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Posted by Peter Schavemaker | Jan 18, 2024


This Heart of Mine' and 'So Far So Good'  can be heard   during the day on Friday, January 19 on Grolloo Radio


Lance Cowan is a songwriter living in Nashville. Over the past 30 years, he has worked behind the scenes as a PR man for big country names such as Joe Ely, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Los Lobos, Charlie Daniels, Reba McEntire, Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Lyle Lovett, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown , Bobby Charles. He also achieved success as a songwriter, with Joan Baez, Janis Ian and David Mallett (had a folk hit in 1975 with 'Garden Song' and was a songwriter for Pete Seeger, Alison Krauss, John Denver, Emmylou Harris) recording his songs.


On February 23, his own CD 'So Far So Good' will 'finally' be released, a collection of songs he wrote inspired by, among others. Jackson Browne, The Eagles and John Prine. The songs are observations of people and events from Cowan's life.


Grolloo Radio spoke, exclusively for the Netherlands, with Lance Cowan.


Cowan grew up in Kentucky. He left for Nashville to become a songwriter. “On my first evening at the famous Bluebird Café I saw songwriters at work for the first time and loved the open mic evening. Outside it was raining heavily, in a shadow outside I saw a car with John Prine coming out. He came up to me and we talked for about 20 minutes. John encouraged me to do more songwriting.” After a chance meeting with the Vice President of Country Music Hall of Fame at Bluebird Café, Lance was given the opportunity to work as a PR man.


Although he worked close to big names in the country industry and could have easily presented his songs to 'his' artists, Cowan kept his work and private life (songs) strictly separate. “I was indeed at a loss as to how to write good county songs. I thought the songs that I had partly written in Kentucky were good, but how could I compete with those talents. I tried to understand why their songs were so good. I still feel honored that I was able to work with that caliber of country artists. I never wanted to use Joe Ely or Lyle Lovett, for example.”


Cowan wrote one of the tracks on his new album, Fields of Freedom, about 15 years ago. “Janis Ian was in the audience at Bluebird Café and told me she wanted to write together after hearing my performance of Fields of Freedom. Janis was looking for inspiration to continue working on her own song about the Holocaust. A line from my song moved her. Together we wrote many Saturday mornings, including When he was here'. The legendary Joan Baez sang it often during his tours. That was great because I grew up at home listening to Joan. My dad even had the Joan Baez songbook.”


Lance Cowan has been working behind the music scenes in Nashville for 30 years. He is now 65 years old. Why now the green light for the release of 'So Far So Good'? (his wife also encouraged him to release his songs). “Everything recently came together. For too long I left the songs on the shelf, while they deserved to be heard. They fit together great. Yes, I am excited that I am now releasing the songs on CD.”


About the track 'This Heart of Mine', Cowan writes: “I once had a writing routine where I turned off all the lights in the house except one on my desk, and I wrote as late as it took to get a song done. I was living in a beautiful little apartment overlooking the city of Nashville, and one night this song was born.”


Lance Cowan says he would like to perform with his songs. “Of course I also want to come to Europe, but for now I'm thinking a little smaller. For the time being, so-called listening room and songwriter festivals (Lance indicates a maximum travel time of an 8-hour drive from Nashville...)”


The album features musicians who previously worked with Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Don Williams, The Mavericks.


You can listen to parts of the interview, in audio, on Thursday February 22 in So Many Roads, a day before the release of Lance Cowan's 'So Far So Good' album. You can also listen to a number of tracks exclusively.

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