It’s rare to find a great talent appearing out of the blue with an exceptional album recorded with stellar musicians but Kete Bowers is such a rarity. His songs you won’t forget. His voice is rich and deep. And deep felt. This is a very special artist whose time has come.
Kete Bowers’ second album, Paper Ships, has been produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies at The Hangar studio in Toronto, Canada. Digital single ‘Winner’ was released on May 24th 2019, with the album due on June 28th.
Kete is from Liverpool. He’s been called a ‘Liverpudlian Neil Young’ and compared to Guy Clark, John Prine, and Tom Waits…
“I don’t put myself in one particular genre; I write songs that cross many genres – Rock, Folk, Blues and Americana, etc.,” he says.
“I was born in Birkenhead just across the river Mersey from Liverpool. A year or so before I was due to leave school it became clear that there would be few or no jobs or apprenticeships available. Our school careers lessons were about how to fill in a form and sign on the dole.
These were really hard times. Later on, I went to college to study for a couple of years. And then I had a few temporary dead-end jobs, and eventually ended up on a temporary job at Cammell Laird shipyard. Many in my family had worked at Laird’s in the past, but the yard was on its knees and it employed a fraction of the men compared with the old days.
So I left the North West and headed south, ended up in Suffolk, busking the towns on market days. Been married, divorced. Started writing songs in 2009…”
Paper Ships is Kete Bowers’ first album for nine years, since his debut Road from 2010. The new album features members of The Cowboy Junkies, plus Josh Finlayson of The Skydiggers on bass, plus Tom Juhas on guitar. Kete takes up the story:
“I was contacted by a guy from Toronto who wanted to take on an executive producer role, to finance the making of my planned new album. I then decided to contact Mike Timmins of The Cowboy Junkies and check out if he’d be interested in working with me. I sent him the demos for the album and he liked them. There where many reasons for me choosing Mike to produce my album, one being that I connected with his view that when capturing a song, ultimately performance is king. So the studio was booked with Mike, and I geared up for a few weeks in Toronto.
Just three weeks or so from the project starting, the exec producer guy went missing. He didn’t answer emails from either Mike or myself and paid out nothing. It delayed the album recording by a year. I told this story to Gerry Young from Current Records in Canada. He had heard my songs via a link I sent him. He contacted me and after several emails and phone conversations he told me he would see if he could sort out the recording of my album with Mike Timmins as producer, and find the money to make it happen. A week or so later I signed an album deal with his label Current Records.”
Artist’s website: https://ketebowers.bandcamp.com/