WHISKEY TONES
Bass Player|February 2021
Session and solo bassist Leanne Bowes recalls the key moments that took her career to the next level
Leanne Bowes

My dad was an awesome drummer and all-around musician, and he always had instruments lying around the house, so I was always checking things out and tinkering around. When I was about 12, he decided to build his own electronic kit and got into MIDI recording, and he asked me to learn ‘So Lonely’ by the Police on his bass so he could try capturing a live bass and drums take. I was obsessed with the way the bass combined both melody and rhythm, and basically haven’t put it down since.

I learned every CD in the house, and thanks to my mom, we had a killer collection. She was the only mom I knew who listened to Alice In Chains, Nine Inch Nails and Nirvana. My dad and I always used to jam together, so in so many ways he was my introduction into being passionate about music. He passed away too young in 2011, and that was part of what inspired me to quit my day job and make music my career in his honor.

My first bass guitar was my Fender P-Bass in sunburst, probably purchased by my dad around 1999. I was just a high-schooler when I used to play local gigs with it, and I remember at one band practice the saddle was crooked after one too many nights left in the trunk of my car. I quick-fixed it with a little piece of notebook paper from my homework. It’s still there, and I love when I notice it on stage now! I still play that bass occasionally and it’s a time capsule to what feels like another lifetime.

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