BLUE SHADOW: In a Town & Country profile of singer Susan Cowsill in ND #60, she spoke of her brother BARRY COWSILL, who had spent childhood years with her in the '60s family band tho Cowsills but had been missing since the New Orleans flood. Officials confirmed that a body recovered in December was that of Barry. Friends and family gathered for memorials in Barry's two hometowns February 19 in Newport, Rhode Island, and February 26 in New Orleans,
BILL COWSILL, the oldest sibling in the singing family, says he was "shattered" by the new. Bill has a distinguished, if unheralded, career as a roots-rocker. In the mid-'90s, he fronted the stellar roots-rock combo The Blue Shadows, which released albums in Canada via Sony, On The Floor Of Heaven and Lucky To Me. More recently, he has run into some serious health troubles.
"I have had four major surgeries on my back within the last three years," he reports, "I've had one hip replacement. Three months ago I fell down and broke my other hip, I'm just getting over that one now." He suffers from osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease and emphysema.
Many of his friends recently put together two live archival recording to benefit the singer. A 2001 set features Bill Cowsill backed by Calgary's Co-Dependents, running through covers and a couple of Blue Shadows nuggets. The other immortalizes a 1985 opening for K.D, Lang, with Cowsill and his backing group raging through an act focused — with Cowsill's morbid tongue firmly planted in his cheek - on songs by deceased artists.
"People would always ask, 'Do you play this song or that song?' I got tired of saying I don't do this song or that song. We just do dead guys, Just to keep them at bay," he chuckles. Both live albums are available via Megatunes.com.