Nicholas Rowe and the Forgotten Sons of Steel River

Posted: May 21, 2012 by livingwherethelightis in Ohio


Greetings Up N’ Comin readers! We’re still kicking it in Ohio, but this time we’re talking to Indie Folk band Nicholas Rowe & The Forgotten Sons of Steel River. They completed their first EP last fall and are gearing up to take their act to the streets! But in some of his downtime, Nicholas himself gave us an opportunity to find out more about this up and coming band.

Where does your name come from?  Nicholas answers, “The Forgotten Sons Of Steel River” is actually a reference to the steel mill town where Jeremiah and I grew up; Youngstown, OH. The Mahoning River runs right through it and when the U.S. ran on steel there were mills all up and down the riverbanks as far as you could see. I lived right in the valley of that river, which was and still is often referred to as Steel Valley, though the mills have long since shut down and been abandoned.  Jeremiah and I grew up watching them slowly crumble and fall apart, and being that they were Youngstown’s chief source of income, most would say that the town followed suit.”

How would you describe your fans?  Nicholas describes his fans as extended family.

Is there a story behind your band, group, career, etc.? Nicholas Rowe & The Forgotten Sons of Steel River was started with Nicholas’ best friend Jeremiah and his wife Gena. “Yes there is actually a daughter in ‘The Forgotten Sons.’” He says their first EP has an “India/Folk Americana” sound with some Gospel and Rock influence. He adds, “The songs on it are a culmination of about 6 years of writing. They are (hopefully) the “best of the best” of about 50 songs I had to choose from.” The band completed the EP last Fall, with what they think is an honest and meaningful group of songs. Since then, David was added on bass guitar and Michael on the Fender Rhodes. They’re hoping to start doing doing more live performances soon.

 What’s your style?  Nicholas describes the band as Indie, Folk and Americana. “In my opinion there is a lot more to style then your genre. If you really want to know who we are, you need to know what makes us tick. We are real people who love genuine, face-to-face interaction, and we love the music and the fans more than the money; that’s our style. Our lives are messy, and we have shortcomings. We are honest about them, don’t make excuses for them, and use them as opportunities to grow; that’s our style. We value truth over trend. We give second chances. We think everyone deserves love; that’s our style.”

 What would we find in your refrigerator right now?  He answers, “Funny you should ask. We just got done having a big cookout/party/concert at our place and our entire fridge is filled with leftovers. Basically the thought process was; “Why do we need to pay a venue $100 up front for a sound man when have our own equipment and know how to run sound? If we are gonna front $100 dollars just to play a show, let’s spend it on something more practical… like food and beer for everyone!!! Since most of our shows are at bars, it also gave us a chance to have an all ages show, and it’s always fun to have some kids around. So anyway, the fridge is currently full of leftover soda, bottled water, potato salad and hot dogs.”

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?  Nicholas says he would like to meet Jeremiah’s father John Wagner, who passed away before Nicholas and Jeremiah met. “His life has had a lasting impact on me none the less. I’ve heard over the years about how, as a reformed ex-convict, Brother John became a traveling folk singer and prison minister. He would go from one prison to the next with an old Martin D28, sharing his music with the inmates and preaching love, forgiveness, and redemption through of a relationship with Jesus. I know from Jeremiah and his mom that John had many struggles and shortcomings, and even as a Christian he had trouble putting his old life behind him at times, but he felt a calling nonetheless and resolved himself to live it out the best he could.” The last song on their EP, “Stranger That I Am,” was written by Brother John Wagner. Nicholas says he is honored to be able to have a recorded version of it to perform with his best friend, John’s son, by his side.

Anything else you’d like to share?  Nicholas says, “We love our fans, and we love meeting new people so let’s continue our conversation. You can find us http://www.facebook.com/theforgottensons.”

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