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BLUES PLAYER

Competition without self-doubt or fear. Purpose triumphs over doubt.

Posted: February 9, 2023

Competition. No matter what job position, or career that you set your eyes upon there is always going to be competition. As I write about this topic there are thousands of other online media organizations, feverously writing, in attempt to get your attention. Could this possibly create self-doubt and fear, that my articles will not be read? After all, there are millions if not billions of articles, and news feeds that are grabbing attention of people all over the world. What chance do I have? Who am I? What makes me so special? Well, if those questions are not enough to make me stop writing, I don’t know what will.

The word “purpose” trumps all those questions and doubts. Anyone attempting to overcome the challenges of competition must figure out their purpose. What is my purpose for writing? You notice, I didn’t say “goal”? The difference between having a goal, and having a purpose, are as different as day and night. You see, you can have a goal, and fail. But if you have purpose, no matter how many times you fail, you continue going. You don’t limit yourself to goals that can be unattainable. If you are purpose driven, then you find a way to beat out the competition. Nothing is fiercer, than someone that is inspired by purpose.

Purpose, Drive, Fierce, Competitive are just some of the words I would use to describe Grace Bowers. Unlike many media outlets, I don’t use these words lightly. Words begin to lose their value when they are used without credibility.

 

ABOUT GRACE BOWERS

At age 16, Grace Bowers has already lived a lifetime of musical dreams. From an endorsement deal with Gibson, to appearances on stage with Devon Allman, Daniel Donato, Duane Betts, Luther Dickinson, Kevin Martin (Candlebox), Jared James Nichols and Duane Trucks and accumulating upwards of 100k fans on Instagram, Bowers has checked off career highlight boxes that most players would spend years in the trenches trying to achieve. It’s the stuff of dreams, of a kid locked in their bedroom woodshedding for hours a day to the music of their heroes, imagining stepping onto the stage alongside the greats. And for most young dreamers, it begins and ends within the confines of those bedroom walls.

But cue a window into that private world via livestreams of those hours of a young girl’s imaginative and inspired practice… and the real world quickly took notice.

Having received her first guitar on her ninth birthday, Grace focused on the music of her original guitar hero, Slash. From there she notes, “I got into blues and classic rock and started listening to artists like Marc Bolan, Leslie West, Steppenwolf, and B.B King.” The pandemic fast-tracked Grace’s affinity for the guitar into a full-blown obsession. Bowers remarks, “I locked myself in my room all day, and all I did was play guitar.” Bowers then used the internet to her advantage and began sharing clips of herself practicing, often lives treaming an hour-long stream of consciousness solo jam session on her social media platforms, and quickly gained a following of fans who were drawn to the earnest nature of her playing and down to earth persona.

Her family’s move from San Francisco to Nashville opened the door for Grace to make the jump from behind the camerato the front of the stage. Grace quickly found herself standing on some of Nashville’s biggest stages, including the iconic Ryman Auditorium alongside Devon Allman as part of the Allman Family Revival. “The Nashville community is so supportive. People are so welcoming and ready to share their music; the opportunities to perform live are endless. I feel so lucky to be around this energy 24/7. It’s absolutely thrilling.”

When a recent interviewer inquired about Grace missing out on “normal childhood activities” asking “Do you ever think, ‘Huh. I wonder what that’s like, going to the mall instead of having to play at the Ryman?’” her response was immediate.

“No. No. Not for a second.” Anyone who hears her play will agree, Grace Bowers is exactly where she needs to be.

 

INTERVIEW WITH GRACE BOWERS AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: I want to thank you for taking the time to interview with Guitar Thrills Magazine. It means so much more when we know the skillset of the guest that we interview. With all the talent that are trying to accomplish the same thing, how do you feel about competing artists? Are you intimidated?

Grace: Living in Nashville I don’t feel as if I’m competing against anyone. We’re all in the same boat and just trying to help each other out whether that be sharing a bill, sitting in, or promotion. Being around so much talent on the other hand can be intimidating for sure, but you just have to remember to do your own thing. People value authenticity over anything else.

 

GT: Do you ever get on stage thinking that your audience is not going to enjoy your performance?

