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Teen rock sensation to spend weekend on Main

Seventeen only comes once in a lifetime/ Don’t it just fly by wild and free/ Goin’ any way the wind blew baby/ Seventeen livin’ on crazy dreams/ Rock and roll and faded blue jeans/ And standing on the edge of everything/ Seventeen ~”Seventeen” Tim McGraw

At only seventeen, singer/songwriter Will Bowen has already accomplished what many of us can only dream about. Already, this prodigy has released two CDs, the second released less than 12 months after his first.

A songwriter since the age of 11, Bowen has already shown the music industry that he has what it takes to head into the big time. And what’s more, Bowen has the ability and talent to back it up. Mature beyond his years, Bowen has managed to maintain a full course load in high school.

His two full-length albums, Between The Lines (2002) and This Lonely Mile (Oct. 2003), both showcase the maturity of Bowen and his standout vocals and lyrics.

The song “It’s About Time” is featured in the Top 10 of Unknown Artists on Alternative Addiction and is included on the Decent Xposure Vol. 2 compilation CD. Bowen also appears on the Alternative Addiction Volume 3 compilation CD, which includes such acts as Nine Days, Sister Hazel and Dexter Freebish. In addition, he was side stage support for John Mayer and Counting Crows at Blossom Music Center in August 2003. While most kids his age struggle with homework and extracurricular activities, Bowen is faced with the challenge of juggling a full-time high school workload with performances, often held hours from his hometown.

“I miss out on dances and sporting events, but it is a challenge that has made me stronger,” Bowen said.

Not only is Bowen faced with the pressures of live performances and young stardom, he must also face the pressures from his peers.

“They treat me like I’m anyone else. There is tension between other musicians at school, but honestly, none of my friends really know the significance of what I do … they don’t know the scope of it,” Bowen said.

Bowen began playing guitar early in life, picking it up off and on until he eventually took lessons for a few months to learn the basics.

“It wasn’t what I was looking for. More than anything, I use the guitar as a tool for me to write songs,” he said.

Bowen’s songs tell stories comparable to the likes of John Mayer, groove like those of Dave Matthews and rock out with a full band behind him like Train or Vertical Horizon. From the crunch of “It’s About Time” to the delicate “Photograph” and “Standby” to the grind of “Gone By Tomorrow,” his songs may soon find their way to the top.

“Every song I write is about true life experiences. I’ve lived two or three years within the last year; it really is a journey. I feel a lot,” Bowen said.

In the meantime, Bowen’s sound keeps evolving as he finds his musical niche.

“I’m not afraid of the word ‘pop,'” he said.

With his driving melody and catchy hooks, Bowen’s sound is a refreshing mix of pop and rock.

“I’ve been writing ballads more, too. When writing songs, I like more melodic sounds, but when performing I love to rock out. I’m a big hard-rocker,” he said.

And Bowen has definitely had his share of opportunities to rock. Within the last three months he has performed at the Odeon in the flats of Cleveland (his favorite venue to perform at) an astonishing five times.

Not only that, but Bowen had the opportunity to not only share the stage with, but also hang out with, Art Alexakis, frontman of Everclear.

“Back in my hard rock days, he was one of my favorites. I got to chill with him and go to dinner,” Bowen said.

In addition, Bowen lists Virginia Coalition as another band he has memorable experiences from performing alongside.

Currently, Bowen is a fan of up-and-comers Switchfoot for their hard rock melodies and hooks (“Those guys have the best melodies”) and boasts that he is learning every word to every song.

While the decision to attend college is still up in the air for Bowen, he says he hopefully will find a way to perform and go to school at the same time. He also says he has been contemplating taking a year off to explore his possibilities and go on the road more.

“I hope to be playing shows for years and years.”

With his current drive, stamina and talent, I’d find it hard to believe if he doesn’t do just that.

LOCAL TOUR DATES

March 19 Nate ‘ Wally’s Fishbowl Opening for Seeking Homer 9pm / $5

March 20 Howard’s Opening for The Big Creak 9pm / $5

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