Brent Rowan, a part-time Steamboat Springs resident, was selected as the Academy of Country Music's Guitarist of the Year during the music association's 34th annual awards ceremony last week. The prestigious award, which he won previously in 1989, acknowledges the success of Rowan's entire body of work.
"To win the same award 15 years apart is to put a huge stamp of approval on what you do," Rowan said. "It's pretty amazing."
Rowan also was nominated for Producer of the Year for his first-ever production with Joe Nichols. Nichols' album "Man with a Memory" is about to go platinum, Rowan said. He said the possibility of being nominated for producer of the year wasn't even on his radar compared to the longtime producers he was up against.
Rowan said he attributes his success to "doing music you love with people you love."
Being selected as guitarist of the year acknowledges Rowan for contributing the most to his craft. He has been a prolific studio guitarist in Nashville, Tenn., for more than two decades and his credits include cuts by such country and pop artists as George Strait, Shania Twain, Sting, Brian Wilson, Randy Travis, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Alabama. These days, he is focused on his career as a solo artist, composer and producer.
The Academy of Country Music was established in 1964 "to promote and enhance the advancement of country music worldwide." This year's award ceremony was broadcast live on CBS from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Rowan, who lives in Nashville when he's not in Steamboat, said he missed the ceremony and the opportunity to receive his award in person because he was en route to Colorado.
"As honored as I am with all that, I wanted to get settled back here," Rowan said from his home in Steamboat. "Nashville makes this possible, and this makes Nashville livable."
Residents will get a chance to see Rowan perform live in Steamboat on July 3 at the Strings in the Mountains Music Festival. He is playing with Suzy Bogguss, a well-known country singer who Rowan said he is very excited to introduce to his Steamboat family and friends.
"She's a stunning artist," Rowan said.
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