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Aaron Bowen: Accordion, Banjo, Guitar (electric), Piano

Genre: Acoustic, Blues & Soul, Rock

Sound description: Alternative acoustic folk rock, a lot like Pink Floyd’s Meddle-era acoustic songs.

RIYL: Brian Wilson, George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Walt Disney, EY Harberg, Rufus Wainwright, Van Dyke Parks, Shawn Lane, Jason Becker, Rufus Wainwright, Van Dyke Parks, the Coyote Problem, Berkley Hart, the Band

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Synoposis

Inception: San Diego, 1999

Current Status: Playing around town.

Influences: Rufus Wainwright, the Beatles, the Band, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Jamiroquai, Paul Simon, DJango Reinhardt, Leonard Bernstein, Van Dyke Parks, Teddy Thompson

Background:

Aaron Bowen took up the violin in the first grade, but the guitar became his instrument of choice. After graduating Sweetwater High School, he earned a bachelor’s in music from SDSU.

In 1999, he suffered a work-related injury, severing tendons in his right hand. After several surgeries and a lot of physical therapy, he regained 40 percent movement in his right thumb. Aaron had to relearn the guitar and come up with his own technique and hung up the electric for the acoustic.

A noted player in underground guitar circles, Bowen has toured with Crimson Glory and formed the band Red Square Black. His father Richard Bowen played with the famed Mother Goose band of the 1960s.

He says, "I have a Dana Bourgeois acoustic guitar, a Northwood 12-fret 000 acoustic, a custom handmade Tele, a 1923 tenor banjo, 1930s Electromuse lap steel, a cheap $100 Martin knockoff (one of my faves), a 1970s Japanese P-Bass copy, and an autoharp."

Bowen was a maintenance man for a San Diego apartment complex and entered a unit for a repair while the tenant was gone and saw empty KFC buckets and some memorable guitars — quickly realizing who the tenant was, just as Buckethead and DJ Disk came home. As it turned out, Aaron attended GIT at Musicians Institute with Brian Carroll, aka Buckethead.

In 2010, he and his wife Kate launched a coffeehouse music series called Macaroni Club. “We didn’t have a coffeehouse community. I started getting angrier about it. Then, in 2008, while touring, I saw amazing scenes in Oregon, San Francisco, and Brooklyn, where artists support each other. That’s not what I’d been seeing here. Instead of whining, which I’d been doing a lot, I decided to do something.”

“I thought about what worked in those scenes and what wasn’t working here. I’d shared bills with people. When they weren’t onstage, they’d pull their audience outside to chat. Like, there’s only one ladder we’re all trying to climb. Well, guess what? The scene doesn’t go anywhere.”

The Macaroni Club name is based on his album The Supreme Macaroni Co. Ltd. “I hate macaroni. The Macaroni Club was a group in the 1700s — flamboyant guys who entered parties and caused a ruckus. They were political in the community — rabble-rousers. ‘Yankee Doodle...put a feather in his cap and called it macaroni’ — that’s where that came from.

“Our first event was in May, 2010, at Lestat’s. Then the opportunity opened up at Monica’s. It’s a great room for it. It’s about arts-and-crafts, too — we have painters, photographers, soap-makers, jewelry-makers, knitters...”

Discography

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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