One Ugly Cowboy: Original Country With A Rock Attitude

One Ugly Cowboy: Original Country With A Rock Attitude

By David DeRocco                   

The lines between country music and rock music have never been blurrier. As rock purists point to Whitney Houston and Notorious B.I.G.’s 2020 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as another indicator rock is dead, a diverse cross-section of country stars, from Jason Aldean to Lil’Nas X to Canada’s Tim Hicks, continue to produce kick-ass country music that defies labelling while rocking in unique ways.

ONE UGLY COWBOY is another example of a Canadian country collective with roots deeply planted in rock’s rich soil. Formed and founded in Toronto by powerhouse vocalist Jane Sowerby and guitarist/producer Richard Zwic, the band has been slowly and steadily building a following with its live performances. Now on the verge of releasing their first full-length country album, RIDE WITH THE WIND, One Ugly Cowboy is hitting the road again, rolling into the Seneca Queen Theatre on Valentine’s Day hoping to win fans over with their distinct brand of hard rockin’ heartache and killer country tunes.

“Jane’s probably one of the best singers in the country and she deserves to be heard,” boasts Zwic, whose resume includes bandleader/principal songwriter for JUNO-award winning rock vocalist Lydia Taylor. “A big part of what we do is blurring the lines. We’ve been doing a lot of rock-ish stuff. Country music radio seemed to be going to more of the pop stuff, and a lot of the music we’ve written over the years seemed to fit into that genre well. So we sort of followed our nose and we’re having a great time doing it.    

The new album is a follow-up to the band’s 2015 debut EP, Get Yer Ugly On, which weaved a soulful blend of gritty country and in-your-face-rock into songs like “Fat and Drunk” and “Don’t Mess Around With A Southern Girl.” The new LP picks up where the band’s debut left off, and that’s great news for Sowerby, who earned the nickname “Hurricane Jane” while honing her chops fronting a Janis Joplin cover band.

“Rock is sort of where Richard and I cut our teeth, so it’s hard to escape it,” said Sowerby. “Rock is what initially brought us together, and the music has just evolved to where country music is now, which includes a big rock influence.”

Given the fact that others, including Hicks, have been successfully mining the country-rock sound to strike gold, the members of One Ugly Cowboy have set some realistic expectations for both their new album and their future.

“Success for us is just getting in front of an audience,” said Sowerby. “We’re just putting the album out there and hoping people will relate to it. If the album can make a few waves, it will open things up so we can play all the major country music festivals across Canada. That’s the goal.”

As for what to expect from their Valentine’s Day show at Seneca, Zwic says there will be something for everyone.

“A little bit of love, a little bit of heartache, a little bit of I’m sorry, a little bit of I love you. Jane will put on a hell of a show. We don’t call her Hurricane Jane for nothing. She’ll be primed and ready to go. She will be unleashed.“

Get your tickets at the Seneca Queen Theatre box office. Check out One Ugly Cowboy online through the following links:





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