Davenport musician tries the sunny L.A. scene

Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 9:15 am
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

Aside from being a major cultural hub, Scott Stowe's recent full-time move to sunny Los Angeles makes a lot of meteorological sense.

The 25-year-old Davenport native -- who'sperformed on Caribbean cruise ships, composed music in Nashville, and toured nationally with pop-rock artist Aimee Allen -- will be dreaming of warmer climes when he's back home this weekend, as part of the entertainment for the annual "Havana Daydreamin'" fundraiser Saturday.

"I didn't think I would be as at peace being out there as I am," Mr. Stowe of living in L.A., where he moved in early January. "With the right connections, through the right people, the biggest thing is that we finished what we think is a really good album. I'm willing to try my hand at anything, give myself six months out here, to see if I can gain a little bit of traction."

In L.A., he recorded his independently produced debut, "Sunlight" (copies will be for sale Saturday), and Mr. Stowe describes his original tracks as "Jason Mraz meets Michael Bublé." He also said he never confines himself to one genre -- he likes pop, folk and country styles.

"I take music very seriously and I don't know if I could really make sense of all life's ups and downs without it," said Mr. Stowe, an Assumption High grad who first played guitar at 15. "More than anything, I am hopeful that my music is used to inspire and drive its listeners forward. Regardless of where life takes me, my guitar won't be far behind."

In his young life so far, he and his guitar have crossed the country and Caribbean. At 19, after moving to Indianapolis to work with a cousin teaching karate, he played a gig and was introduced to Ms. Allen, who now does more aggressive punk rock and ska but was then more pop, Mr. Stowe said.

In 2009, he joined her as a guitarist and backup vocalist on a nationwide tour that included The Dirty Heads, Fastball and Sugar Ray. Their tour featured stops ranging from the world-famous Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood to radio stations in nearly every state. During many performances, Mr. Stowe joined Aimee to sing "Open Arms," a song they co-wrote and now featured on his album "Sunlight."

In 2010, he became acoustic guitarist for the Johnny Cash musical "Ring of Fire" in Nashville. While there, Mr. Stowe co-wrote many songs with Travis Howard, including "Someday." Mr. Howard also produced other tracks for Mr. Stowe, including "What Happened to You" and a song about his childhood, "Buffalo."

In 2011 (through early 2012), he joined Norwegian Cruise Line on three voyages during which he performed solo multiple times each day. "It was a great job; it was very taxing," Mr. Stowe said. "It was just me and a guitar."

He does prefer playing solo as opposed to a band, though he'll be with his high-school friends playing Saturday at the RiverCenter. "Maybe secretly I don't trust everyone. I'm most comfortable knowing I'm in complete control."

Mr. Stoweplayed trumpet in grade school and said: "Nobody in high school that knew me knew I played music. I just had a guitar, and really enjoyed sitting behind it. I really never intended taking it anywhere."

The "Havana Daydreamin'" gig -- organized by the Quad City Parrothead Club -- typically raises more than $30,000 a year for a different charity; this year it will benefit Rebuilding Together Quad Cities. It's a local affiliate of the national nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods, by providing free home repairs to homeowners in need.

Though he's not a big Jimmy Buffet fan himself (known as Parrotheads), Mr. Stowehas an aunt who is a big Parrothead, and she's coming to the Saturday benefit from West Liberty. He will stay in town about 10 days, and next Friday play with his band at Rookies Sports Bar, Davenport, at 9:30 p.m., then Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at Jersey Grille in Davenport.

If you go

-- What: The Quad City Parrot Head Club is hosting the annual Havana Daydreamin' party, featuring Scott Stowe, Whoozdads, the Boat Drunks and John Patti, a nationally known steel drum player.
-- When: 6 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Pre-show with the featured performers between 1 and 5 p.m. at River Music Experience (2nd and Main, Davenport; $15 in advance, $20 at the door.)
-- Where: RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport.
-- Tickets: $25; $20 in advance. Reserved tables of 8 also are available for $200. There will be a 50/50 drawing, live auction and silent auction. Proceeds will go to Rebuilding Together Quad-Cities. Tickets are available at all Quad-City Hy-Vee stores and at qcph.com.


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The ladies have adopted the fashion of wearing representations of insects in the flowers on their bonnets. Some look very natural.
1889 -- 125 years ago: T.F. Cary, former Rock Island alderman, has accepted a position as salesman for a Chicago wallpaper house and plans to move to that city.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m..
1989 -- 25 years ago: Some of us who live in the Quad-Cities take the Mississippi River for granted, or at least we used to. But the river is not taken for granted by our visitors. And most Quad-Citians are realizing the importance of the river to this area as increased emphasis is placed on tourism.

(More History)