Dee Dowling -Bass & Vocals
Born in North East England, Dee picked up guitar at the age of 10. His passion for rock music, coupled with competition from a group of friends who all played guitars, made for a determined and eager player from early on. Throughout his teens he played in local garage bands, learning the ropes, performing wherever and whenever he could. At the young age of 18, Dee left home to live in London, performing and writing with ‘older, more experienced guys who gave me the kick up the ass I needed to become an actual musician, rather than a talented amateur’.
A switch from guitar to bass was a major turning point for him as a player: ‘I still play guitar’, he says, ‘I still write on it, of course but bass makes me feel like I’m part of it in a way I just didn’t get as a guitar player, because there’s always someone else to consider in the bass and drums relationship. I like the team aspect of it, if that makes sense!’
Recording, tours, a few thousand gigs, tens of thousands of miles and burning the candle at both ends has Dee here: in Drifter23, a band he started with his old compatriot Brian Emerson in 2008, not the first time they have worked together, having been friends since ‘when I was still in short trousers!’
A songwriter of some 20 years, Dee shares much in common with Brian. “Where Brian leans more toward Country, I suppose I’m more of a Blues/Soul kind of singer and writer; but we share a long time love of rock ‘n’ roll and the crossover works really well’.
Dee (real name Damian, ‘it started out as a joke when I was a kid, you know DD, my initials, then got shortened and it stuck – even my granny calls me Dee now…’)
Musical tastes and influences
John Mayer, Prince, and any good live band with great songs!
Guitars Fender Jazz basses, Takamine acoustics
Amps/cabs Ampeg SVT and Trace Elliot