Jonny "Gowow" Gower (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
If you’ve been hanging around Murfreesboro in the last decade, you could have run into Jonathon Gower in some venue on the Square behind a piano, singing at your favorite nonprofit soiree or even at your dinner table at Five Senses.
A man of many places, Gower moved to Murfreesboro from Pleasant View, Tenn., for student life at Middle Tennessee State University like most who venture to town, where he studied music composition. After playing in different bands for the past eight years, he is now set to release his first EP under the moniker Jonny Gowow and the Japanese Cowboys with a show Friday, May 10, at The Boro Bar & Grill.
As for the name, the first thought may be where does this come from? While it’s not symbolic of anything at all, the “Gowow” part comes from his dad’s nickname in college while “Japanese Cowboys” originates from a song by the band Ween.
Along with Gower, the band is composed of area musicians which include Ryan Crowley, Matt Lund, Taylor Lonardo, Craig Jordan, Matt Heller and others.
The EP, “Songs for a Johnny Day,” contains five tracks that were all recorded at MTSU studios over the past few years and will be part of a full-length project called “Wide Stance.”
“We’re going to be going into the studio to record a full-length album at the end of May. Taylor Lonardo will be engineer on it and I’ll be the producer,” Gower said about his next project.
The first song from the EP, “Sweet Boy,” is a piano-driven pop song that is reminiscent of Queen with layered harmonies and howling guitars.
“I wrote this one for a composition course and turned into a pop song. Everything you hear I wrote down notes for it and that’s how I write a lot of my tunes now,” Gower said.
Other tracks include “Procrastination,” “Johnny Day” and “Lost and Found,” while “Pretty Much” foreshadows the end of the world, technologically speaking.
Catchy lines and metaphors such as “now we’ve reached the end of the path/we’ve explained all our anguish with math/we’ve sold all the gods just to worship the silicon calf” suggest a society’s reliance on the next best thing.
“The idea was that technology does a better job at life than humans do. So we kind of have to bow out, “ Gower added about the concept of the song.
The show will get started at 9 p.m. Friday at The Boro Bar & Grill with Grooventure taking the stage.
Gowow and the Cowboys will perform at 10 p.m. and they will also be recording it for a live album. It is free and 21 and up.
“It’s going to be good music," he said. "People who take music very seriously and do it well. You’re going to see some of the top performers in Murfreesboro and get a preview of what is in store for next year."