Grace: Absolutely. Being a 16 year old girl people always doubt me before I get on stage, because they take one look at me and assume I’m going to pull out an acoustic and strum a couple of chords or something like that. The times when I make the most mistakes are always when I am trying to impress people, so I really do try to ignore these feelings and let the music flow as it should without changing the way I play. Usually when I perform I’m too focused on the music to care what people are thinking, it’s just not something I think is worth worrying about, but sometimes it gets to me.

 

GT: What matters most to you when you perform before large crowds of people?

Grace: My feel. If I can’t capture the essence of a song and resonate with the audience then I’ve missed something.

 

GT: One of the things that made me sit up and take notice is your guitar of choice. You were playing with a Gibson SG. I have played with the SG and the Les Paul with a variation of amps and pedals. I don’t think there is a smoother sound than the Gibson SG. The Fender Strat comes close, but I get this old school vibe playing with the Gibson SG. Is it the Gibson SG your preference and why so? Also, what year Gibson are you playing with?

Grace: My favorite guitar is my 1961 SG that was gifted to me in New York. With loud as hell P90s it really cuts through a mix. The pickups have a very specific sound and can be so diverse in the type of tone you can get. I’m constantly switching pickups and messing with the volume and tone knobs to build dynamic in the songs I play. I used to be a Les Paul person, but once I went to the SG I really felt at home with the guitar as it just feels nicer to me. (Plus it looks cool!)

 

GT: When are you getting an ideal sound. What combination of guitar and amp are you performing with? What pedals top it off? What would you also say takes your skillset to another level?

Grace: Recently I’ve been playing through a Tone master twin reverb with a tube screamer, which is a new thing for me. I’ve never been much of a pedal person, I’ve always liked to keep it bare bones as I’ve been around too many players who rely too heavily on them. But as I’ve gotten to own more and more pedals I have been getting more familiar with them. I love my Dunlop Cry Baby wah, and I’ve come to love tube screamers too to add a boost when I solo. As for amps, the tone master is perfect for all the pop up gigs I’ve been playing in as it’s small and sounds incredible.

 

GT: With that Gibson SG, are you a big fan of AC/DC? Angus Young knew how to play and do so with style.

Grace: The first song I fell in love with was TNT! I used to take guitar lessons in a church and I would always ask my teacher to show me how to play it and he always said “no” so it ended up becoming the first song I learned by ear. Angus is definitely a huge inspiration.

 

GT: From your bio, it mentioned that you performed with Candlebox. That must have been exciting. How did that come about? When did you start listening to them? They were like a Huge 90s band. At least for me they were. Some say they were just another cookie cutter band. While some sounds of the 90s were similar they had a different dimension. One of the greatest decades for rock was the 90s.

Grace: Kevin Martin actually found me on Reddit when I used to do livestreams there! He reached out to me to sit in at their acoustic show in Nashville and it was a blast. We played “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin and then their original “Cover Me”. Kevin’s got a lot of experience under his belt and it was great to get to talk to him and play beside him as well.

 

GT: What do you want to accomplish with a music career? Where do you see Grace Bowers 10 years from now?

Grace: I’m just going to see where the music takes me. Whether that be bigger stages or little dive bars, as long as I’m happy doing what I love, surrounded by good people, I’ll be set. So the end goal in that case, is to be content with where I’m at.

 

GT: Who are you performing with now, and how did that come about?

Grace: Right now I’m sitting in with as many people as possible. Living in Nashville people invite me out to shows all the time. Sometimes it’s just for a few songs and other times it’ll be a whole set. I’ve gotten to play with so many different people and tons of different music genres. It’s the best way to learn, doing it on the go. Super grateful to everyone for giving me all the chances and opportunities.

 

GT: As you know, you are the spotlight artist for the month of February. I think you deserve as much attention as possible. We are going to provide as much exposure for you as possible. Staring with an interview that is posted under the spotlight section. Then we will also include you in the February Issue of Guitar Thrills Magazine. We will continue to follow your music career, and always provide a place for you to promote yourself as an artist.

 

GT: How does that sound?

Grace: Hell yeah!

 

GT: Excellent. Please keep up the hard work. You will never have to look over your shoulder. You are a guitarist that everyone else will be wondering what Grace Bowers is up too.

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