Kevin Bowe's AP282 Class Works with Freedy Johnston @ IPR's Master Mix Studio

Like many IPR instructors, Kevin Bowe is always busy with a venture (or 10). I recently had the opportunity to speak with him about another great project he’s been able to share with his AP 282 class.

Many of you already know that Kevin is part of Alison Scott’s band, and that he also produces her records. This summer, the Alison Scott connection opened up a door for Kevin to work with one of his favorite living songwriters: Freedy Johnston.

Kevin's AP282 with Freedy Johnston

Kevin Bowe's AP282 class pauses for a photo with Freedy Johnston and his band.

The story goes something like this… Alison Scott’s booking agent Eric Roberts (Hello Booking) started booking Freedy Johnston shows. Eric called Kevin and asked if he and Alison’s other band mates, IPR Instructor Steve Price (bass), and Peter Anderson (Drums) were Freedy Johnston fans. When Kevin agreed they were, Eric suggested he’d book some dates with Alison opening, and the three of them would stay on stage and back up Freedy for his shows. It ended up being a win-win for everybody because it got Alison into some bigger festivals, and one band backed both artists: the results of smart rock n’ roll economics.

The first time Kevin, Steve, and Peter rehearsed with Freedy it was at IPR. So Kevin gave Freedy a tour, showed him Master Mix, and made sure to talk about the AP 282 class where he brings in professional artists to record with he and his students for free. It hadn’t been decided at that point, but Kevin said  “I planted a seed” and hoped to cut some songs with Freedy.

Shortly after, Kevin and his students ended up tracking two Freedy Johnston songs, and Kevin suspects they will probably track more. “It was easy and fun and the students really liked it because it’s a record they’re working on that is actually going to be released and people will hear it”. I asked Kevin what he meant by “it was easy”, and he said since they’d practiced and done shows with Freedy ”… it was already, you know, like we’re a band, and Master Mix is easy for me because I’ve been cuttin’ in there for like four or five years now.”

The Master Mix sessions have been edited (bass, drums, and guitar), and Freedy is tracking vocals at Kevin’s studio over early fall break. Kevin hopes to hit the studio with him to work on more material in the future. He wasn’t sure exactly what the plan would be, but Kevin said Freedy is also doing some work in Madison, WI tracking with Producer Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Sonic Youth…).

As this story continues to develop, I’ll keep you updated. Please feel free to let Kevin know what you think about this recent project. If this story has peeked your interest in IPR, please feel free to leave a comment below or request more information about the college here.

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