Brent Cowles

DSP Shows

Brent Cowles

Tenzin Chopak

Sat · July 28, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.00 - $15.00

Brent Cowles
Brent Cowles
“HOW TO BE OKAY ALONE.” That’s what Brent Cowles scribbled in a notebook one afternoon as he grappled with the complexities of his newfound independence. It was meant to be the start of a list, a survival guide for navigating the solitude and loneliness of our increasingly isolated world, but instead, it turned out to be a dead end recipe for writer’s block.

“I realized then that I actually didn’t know how to be okay alone,” reflects the Denver native. “But I also realized that it was okay not to know.”

A deeply honest, intensely personal portrait, the record channels loss and anxiety into acceptance and triumph as Cowles learns to make peace with his demons and redirect his search for satisfaction inwards. Blurring the lines between boisterous indie rock, groovy R&B, and contemplative folk, the music showcases both Cowles’ infectious sense of melody and his stunning vocals, which seem to swing effortlessly from quavering intimacy to a soulful roar as they soar atop his exuberant, explosive arrangements.

Growing up, Cowles first discovered the power of his voice singing hymns at his father’s church in Colorado Springs. Having a pastor for a parent meant heavy involvement in religious life, but Cowles never quite seemed to fit in. At 16 he fell in love with secular music; at 17 he recorded his first proper demos in a friend’s basement; at 18 he was married; at 19 he was divorced. Meanwhile, what began as a solo musical project blossomed into the critically acclaimed band You Me & Apollo, which quickly took over his life. The Denver Post raved that the group created “some of the most exciting original music in Colorado,” while Westword proclaimed that their live show was a “clinic in roots rock mixed with old-school swing and blues,” and Seattle NPR station KEXP hailed “Cowles’ Otis Redding and Sam Cooke inspired vocals.” The band released two albums and toured nationally before they called it quits and amicably went their separate ways.

The parting was a necessary but difficult one for Cowles. In the ensuing months and years, he would find himself alone more than ever before, at one point living out of his Chevy Tahoe just to make ends meet. But rather than break him, the experience only strengthened his resolve, and ‘How To Be Okay Alone’ finds him thriving in the driver’s seat as a solo artist, making the most of solitude while still appreciating that it’s only human to need love and friendship.

“Hell if I know how to be okay alone,” Cowles reflects on it all with a laugh. “All I know is that I’m grateful for the people that I have, because I don’t think that anyone can get through this life by themselves.”
Tenzin Chopak
Tenzin Chopak
Tenzin Chopak (vocals, guitar, piano, double bass, cello), is an artist and songwriter based in Ithaca, NY. The son of a minister and an artist, and the brother of a fellow musician and songwriter Greg Horne, Tenzin learned to love music in his father's church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He studied voice, piano, and guitar in his childhood and youth, frequently performing his original music publicly. In 1999, after some years of a burgeoning devotion to the study of Tibetan language and religion, he traveled to North India. It was during his eight month stay there that he was given the name "Tenzin Chopak". For the following twelve years, while continuing his study of Tibetan in upstate, NY, Tenzin kept music a quiet if not hidden part of his life.

In late 2011 he began to write and perform publicly again. Teaming up with renowned banjo player Richie Stearns, violinist vocalist Rosie Newton, violinist Eric Aceto, Harry Aceto, and bassist Ethan Jodziewicz, he formed an ensemble he called Rockwood Ferry as a vehicle for his music. Since then, he released three albums under the Rockwood Ferry name (bringing in other respected players such as bassist Rich DePaolo, drummer Bill King, and horn player/multi instrumentalist Peter Dodge), then a fourth and fifth album under his own name, and has composed music for film, and has rapidly gained recognition for his songwriting, singing, and for his presence and joyful abandon in live performance.

Chopak now performs and records simply under his name "Tenzin Chopak", and is known for composing and performing music across the genres of roots and progressive chamber folk, world beat influenced rock, and experimental and improvisational music including analog electronica (Moog) and trance mixed with instruments such as cello, piano, double bass, acoustic/electric guitars and voice. Most commonly, he performs with guitar and voice.

Chopak recently released his fourth and fifth albums within a few months of each other. The fourth album "Awful Good" (11/16) is an old-fashioned acoustic live in-studio style performance album with deep roots influences and sweet vocal harmonies featuring ensemble players Nicholas Walker on double bass, Rosie Newton on violin and vocals, and Greg Evans on drums. His fifth album "Alone in the House" (3/17) is a solo guitar and voice project recorded with one microphone in one day. Both albums were produced by multi Grammy winning engineer Brian Dozoretz. Chopak frequently performs both as a solo act as well as with backing musicians such as Dan Africano, Angelo Peters, Nicholas Walker, Greg Evans, and Rosie Newton.
Venue Information:
The Haunt
702 Willow Ave
Ithaca, NY, 14850
http://thehaunt.com/