Drummer Brian Dowd has never been prone to bias when it comes to music. “Genre isn’t important to me. I naturally gravitate towards music with a lot of heart, soul and energy,” he explains. Not only is this evident in his style and performance, but the versatility inherited from his wide range of musical taste has made Dowd one of Nashville’s premier musicians.

Growing up in Orlando, Florida one of three children, Dowd’s original focus was on sports. Throughout elementary and middle school he played several sports, but upon entering high school decided to shift his focus to something that came a little more naturally – music. Both encouragement from his father (a pianist) and an eagerness to join his brother’s classic rock band led Dowd to begin taking drum lessons with drummer Mike Boyles at age 14. His natural ability combined with similar taste in music to Boyles made drumming an easy and inspiring experience. Dowd quickly advanced and soon joined his brother David’s band, Broken Fire, in which he continued to hone his skills for the next four years.

After graduating high school in 2004, Dowd made the move to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee on a full-ride scholarship studying sports management. During the first six months of his college career, he served as the school baseball team’s equipment manager. It was during this time that Dowd realized his place wasn’t on the sidelines as an equipment manager, but rather on stage as drummer. He re-focused his attention back onto drumming and, after two years at the University of Tennessee, moved to Nashville to pursue his dream as a professional drummer in 2007.

Despite an initial struggle to find work, Dowd inevitably landed a road gig with Josh Garrett and The Bottom Line – a New Orleans-based Blues band that had relocated to Music City. “It was meant to be,” explains Dowd. “Josh had seen me perform around town, and I had played with his band a few times at different blues jams. I happened to run into him one night and he asked me to be their drummer – without even auditioning.” He spent much of 2010 on a nation-wide tour until September when the band decided to move back to New Orleans. “I had a choice to make – stay in Nashville or move to New Orleans. I decided to continue on in Nashville.”

But Dowd wasn’t without work for long. In early 2011, he auditioned for and got a position drumming with country band Miss Willie Brown on the Jagermiester Tour, headlined by fellow country acts Josh Thompson and Dierks Bentley. Not only did the tour yield much performance experience and several new friendships, but also lead to Dowd’s gig as a drummer for Josh Thompson’s current tour.

Dowd continues to draw inspiration from a multitude of artists in different genres, from Stevie Wonder and James Brown to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. When not on tour, he spends his time at elementary schools as a spokesperson for Dream to Drum, a clinic that aims to excite and inspire children to play and explore music. And, despite much success and a demanding schedule, Dowd still finds time to dream. “I’d love to eventually juggle both studio and road work. It’s important to me to be a well-rounded musician. While the road allows for live performance practice and audience interaction, you can really unleash your creativity in the studio.”