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The Bowmans on the Cayamo Cruise

Apr 13, 2008
Kimmy Sophia Brown

After Lyle Lovett and possibly dinner, I can’t remember in which order, we sashayed to the Red and Black Lounge which sounds satanic but wasn’t. There, sequestered, or sea-questered, as we were at sea, were the long, lovely, lean and blond Bowman twins. “Womb-mates” as my twin friends, Edy and Betsy, always say.

These girls were Peggy Lipton meets Rickie Lee Jones. They were pretty, which always helps if you’re a musician, because people want to look at you as well as listen to you. But they also had really strong, harmonious, melodic voices that blended in very original harmonies and melodies. (What a coincidence!)

They made me think of Alanis Morrisette on some songs, and the Cranberries on other ones with a little bit of early Joni Mitchell for good measure. They wore sleeveless dresses and boots laced up - delicate and ethereal. I thought to myself, I love to see young women finding their voice, or in this case, their voices. They wrote original songs about friends, kitchens, flying, love, and other topics, infused with the blossoming goddess power of their hearts and voices and their humor and musical ability. Their songs were totally unpredictable which is not something you can say about all new musicians. They really have an original mother lode, so even if I say “they sounded a little like Alanis or the Cranberries” it was only a phrase or a note, they actually sound exactly like the Bowmans.

Sarah played guitar and sang and Claire sang and stood with her arms straight, which looked very pretty. Sometimes she did percussion with tambourines or shakers or a toy xylophone on one song. Their energy was lovely and psychic, you could tell they knew what the other was going to do, or what note was next. It was fun to watch them.

A highlight was a song called, “Porker” penned by Claire at the age of 8, with hilarious lyrics concerning the consumption of pig meat and why one shouldn’t.

I brought home their CD, “Far from Home” and my daughter, 18, heard it and confirmed, “Oh, they’re really good!” So there you have it, they appeal to people from 18 to 53 and probably beyond in both directions.

They were last minute winners of the Paste Magazine music contest and so they didn’t get their name on the cruise’s T-shirt but they really deserved to be there. If they’re ever in your town, go see them. You won’t regret it. They got a standing ovation on the ship on their first gig, and then played a couple more times in other locations. On a televised interview on the ship they said that they’ve been playing professionally for four years now, which means they have left their day jobs behind and are pursuing music full time now. I really wish them well. I also felt how proud their parents must be of them. I felt that way toward all the performers on the boat. My gosh, to see their children full of talent and hope, must fill parents with such pride. I know it would me.

As a last comment, I wonder if they will someday play in Bowman, North Dakota, which is a really cold, rural place near Bismarck. It was the first place I saw real snowflakes in my life - where it’s so cold and so dry you can actually see the shapes of the snowflakes in your hand before they melt. And that’s what the music was like on this Cayamo cruise. It’s not possible to say that this snowflake is more beautiful than that snowflake, because they’re all original and beautiful. The Bowmans might sing in Bowman someday, as original and beautiful as the snowflakes I once saw there, falling from the sky.

The Bowmans' website is:

The Bowmans' MySpace is:

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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