The Cowley Cowboys were formed in 2009, since which time they have played numerous nationwide gigs and festivals as well as having three self-penned albums under their belt. The first of these ‘Cowley Cowboys’ was released in 2009 and the second, ’Sons of Rest’, in 2013 and now ‘Briticana’ (2022).
Based in the Herefordshire/Worcestershire Badlands, the band have always described their sound as ‘Briticana’ – played In the Americana genre but containing lyrics and tales from the British context rather than the USA. Songs on ‘Sons of Rest’ refer, for example, to a redundant cinema in the West Midlands, a cottage falling into disrepair in Herefordshire and the Birmingham workers philanthropic organisation which was known as the ‘Sons of Rest’.
An exception to this rule is ‘Ella’ on Briticana which references both ’Delaware’ and the seminal USA band ‘Little Feat’. Pete Unwin, the band leader’s excuse is that he loves Little Feat and once , while in the States, had a ‘Rehoboth Beach, Delaware’ sweatshirt he was very attached to, but not so attached that he lost it on a night out in the boondocks, never to be seen again. So, Delaware has always represented a state of loss to him and Rehoboth Beach remains a place of mystery, intrigue, and possibly some good Americana music.
The band enjoys live performances when they will play a mixture of their own material together with covers from influencers such as Dylan / Johnny Cash / The Derailers / Ray Wylie Hubbard / Dwight Yoakam and Junior Brown.
The album ‘Briticana’ is a collection of songs with one-word titles that span the emotional heart and soul of country rock music – ‘Proof’ ‘Wrong’ ‘Cried’ ‘Truth’.
‘Desperate’ is a lament for the present state of so many people’s lives and ‘Leavin’ addresses the age-old dilemma of when a member leaves a band. Based on a true story of an associated band, a handwritten letter appeared one morning signed by the accordion player, who just could not tell his fellow band mates that he was leavin’, admitting that the leter was the coward’s way out. Any of the listeners who have played in bands will know how difficult these calls can be, but life goes on and the music lives to survive another day (usually!).
Cowley Cowboys are:
Pete Unwin – Vocals / Guitar / Harmonica
Clive Kennard –Guitar / Vocals
Becky Davies- drums /percussion
Paul Atterbury – Bass