The namesake guitarist of the Damon Fowler group may look, at first, a little too fresh-faced to really know about the blues. And yes, Fowler is a cherubic Gen Y-er, but he already boasts more than a decade on the live circuit. Growing up in the Tampa Bay area, he picked up a guitar at 12. As a young teen, while his friends were digging on whatever were the radio flavors of the month, Fowler instead got into the traditional sounds of the Deep South. Bringing a contemporary sensibility to swampy blues sounds, he became a favorite around Florida thanks in large part to his nimble finger work on the strings. Besides the guitar, he also freely pulls out the lap steel, the slide, and the Dobro (a sort of electric-acoustic hybrid with added metal plates for extra resonance).
And though Fowler's group is nominally a blues band, it's not one of those all-too-common sad barroom crews of wannabes. Instead, the trio has a thoroughly modern, laid-back, and melodic sound that's friendly to both guitar nerds and college kids. Fowler's free mixing of blues, roots, contemporary rock, and more should go down especially well with the jam-band set.