John CowanIn 2005, a friend and successful musician recording artist from Kingsport, Mike Mahaffey passed away in his sleep suddenly. At 35 years of age, Mike was an amazing guitarist who attended Sullivan South High School, performed with a band called Avalanche throughout the Southeast. He also experienced success with a band called Blackfish and his brother Matt Mahaffey in Self. In particular, he also joined John Cowan on his departure from New Grass Revival to start a new rock band called Dr. Nick.

After Mike’s death, Tad Dickens – a close friend of “Mikey’s” was inspired to bring together an annual gathering of musicians to perform a benefit to raise education moneys for Mahaffey’s children left behind.

The very first year included a special benefit performance with John Cowan who drove up from Nashville.

Tad had emailed us all several songs to rehearse and for a few days prior to Thanksgiving, we met in Boones Creek to remenisce about our good friend and rehearse Cowan’s music. What follows are the songs recorded by Quentin Horton from that great night back in 2005.

The annual benefit continues to this day and held every year right around Thanksgiving. Each year includes several familiar local musicians and has included several other notable artists including Matt Mahaffey, Cheryl Spinizolla, Hans Rottenberry and others.

It was one of life’s special treats to perform with John Cowan. He is an incomparable musician with one of the most powerful voices of our time and he has a heart that beats with the very same distinction.

John Cowan – Vocalist
Terry McCoy – Guitars
David Cate – Piano and Organ
Tad Dickens – Drums
Bo Bradley – Bass
Jason Crawford – Banjo

Baby King – Recorded by Quinten Horton ; 9.8 mb
Little Wing – Live John Cowan at Gatsby’s ; 15.5 mb
Trouble Down Here Below – Live John Cowan at Gatsby’s ; 4.1 mb