VIC FIRTH ARTIST
Bogie Bowles began playing drums at the age of thirteen. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Bogie’s earliest influences were heavy metal bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.
He remembers wanting to play drums at age eleven and begging his parents for a drum set. His dad finally gave in. Bogie credits MTV as an early inspiration, “I remember watching videos by bands like Def Leopard and Toto. The drummers looked like they were having so much fun up there”. In high school, listening to classic rock, Bogie discovered Led Zeppelin and as with most rock drummers, John Bonham’s influence was a turning point for him. “I had finally found someone who’s playing I wanted to reproduce, not just to play the songs, but to somehow get into this guy’s head and figure out where it all came from and how he was expressing himself.”
During a summer at Berklee College of Music, Bogie began exploring other genres like R&B and Pop and admiring drummers like Jeff Porcaro, Steve Gadd and Freddy White. While attending college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bogie and some friends founded the alternative band,”Knocked Down Smilin” and began a seven year run, touring regionally and recording two independently released CDs.
Continuing his education as a drummer has always been a constant in Bogie’s career. "About my sixth year with Knocked Down, I began to feel that my playing had leveled off. I felt like I needed more of a personal challenge and I also wanted to be able to express myself more easily in my music.” Bogie sought out Frank Worrell, the local drum guru. “Frank had played a lot of jazz and studied with Alan Dawson, I knew he could help me”. Help he did. Through a series of exercises and lessons over the next eighteen months, Bogie’s playing grew immensely. Still, he knew there was more he could do.
Upon graduation, Mark Schulman referred Bogie to guitarist Stevie Salas for a three week European tour. “That experience was life changing. Stevie was so specific about everything he wanted from me and really pushed me.” Upon returning, Bogie called Mark Schulman, “I told Mark I wanted to know every single thing I could improve in my playing. He was so great and helped me come up with three simple but challenging exercises. I worked on them for about six months at different tempos and volumes and man, what an impact that made”.
Shortly thereafter, Bogie recorded a CD with college radio favorite, Jeff Witzeman. “That was the first CD I listened back to and thought, ‘That’s exactly how I want to sound”. Bogie joined My Precious Days around this time, playing local gigs, touring some and recording the CD, ‘Ether’. In Fall 2002, Ralph Humphrey asked Bogie to join the teaching staff of the LA music Academy as a private instructor, teaching the entire curriculum including Afro Cuban, Jazz and Playing Technique. When Bogie began working with producer Mark Hudson on some demo projects, Mark brought him on for percussion on Ozzy Osbourne’s CD Box Set, “The Prince Of Darkness”. Shortly thereafter, Bogie auditioned for Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who’s new CD,”The Place You’re In” was about to be released.
In Fall 2004, Bogie embarked on a year long world tour with Kenny. The final two months of Kenny’s tour were spent opening for the legendary B.B. King on his “80th Birthday Blues Celebration Tour”. The other opening act on the tour was none other than Joe Bonamassa. Bogie and Joe met and enjoyed hanging out together on this tour. Each night they watched each other play with mutual respect and admiration. It was no wonder that when Kenny’s tour ended and Joe wanted a new rhythm section, Bogie’s phone rang. After just three rehearsals, Joe, Bogie and long time Johnny Winter bassist Mark Epstein hit the road in November ‘05. They are currently on tour in the U.S. and Europe.
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