It wouldn’t be unfair to deem Coy Bowles as a man of many hats. Musician, songwriter, guitarist, professor, author, engineer, producer – the list is endless for his ever-expanding repertoire and influence in Atlanta’s growing music industry. Perhaps best known as member and musician for the three-time Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, Bowles has spent the better part of a decade gracing your radio waves with some of country’s most well-know instrumentals.
Thusly, upon listening to the work of Coy Bowles and The Fellowship in their most recent release, Tiger Pride, it was an unexpected delight to hear the familiar melodies of ‘70s soul and folk-rock jam-band mix with Bowles’ inimitable rasp for juxtaposing concoction of nostalgia and discovery.
Tiger Pride is an album of progression. Each song is spun with a lyrical picture in mind, covering heartbreak, love, compassion, journey and more, giving endless themes mixed with vivid metaphors and tinged with ever-changing instrumentals. Tiger Pride’s touch on variations in genre and melody suggest that Bowles’ musical influences are vast; there is a familiarity in the folk-rock grit that initially comes through on each track, giving a vague nod towards the sounds of Seger and a nostalgia for the rock-and-roll of the late ‘70s.
Once past the initial familiarity that comes with Tiger Pride, it’s quickly evident that each track on the album is meticulously, instrumentally layered – almost as if the rock progression is deliberate and building to the climax of individual horn additions, rattling keys, and guitar solos. One song in particular, ‘Give It One More Day’ leads way to a nearly minute-and-a-half dueling-duet between intermingling keys and guitar strings, building upon each other to the last begging chorus of Bowles’ powerful rasp, pleading to Give It One More Day. Startling.
However, not all tracks on Bowles’ latest work are based on power and composition. The passion in ‘Crucify’ pours out in Bowles vocals, lyrics painting a demanding stubbornness toward the wrongdoings in a relationship, whilst giving the listener a glimpse of the heartbreak through the singer’s tone. The soulful quality is so strong that, despite ‘Crucify’ being a post-breakup ballad, the tenderness typically felt within a love song remains, striking a personal, emotional chord with the listener.
Altogether, Coy Bowles and The Fellowship’s new album is a home-run; well-produced, emotional, instrumentally complex – the cohesion of a young jam-band’s passion with the talent of seasoned players. A take on the raw soul of ‘70s rock with a modern spin and progressing sound from one of Atlanta’s most talented musicians, Tiger Pride is a new release that audiences should get their hands on.