However, Bowman's talent as a soloist and musician take center stage on his brand-new CD, Beautiful Ashes, which he co-produced with Troy Engle. Bowman's stamp is all over this project, as he provides masterful performances on guitar, mandolin, banjo and bass. He sings lead as well, and is joined on background vocals by his son, Levi, and another young voice, Autumn Nelon.
Also a gifted preacher, Bowman sees music as part of his overall ministry and hopes people will be blessed by it, especially during the eventful times in which we live. "We are living in an exciting time!" says Bowman. "We need revival! My prayer is that these songs will bless you and encourage you in your walk with Jesus."
The carefully chosen song selection on Beautiful Ashes is firmly rooted in bluegrass, with forays into country and gospel. Fellow Gaither artist Woody Wright wrote two of the songs ("Ashes" and "When My Travelin' Days Are Over"), and co-wrote "Cold Day in Hell" with Jeff Easter. The Easter family figures in as well on "They're Holding Up the Ladder," written by the Easter Brothers and James Edmonds. "Baby Girl" is a sweet addition from the late Carter Stanley (brother of Ralph), which he wrote for one of his daughters. Sonya Isaacs and Tim Surrett co-wrote "Reach of His Hand," and John Bowman teamed with Aubrey Haynie to write "Caiaphas' Blues." Bowman gives a tender vocal delivery on the stand-out "Sweet River," a piano ballad written by Joseph Barry Hutchens.
If you enjoy bluegrass harmonies, unpretentious vocals accentuated by polished (but not overproduced, thankfully) musical accompaniment, and uplifting lyrics, then grab a copy of Beautiful Ashes when it releases on December 11, 2015.