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Jazz / Blues

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

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For a long time, people didn't know what to do with him. But now the times have caught up with him - there's a Peter Rowan renaissance. A follower of Tibetan Buddhism, Rowan is well-traveled and...

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For a long time, people didn't know what to do with him. But now the times have caught up with him - there's a Peter Rowan renaissance.

A follower of Tibetan Buddhism, Rowan is well-traveled and well-schooled. He compares Monroe and his pioneering music to the nature poets and painters of the seventh-century Chinese Tang dynasty, who similarly evoked the 'high lonesomeness' that he says is at the heart of Monroe and bluegrass. He always follows his muse, says Bev Paul, Sugar Hill Records' director of sales and marketing. He does world music projects, old-timey music, and now he's back to bluegrass, where his roots are. He's even starting to look like Bill Monroe, she says.

Rowan represents what is coming to be known as third-generation bluegrass, says Paul. Monroe and people like Earl Scruggs were the first wave, and then there was a flurry of activity in the mid-'60s. Now we're feeling the third wave roll into the 21st century --- and Peter's leading that charge.