Cowan, John


  • From Louisville. Lives in Nashville.
  • Often called “Johnny C.” He is also known as the Voice of Newgrass.
  • Began his musical career playing bass in a high school rock band called Everyday People.
  • 1974-1990, played bass and sang lead for the New Grass Revival.
  • 1990-1997, joined Rusty Young and Bill Lloyd in a band called The Sky Kings (country-rock). Also worked with the Doobie Brothers (two years), the Sam Bush Band and in two blues bands: Duckbutter and Grooveyard.
  • 1998, formed The John Cowan Band which has over the years included such musicians as Scott Vestal, Jim Hurst, Randy Kohrs, Jeff Autry, Luke Bulla, Noam Pikelny, John Frazier, others.
  • 1998, released Soul’d Out (Sugar Hill), a blues album.
  • 2000, released John Cowan album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2002, released Always Take Me Back album (Sugar Hill).
  • 2006, released New Tattoo album (Pinecastle).
  • 2009, released 8,745 Feet: Live at Telluride album (Koch Records).
  • 2009, released a Christmas album Comfort & Joy (Koch Records).
  • 2010, re-joined the Doobie Brothers.
  • 2010, released The Massenburg Sessions album (Koch Records).
  • 2012, began hosting his own radio show on WSM 650-AM called “I Believe to My Soul.”
  • 2014, released Sixty (Compass Records), a retrospective of his career featuring a variety of musical genres and special guests. Produced by Doobie Brother John McFee.
  • 2016-2018, toured with Darin & Brooke Aldridge (during a break from the Doobie Brothers).
  • 2020, formed a group with Andrea Zonn called The Herculeons.