ver the last thirty years, Dowd has been creating records that defy trends, a unique catalogue of work that stands head and shoulders above many of his lauded contemporaries. Now in his seventieth year on God’s good earth, Dowd has lost none of the vigour, enthusiasm, and attitude that has seen him forge his position as one of America’s most inquisitive artistic minds, a musical explorer who has charted expeditions to genre-defying destinations that, at their heart, question, challenge, and dissect notions of the American Dream.
Born in Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1948 and raised in Oklahoma, he attended high school in Memphis, crossed the pond to serve in the U.S. Army and then headed to California before landing in Ithaca, New York. At some point in these varied travels he picked up a guitar and never put it back down again.
As Johnny says, “my childhood was normal as was my adulthood. at some point i learned to play guitar. the future is uncertain.”
A Dutch TV documentary on Dowd was filmed in 2000, and in early 2001, the New York Times highlighted him as one of four "Country Singers Who Still Display a Country Heart".
He made his his major film appearance in 2003 with Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus and won the the Alt Country award in the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards with Cruel Words in 2007.
He has toured, recorded, produced or collaborated with such musical luminaries as The Mekons, Jim White and Amy LaVere (with Will Sexton, favourites from The GuitarBar) to name a few (not in order of importance, and an unforgivably abbreviated list) . He has contributed to numerous tribute albums, most recently 2021’s release of The Wanderer - A Tribute To Jackie Leven (also an old favourite in The Gladstone).
According to Johnny, “I’ve toured the US and Europe many times and even did a couple of gigs in Russia (unforgettable). It’s been an almost illegal amount of fun. But like most musicians, I feel my best gigs and finest recordings are still in front of me.”
His new album Homemade Pie is now out and lately he’s added to his musical creative outlet and picked up a new medium, drawing at an almost frighteningly prolific rate.
Suffice it to say much has happened in the life of Johnny Dowd and he is adamant that most of it is absolutely not his fault!!