Pictured left to right:
Emmet Hale - Drums
Steve Dedman - Piano, guitar, vocals
Shane Tanner - Bass guitar
Austin Gray - Lead guitar, vocals
Kat Wallace - Violin, vocals
Gracin Dorsey - Mandolin
Ed Iarusso - Pedal Steel guitar
Take yourself back to the days of dusty country roads, carefree summers, and your radio tuned to music that was soulful and authentic. Enter Plywood Cowboy, crafting songs ripe with these nostalgic comforts, yet perfectly suited for the soundtrack of modern life. With their second album release, “Blue Skies”, the band continues to produce refreshing music that has been called “steeped in tradition, with lyrics full of longing, truth and heart” by Sound Waves Magazine.
In keeping with their debut EP “Channel 33”, the band’s first full-length album, “Blue Skies”, was recorded at Riverway Studio with producer Ira Sakolsky. Influenced by the original sounds of country-western and rock n’ roll, the album presents a roots Americana palate with modern harmonic sensibility. The August 2018 release earned a spot on the Grammy ballot in the Best Americana Album and Best Americana Song categories.
Born in the Connecticut River Valley in 2015, Plywood Cowboy continues to expand nationally. In 2018, Plywood Cowboy won the Connecticut Folk Festival band competition, giving them the opportunity to share the stage with Martin Sexton, The Alternate Routes, Jesse Terry, and Upstate Rubdown. The band has been honored to open for the Grammy-nominated act Yarn, Driftwood, and United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and has performed with members of Keith Urban’s band. Plywood Cowboy was selected to perform in the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance DJ Showcase.
Following a wildly successful launch at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “Channel 33” earned accolades as "a gorgeously assured collection of songs” (The Shoreline Times) and “a seriously hooky debut EP” (The Day). “Blue Skies” is another strong musical collection. Underneath the soothing vocals, stellar musicianship and harmonies, lies a story in each song. Mama Could Dance is an ironically humorous tale of a desperate man unable to win over a bombshell on the dance floor. Take Me On Back returns the listener to childhood, with a reminder that it will always remain within us. While Stray tells the story of a love that was led astray and the guilt and forgiveness that ensues. When describing the album's sound, Dedman says: “Country music, Americana music, rock music, folk music. It’s all music to me. It’s almost indescribable with words. I think most art is. It’s rooted in our DNA. Certainly in mine.” With the new album, Dedman expresses gratitude for the gift of music, his fellow musicians, and everyone who takes the time to listen.
Dedman’s father, David, and family friend John Hanus, taught Steve his first guitar chords at a young age. Kristopherson, Prine and Cash songs were the launching pad. Soon, Dedman was chasing down Floyd Cramer licks on the piano. The three would play their favorite country songs over the CB radio airwaves, and take the time on Sundays to practice the country-western picking style. Few knew John by his real name, but many knew him by his CB handle, "Plywood Cowboy”, a reference to his day job, hauling lumber for Housatonic Lumber Co. Though both Capt. Sunshine (David’s handle) and John have left the airwaves, their influences will forever be engrained in Plywood Cowboy’s music.
“We either rock the hell out of the songs live or we dim the lights and cry together with the crowd.”, says Dedman. Listen for yourself and see why New York Blues Hall of Fame Inductee Chris Bergson called Plywood Cowboy “one of the best new bands on the Americana scene”. “Blue Skies” are here.
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