John Bowman - The Hole
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The Hole (Mountain Home, 2020)

John Bowman

Reviewed by Devin Adams

From note one, golden nuggets of country, bluegrass and gospel are unearthed by John Bowman. By calling, Bowman became a preacher and by gift, he became a multi-award winning musician capable of delivering such fantastic music, now it is evident that the man is a miner of sorts as well.

"The Hole" is primarily a collection of songs about faith and message. Even "Silverthorne Mountain," penned by Merle Haggard, which could be argued as the least secular track, is about liberty and the American way of life, both things many find spiritual. The title track, a Skip Ewing co-write and hit for Randy Travis, is a brilliantly written metaphor about getting in over your head mistakenly searching for material things and perceived happiness, only to find out that you "can't dig out of the hole."

Rich melodies and musicianship from the likes of Josh Swift (Dobro), Mike Rogers (drums and tenor vocals), and Aubrey Haynie, (fiddle and mandolin), shine like polished diamonds, along with Ben Isaacs (bass, vocals), Gordon Mote, (piano) and Kelley Back (guitar) and, of course, Bowman.

As an EP, the mine goes dry after just six tracks, The only drawback to an EP is they are over too quickly; however, here it is quality over quantity. There is simply no dirt to sift through, only gold, silver, and jewels to be picked up one after another. The cup (shovel?) runneth over. Any miner would be thrilled to uncover what Bowman found this time in "The Hole."

CDs by John Bowman

The Hole, 2019 Beautiful Ashes, 2015

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