Bogie Bowles: How I Got The Gig With Kenny Wayne Sheperd

By Don Zulaica Originally Published In DRUM! Magazine's March 2005 Issue

Bogie Bowles played with Kenny Wayne Sheperd from 2004 to 2005

Gig: Kenny Wayne Shepherd
New Drummer: Bogie Bowles
Former Drummers: Chris Layton, Sam Bryant, Brian Tichy
Résumé: My Precious Days, Knocked Down Smilin’

Cookin’ At The BBQ. I had known Kenny for a couple of years, but the first time we ever jammed together was at this Memorial Day barbecue at a friend’s house. We did “Manic Depression” and a couple other things, it was fun. There was an electronic kit and an acoustic kit there, and I was actually playing the electronic kit. Denny Seiwell from Wings was playing the acoustic. Then I saw Kenny later on in the summer and he said that The Place You’re In was done and they were going to be putting a whole new band together. At this point, My Precious Days was working with a producer, and I felt we were all going to be squared away. Then I saw him in mid-August, and he said he was going to audition guys, and the My Precious Days situation didn’t work out. So I said, “You know what, I’d love a shot at it.” So he put me in touch with his management and I called them and set up the audition. It was a Friday and they said, “Come down Tuesday night. Have these five tunes learned.”

Strength In Numbers. One of the things that helped me was, I recommended a friend of mine, [bassist] Philip Bynoe, and they brought us in together to audition. We shedded on our own all weekend, and then on Monday night we got together and played the tunes. So we went in on Tuesday together [for the audition], and we’d already played the tunes. I also teach at the L.A. Music Academy, and Philip and I have done ensemble workshops there for five years. So we know each other’s playing really well, and it really helped out.

Sage Advice. A good friend of mine is Mark Schulman, Cher’s drummer, and he said, “Don’t make it about getting the gig, because then you make it all about yourself. Just go in there and have fun and try to connect with these guys.” So that’s really what I tried to do. I knew I had done the work, I knew I’d be able to play the tunes well, but it was, “Can I get a vibe going with these guys?” I was halfway through the first tune and thought, “This feels good, I’ve got a good shot at this.”