son, David McDowell,
by the musical influence of his father
as he grew up. In 1960
at 9 years
old his dad handed him his old Gibson Archtop
guitar and showed him three chords in the key of "C".
They were “C” . “F” and “G”. Then he started taking
lessons from Shorty Cook who was from the Music Manor in
Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was the founder of The "Down
Homers" which was the group Bill Haley performed in
before he formed Bill Haley & The Comets which was a
nationally popular rock and roll band that toured with
Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.
1964 Dave's life was changed forever with the appearance
of "The Beatles" on The Ed Sullivan
Show. He was 11 years old and absolutely enthralled with
this new cultural music. He sat down with his record
player and played along with the "fab four" until he knew every note they were playing. He was sure
his parents were upset with this new direction he was heading and he was also sure that they wished they had
missed the Ed Sullivan Show that night. One indicator of
this was that his Mom decided it was time for him to
take lessons on keyboard and even sat down to teach him
the lap steel guitar. The truth was that he excelled at
both of these instruments, but his first love was
this same time Dave's dad and he were going to his Uncle
Tom’s house faithfully every Saturday night and playing
together until sunrise each Sunday morning. Dave would
stand in on the guitar along with his Uncle Tom, any
guest singers or musicians, and his Dad who played bass
guitar. This went on for several years and Dave
attributes his learning guitar to Shorty Cook and those
wild nights of family music.
year 1970 was a turn around year for Dave. He was
almost 18 years old, a product of the 1960's revolution
mentality and you might say at that point not to easy on
his parents or any other authority figure for that
matter. He had left home early and joined up with
a touring Hippie rock group called Peace & Love.
They were a bunch of guys in their late 20’s that played
Rock music from the 1950’s to current releases of
Psychedelic Rock. They all acted like Dave's brothers
and tried to keep him out of trouble. He was with them
for about nine months when the group decided to disband
and retire. But During the time he had the privilege to
have backstage access to such acts as Bob Seger, Grand
Funk Railroad, Steppenwolf, Alice Cooper and a few more.
When those nine months were finished so was David.
Although it was an exciting adventure for him, the
constant travel and lifestyle had left him at a very low
145 lbs. and was suffering
from ulcers. Seeking medical attention, he stopped
playing music altogether for several years.
his early twenties,
with health restored, he
well established Nashville songwriter, Billy Nix. Billy
had a group called Billy Nix and the Ideals. Dave became
an Ideal playing bass for Billy until mid 1979. This
up many opportunities to learn the business as he
worked in concert, club, and studio environments. It
during the mid 70's when David met and married his
present wife, SherryJo.
In late 1979 Dave started his own
country / southern rock band called “Sweet Water Junction”. This band proved to be a popular, high energy
country band in that tri-state area. David played lead
guitar, sang bass and shared lead vocals with Sam
Moffett Jr, the bass player, and Scott Page, the
drummer. His wife, Sherry ran the lights and sound. The Sweet Water Junction Band has a past career that
included working with many other Country artist, some as
well known as; Dave Dudley,
Sonny Wright and
Peggy Sue Webb, sister
Lynn. In 1987, Dave,
while continuing in his music, moved
his family from Indiana to
the Sunny state of Florida, where he spent the next 25
years before moving on to the border hills of the Carolinas
the musical journey and moves, David and SherryJo kept
busy raising eight beautiful children. Although
continuing in music after their move to Florida, a lot of their time
was spent raising the children. With the older
children being musically inclined, in 1995 the Sweet
Water Junction Band continued to evolve. This time
family started off on a faith journey that lasted seven
years as they traveled throughout the nation. During
this time, The band which consisted of and named "The McDowell Family"
were singing and playing their own brand of, mostly
original, along with some old favorite, Southern Gospel
numbers. They performed in hundreds of churches,
festivals, and concert halls through-out the United
States. During this time they recorded seven musical
projects and influenced the lives of countless people
during their musical journey. During those travels they
appeared with some well known National Gospel Groups
such as; The Hoppers, The McKiethens, John Rowsey with
New Journey, The Freemans, Phiefers, The Wisnauts, The
Primitive Quartet, Kirk Talley, and countless regional
groups. As the children grew and married, they once
again settled in Florida in late 2001 through 2012.
In 2002 Dave agreed to change the format of the family's music, going back to his original Country roots ... In 2019, and with the exception of a few outdoor concerts the family band has retired from performing. Today this talented family are residing in the border hills of the Carolina's and sunny Florida.
The oldest daughter, Reshana Marie
is still carrying on with the family tradition...
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