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Local Music Mondays is a weekly segment produced by WUKY's DeBraun Thomas. Check here for archived episodes, extended interviews, and extras.

Local Music Monday: Guitarist Brandon Bowlds

Greg Rhodus

DeBraun is back with a profile of Brandon Bowlds, a guitarist with the group the Baja Yetis.

Brandon Bowlds is a multi-instrumentalist and native of Owensboro who moved to Lexington in 1995. He got his first guitar at the age of 14 and eventually fell in love with a diverse range of music. Bowlds says that love led him to playing different styles of music and got him playing different instruments as well.

“Being from Kentucky, and from Owensboro, Kentucky, we had a big bluegrass festival that was there every year, um, I grew up with MTV and popular music, but I started to get exposed to Bluegrass and I also started to get exposed to Jazz a little bit, I started playing the banjo, getting serious about that when I was about 18 years old, taking lessons from a really well known banjo instructor and player whose name is Bill Evans, maybe not the most common path everyone has musically, but it’s the stuff that turns my crank.”

Being into diverse music is something that hasn’t changed. Bowlds has made a name for himself in the music scene for his wide range by playing in groups like the Honky Tonk band the Kentucky Hoss Cats, Bluegrass Collective and the Jazz/Funk group, The Baja Yetis. He says playing such a wide range of music all the time is a satisfying experience.

“I have a hard time just focusing on one thing and I’m the kind of person that multitasks in life and in music I guess, so for me, I have to play music and I’m not the kind of person that can wait 3 or 4 months between doing a show and building it up, I would just go crazy, it’s like I have to have that craving with other musicians pretty often so, it’s just about playing as much music as much as I can and focusing on building my brand has taken a back seat to just focusing on music and being a musician.”

Multitasking is a continuing trend as he also uses his talents as a studio engineer. The Baja Yetis have released their album Gone Planet, a project that he engineered. Bowlds says the push for the record was getting to see the finished product.

“It’s really easy to start a record, that happens all the time, a lot of people start projects and, I don’t know the percentage of them that get finished, but it’s probably pretty low, so following through with it seems to be the hardest part for a lot of people and a lot of bands and I’ve experienced that myself, but this one, we were motivated to do it, recording and engineering is something I’ve been into for the last 10 or 12 years, I just said ‘we’re gonna record the album, I’m gonna engineer it and we’re gonna record it at Billy’s house’ and that’s how it got started.”

Brandon Bowlds performs with Bluegrass Collective, Born Cross Eyed, The Eric Cummins Band, The Kentucky Hoss Cats and the Baja Yetis. Bowlds will be performing with the Baja Yetis on December 17th at Cosmic Charlies. More information about Bowlds and his projects can be found on Facebook.

DeBraun Thomas fell in love with radio at a young age but only had interest in working in radio after learning Funk musician Sly Stone got his start in radio. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Thomas moved to Lexington in 2009 to attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a career in radio. Thomas joined WRFL in 2009 and through the UK school of Journalism, Thomas had 2 features air on WUKY. In October of 2012, Thomas began interning at WUKY and produced the Unghosting of Medgar Evers. In August of 2013 Thomas became a staff member at WUKY and since that time, Thomas regularly produces the weekly segment Local Music Mondays which highlights local musicians in Lexington. Thomas hosts the Crunkadelic Funk Show which airs Saturday nights at 9pm and also produced a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the March on Frankfort. In addition to producing and hosting a radio show, Thomas also explores his other passion as a musician in Lexington.
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