Ron performing at Gig Harbor Farmer's Market, September 1999
Ron Fowler is the lead singer and principal songwriter for the RF's, a classic style rock and roll band based in the Tacoma - Seattle area. Ron divides his time between performing with the group, and recording and performing on his own. Ron's solo show is low-key and acoustic, spotlighting his folk/country/rock influences from artists like Rick Nelson, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and John Sebastian.
Vocally, Ron has been compared to John Lennon, but his biggest influence is Rick Nelson."A lot of people think of him as just a teen idol from the 50's, but he was actually a pioneer in many areas, including music video. What I like about him is that he was an artist, he took his music seriously, and he didn't go the easy route later in his career, which would have been to just play oldies. He stuck to what he believed in, he didn't compromise his music just to make a buck". Ron performs a number of Rick's songs in his shows, including "Never Be Anyone Else But You", "Travelin' Man", "Send Me Somebody to Love", and "Last Time Around".
Performing both with a group and alone gave Ron the chance to show different sides of himself. "Normally you're only onstage for a couple hours at the most, and it's hard to do everything you want to do in that short a time. The things that weren't right for the group, I did on my own. When I'm playing on my own, I don't have to get approval from other musicians, I only have to please myself and my audience."
I tend to emphasize the 50's stuff more than the RF's do, because a lot of it can be done with just an acoustic guitar, and I have more of an interest in it than they do. I think it's important to remember the guys that got it all started - Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, but I also enjoy doing a lot of songs from the 60's and 70's." You're not likely to hear Ron attempting to sing songs from today's pop music scene, though. "I'm not really interested in trying to change my style to fit the trends. Through the process of elimination, I've kind of found what works and doesn't work for me. As the song says, 'you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself'. I don't think you can make everyone else happy if you're not happy with yourself and what your doing."
In the studio, Ron enjoys recording his own vocal harmonies and playing various instrumental parts - guitars, harmonica, keyboards, and drums. Ron's "Heartbeat"(1994), "Lonely Summer"(1997), "Tennessee" (2000)and "Last Time Around" (2003) albums were all recorded without any outside help on his own home equipment.
Ron has also recorded many songs with other musicians, including the RF's songs "Summertime Love", "No Date for the Prom","Heidi", and "Safe from Harm". These recordings have featured many talented musicians including drummer Rob Jones, pedal steel guitarist Bob Ritter, and guitarist/singer Denny Hart. Denny also assisted Ron in recording some of his solo songs like "One More Chance" ,"Where You Belong", "In My Dreams", and "For Jennifer". Ron returned the favor by assisting in Denny's album "Cut to the Chase".
Ron's new CD is titled "Radio Frequency", perhaps the most personal collection of songs he has recorded. Ron wrote all 12 songs, and plays most of the instruments. The sound may surprise some listeners who are used to his acoustic outings. "They're songs I've been working on - off and on - for the last 10 years. Some of them felt too private to share, but it was something I needed to get out of me. The sound is harder rock, closer to the RF's sound than my previous solo recordings." The lyrics touch on subjects ranging from spirituality to political and social concerns.
Ron is working on new recordings at home, but has no definite plans for them yet. "I am just doing some songs at a relaxed pace, but it is coming together real good. I have been doing a lot of the same songs in my shows the last few years, and it helps keep it fresh if I can throw in some new stuff once in a while. Occasionally I'll bring in the other guys to help out."
Ron's hobbies include bicycling, hiking, and collecting old records. "vinyl isn't dead yet, I even have a turntable to play them on! My ultimate dream is to one day have some of my own music on a piece of vinyl."
For booking info, please contact Ron at his email address.
Ron Fowler's Lonely SummerRon's personal page
Ron Fowler Lyrics Pagesongs from his solo albums
Ron's Rick Nelson pagesome thoughts on the Travelin' Man
Ron's song listclick here to see a list of songs Ron sings