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“Bound For Glory” by Denny Bowen

“Bound For Glory” is the autobiographical sonic journey from Texan Denny Bowen. This Americana gem features Bowen’s calloused voice, a pesky fiddle and master-class level songwriting. With lyrics that not only tell a story, but reveal a man’s inner-demons and triumphs, “Bound For Glory” can be the testament to us all that give it time and give it a shot, you can make it. Released on the label Farm To Market Entertainment, “Bound For Glory” is an instant classic.

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Leading the listener through an untangled descriptive stanza one after another, Bowen describes opposing factors that have appeared throughout his life. He’s clear about his drinking habit and he’s just as honest when it comes to singing. His voice has the markings of a sojourner on the road well-traveled. Some might fashion his style to that of Bob Dylan in terms of songwriting, but when it comes to hearing his true voice, he’s clear as day and enunciates with power and preciseness. I liked the natural tenor he possesses, a slight twang from the San Antonio neighborhood he calls home. Like the San Antonio weather, Bowen’s voice has sultry sunspots, and a lot of fluidity (much like the humidity). Maybe too, that river that runs through the town is like the same baggage he has running through his blood.

I was bound for failure/now I’m bound for glory / I was hopelessly lost / now I’m found / now I’m found, he sings. The music bed has a slight zydeco sound – no, not a full New Orleans’ treatment, but a scratchy, washboard tone. While listening to “Bound For Glory” the setting is set so easily that it feels like you’re sitting in your living room having a personal concert. The tempo and the movement of the song is joyful, but still an undercurrent of real-life hiccups and mess-ups stays just below the surface. This song makes you stop in your tracks to listen, but it also carries you to a far-off place in your own mind. Maybe you question your own life’s choice and wonder how your life turned out compared to Bowen’s own rebellious tale? I enjoyed how Bowen has open arms, his tune is a folky/Americana blend that hits home.

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This song calls itself to be an anthem, a gateway to singing this with friends and family. In that way, “Bound For Glory” struck me as almost a gospel song. Let’s call it country gospel! I’m sure artists don’t think of their music as the labels as much as their fans place upon the songs, but I sure hope Bowen knows he connects his listeners to many emotions. “Bound For Glory” feels bigger than it is, and the upbeat, up-tempo joy radiating from his guitar and lyrics is proof. Pepper in the brushing percussion and “Bound For Glory” fills the heart and the ears with cozy fun and a clap along groove. You will be singing along in no time and humming this one for hours. “Bound For Glory” is certainly bound for greatness.

John McCall

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