WESTFIELD, NJ--While many kids shun the music their parents listen to, Adrian Mowry was actually a fan of the music his father, David, played. Adrian grew up watching his dad perform in coffee houses and clubs, which inspired him to get into music early on.
Never pushed by his father to play an instrument, Adrian discovered he had a love for the guitar on his own. “I got into it before my teens,” he said. “I would sneak his [his dad] guitars out of his room when I thought he wasn’t looking. You think you’re being sneaky when you’re ten.”
Also having access to his parents’ books and albums, which included everything from avant garde jazz to Greenwich Village folk, Adrian was inspired by their eclectic tastes.
“I remember listening to Miles Davis, ‘Bitches Brew’ when I was eight-years-old, from that to Ritchie Havens” he said, adding, “I don’t want to eat the same thing every day, so I don’t want to be influenced by the same music.”
Adrian first started playing music with friends in high school, but always thought it would be cool to play with his father. They started playing a few party gigs, and now 38-year-old Adrian is dragging his 61-year-old dad all over the country to perform.
The father and son guitar duo from the Philadelphia area, known as Beaucoup Blue, recorded their first album in 2001 and started touring immediately afterwards with a full band.
Beaucoup Blue has been on the Top 40 Americana playlist radio and won the Billboard Magazine song writing contest of 2010.
Naturally Adrian has many stories about being on the road with his dad, but one he really likes to tell is about the time they entered a song-writing contest at a “Blues and Brews” festival in Telluride, Colorado. Musicians on the main stage included Lou Reed, Bruce Hornsby and B.B. King.
During the competition Beaucoup Blue played a few songs and ended up winning first prize, which scored them a spot on the main stage performing in front of 10,000 people, as well as a new Gibson guitar and $500 cash. The duo decided to sell the guitar to help pay for the trip, but were so excited about winning they treated themselves to a five-star restaurant and blew their $500 winnings on the entire meal.
For those who have never heard Beaucoup Blue, Adrian describes their sound as “music that encompasses country, folk, blues, jazz, singer/songwriter, Celtic.” Adrian feels that the music he and his dad listen to comes out in their songwriting, which is split right down the middle.
“We bring it to each other,” Adrian said. “We bounce it off each other. We edit each other. It’s really been a really good process so far.”
When asked if he and his father have family squabbles, Adrian said, jokingly, “What do you think?” laughed and added, “You bet!” But they always get it together when it’s time for music and the stage. “Nothing’s ever a lasting thing.”
While Adrian grew up admiring his dad’s skill, he’s quick to add that his mom is the most talented in the family. “She’s an artist. She’s a doll designer. For years she worked for Franklin Mint. She designed and made patterns for dresses,” he said, adding, “She’s an amazing cook on top of that. And she has the patience of a saint.”
Beaucoup Blue is in the middle of recording a new album, which Adrian believes will be called “Elixir.” Future plans include more tours.
“We played from Canada down to Florida,” he said. “I would love to play out west more than we have. We really want to go to Europe, and also touring the east coast. Hopefully this new album will get us overseas.”
You can catch Beaucoup Blue on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. when they perform at Coffee with Conscience at the First United Methodist Church of Westfield, 1 East Broad St. (corner of North Avenue). Tickets cost $19 in advance and $23 at the door. Proceeds from this concert will benefit the Community Food Bank of NJ.
The Coffee with Conscience Concert Series supports five charities: Contact We Care, Inc.; Habitat for Humanity (Greater Plainfield Area); The Community Foodbank of NJ; Homefirst; and Keith Knost Special Needs Trust. Each concert has a designated recipient.
The concert series is made possible in part by a HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
For tickets, visit www.coffeewithconscience.org.
For more information on Beaucoup Blue, visit www.beaucoupblue.com.