When I first saw John Williamson fronting 'Skeleton Crew', I was blown away by his song writing, guitar playing and singing.... From that moment, I knew that I wanted to work with him!
It was some years later, and John was playing with the Animals, that he approached me to collaborate on some songs for possible inclusion on the Animals new studio album 'Instinct' …. the Bowden/Williamson song writing partnership was born! We both enjoyed the process so much, that we formed an acoustic duo, to gig and record when we had the time … We wrote a lot of songs together... John mainly carrying the musical burden, while I conjured the lyrics. We recorded an acoustic album 'Urban Prairie Tales', which sounds as fresh to me today as it did when it was recorded!! We gigged regularly in pubs, clubs, and at festivals in UK and Europe, and found our own niche in the UK blues scene.
Expansion of the band became inevitable, and our second album, Right Band Wrong Planet', was recorded under the name, the Bowden & Williamson Band, and produced in Sweden by British born Brian Marston who also joined the band on Bass and vocals .. The line up was completed with the addition of … yes! You've guessed it …. Big Vern on Drums!
Geography became a problem, and the low notes were taken over by Jim Moseley. We changed our name to 'Blue Swamp' and went from strength to strength!! We found a hole in the blues scene, and filled it!!! … A song based, melodic, blues based band with original material and 4 part harmony. We toured with Scottish rock band, Nazareth (during which we recorded a live album 'Live at the Grand') …. we played all the main UK blues clubs... including the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street … and became a mainstay of major festivals. We recorded an acclaimed studio album 'Voodoo Soup' …. Our last gig was with Barclay James Harvest in Dunkirk on Nov 6 2016 …. two days before my operation for bowel cancer!! … Is this the end of the Blue Swamp story? … I doubt it!! … Watch this space!!
“My vote for blues guitarist of the year... Johnny Williamson has what all blues guitarists should strive for … Wonderfully intricate melodies... understated, but capable of great emotional intensity …. expressing the inner life and thoughts of the songwriter”
— Bernie Stone in Blues Matters magazine