday, Nov. 19, the John Cowan Band comes to Music at the Mission to take the audience on a musical journey through multiple genres. That has made him one of the most unique vocal artists of his generation. Cowan rose to fame when he became the lead singer for New Grass Revival. He and band mates Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn introduced a new generation of music fans to an explosive, experimental brand of bluegrass - Newgrass. After entertaining fans for nearly two decades, New Grass Revival disbanded in 1990. On his own, Cowan was free to give his creative muse full rein. He recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums spanning the musical spectrum, often bending and blending genres. In the early 1990s, Cowan joined the Doobie Brothers and lent both his bass and vocal skills to this iconic band on tour. After two years, he returned to a solo career that allowed him more expressive freedom. As the 21st century began, Cowan found himself coming full circle, returning to his roots in Newgrass and forming The John Cowan Band. The band’s current line-up features Cowan on bass and lead vocals, Jeff Autry, acknowledged as one of America's best flat pickers, on guitar, John Frazier on mandolin, Shad “Lightning” Cobb on fiddle and Bryon Larrance on percussion. “Our music has evolved organically; it's rooted in my Newgrass days but I’m also exploring and breaking new ground as well,” said Cowan. “These guys are very talented and I love playing with 'em. Of course the true measure is the fantastic response we’ve gotten from audiences on tour. We love performing; it's food for the soul. “What we did back in the NGR days was unique,” Cowan added. “We weren’t really playing Bluegrass, we were playing contemporary music on traditional instruments. Our vision was to take acoustic music somewhere new. The John Cowan Band is now recapturing the magic of that ground-breaking experimentation and taking it to the next level.” Music at the Mission is an all volunteer, non-profit organization located at 1452 Union Valley Road, West Milford, at the West Milford Presbyterian Church. For tickets and further information, call 800-613-1455 or visit For more information about John Cowan Band, visit If you go The John Cowan Band Nov. 19, 8 p.m. $25; $30 at the door Music at the Mission West Milford Presbyterian Church 1452 Union Valley Road West Milford 800-613-1455