Coy: About Coy

Coy Bowles is a member of the Zac Brown Band. He plays guitar and organ for ZBB as well as writes and arranges music. He also leads his own Atlanta based project, Coy Bowles and The Fellowship, for which he writes all the music and performs lead guitar, piano, organ and lead vocals. He is also a creative writer and founder of a charity foundation called “Coy Cares”.

MUSICAL CAREER:

Coy Bowles was born on February 20, 1979 in Thomaston, Georgia. He began playing guitar at age 10. At 13 he formed his first band. They played Seattle rock covers and performed mostly at church functions. From the very beginning, Coy wrote his own songs and recorded his own music.

After high school, though passionate about music, Coy chose to study biology. He attended Georgia State College and University, then transferred to West Georgia University where he first met Zac Brown. Eventually Bowles decided to change his course of study. He began taking private guitar lessons with David Frakenpohl, Academic Instructor in the jazz studies program at Georgia State University; to prepare to audition for the School Of Music there. After a few months of lessons, he auditioned and was admitted to the Jazz Studies Program. While in college, Bowles played around the Atlanta area with multiple jazz and blues acts. While at GSU, Coy immersed himself into every scene  Atlanta had to offer from singer songwriter to jazz to blues and rock. Coy had to be in the mix. He found a home at the famous Atlanta Blues Bar, Northside Tavern. Northside was where Coy found his roots in music and met some of his biggest influences, such as Donnie McCormick, Oliver Wood, and Sean Costello.

In 2004 Coy formed his own band, Coy Bowles and the Fellowship, for which he writes all the music and performs lead guitar, piano, organ and lead vocals. In 2006 the band released their first album, “Into the Distance.” After the album’s release Coy decided to seek out a larger band to open for. He contacted Zac Brown whom he had met while attending West Georgia University. Zac attended a Coy Bowles and The Fellowship show and was impressed by Bowles. He invited Coy’s band to open for Zac Brown Band and mentioned that while he had his keyboard on stage, he should sit in with ZBB.

For a short time after, Bowles juggled both bands. He eventually decided to make a full-time commitment to Zac Brown Band. Coy Bowles and the Fellowship continue to perform frequently around Atlanta when Zac Brown Band is not on the road.

Zac Brown Band’s album, “The Foundation” on Atlantic Records, includes 3 number 1 singles, “Chicken Fried”, “Toes” , and “Hwy 20” as well as “Whatever it is” which reached top 5 on the country charts and top 40 on the pop charts. In 2009 the band received 4 nominations from the Country Music Awards including, “New Artist of the Year”, “Song of the year”, “Single if the Year”, and “Music Video of the Year”. Also in 2009 the band received 3 Grammy nominations for “Best Country Album”, “Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals” and “Best New Artist.” Zac Brown Band won the Grammy Award for “Best New Artist.” In March, 2010 the band launched their first headlining, nationwide tour.

WRITING:

In 2008 Coy began writing a regular blog for coybowles.com and zacbrownband.com. The writing sparked a new passion for Bowles, and he began writing more frequently. He collaborated with Brown on the “Southern Ground Cook Book” for which he wrote several short stories. Coy also writes a regular column for his hometown newspaper, “The Upson Beacon.” And in 2010 he began work on a children’s book and book of stories from the road about the Zac Brown Band.

CHARITY:

Most recently Bowles has been motivated by a desire to give back to his hometown community. In 2010 he founded the Coy Cares Foundation. The group participates in and organizes events in Thomaston to raise money for Gilmore Center; an organization that provides assistance, resources and job opportunities to mentally and physically handicapped citizens.

INFLUENCES:

Musical: Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Donnie Mac, Oliver Wood, Leon Russell

Songwriting: Amos Lee, Donnie Mac, Oliver Wood, Darrell Scott, Greg Allman

Guitar: B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Duane Allman

Slide: Duane Allman, Derek Trucks

Resonator: Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge