Clenching a red Gibson SG, Grace Bowers expresses emotion through fluid fretwork and raw riff-craft. Instead of resorting to mere words, chords and leads evoke feelings for the 17-year-old guitarist and band leader. It’s why she’s quietly emerged as not only a phenomenon on her instrument of choice, but also as an enigmatic musical presence. It’s why she’s been sought after by everyone from Devon Allman, Margo Price, Tyler Childers, Gaslight Anthem, Susan Tedeschi and earned acclaim courtesy of Rolling Stone and more. It’s why she’s about to leave her own mark on music as well.
“Guitar is an extension of me and a way to communicate my feelings,” she affirms. “It’s all about the feel, especially when I’m playing blues. I’m just trying to have my own voice on the guitar.”
Since her childhood in the Bay Area, she has carefully cultivated that voice. Fascinated by rock ‘n’ roll, she immersed herself in guitar and honed her abilities further via YouTube tutorials and lessons. In middle school, she typically devoted up to four hours per day to the instrument. Simultaneously, she expanded her sonic palette, scouring online playlists for blues and discovering Mississippi John Hurt, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, and more. Eventually, her family settled in Nashville. In the midst of the COVID lockdown, she built an audience by regularly livestreaming solo jam sessions on Reddit, while her Instagram reels often achieved viral impact. Along the way, she landed a coveted Gibson endorsement. Emerging as a dynamic performer, Grace played the Allman Family Revival at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in addition to making appearance with Devon Allman, Gaslight Anthem, Jared James Nichols, to name a few. She notably made her Newport Folk Festival debut in 2023 with three sets, contributing to a John Prine tribute, accompanying Valerie June, and serving up a solo instrumental set. Of the later, Rolling Stone professed, “Her twenty-minute performance gave the distinct sense that everyone lucky enough to have attended was witnessing a star in the making.” Using her artistry to give back, she headlined the Grace Bowers & Friends benefit for The Covenant School in Nashville, supporting Covenant Heals and MusiCares® and featuring Butch Walker, Hannah Wicklund, Devon Gilfillian, and Daniel Donato.
As she prepares original music, Grace says everything she needs to with a guitar in hand.
“When you listen to me, I hope you hear the authenticity,” she leaves off. “I’m never trying to imitate anybody else. I’m just trying to make the music I want to make.”
The top of 2024 has Grace in the studio with John Osborne (The Brothers Osborne) recording an EP with music coming in the spring followed by EP release in summer.