The band started as Bud Redding’s solo project in 2005, as “Shock & Awe”, but this soon became a two-man band when Steve Myers joined as a guitar and bass player. The duo began to play gigs in the Buffalo, NY, USA, area and soon joined forces with performance artist “Z Mann Zilla” when they played at the first annual Mark Freeland tribute as “Cowboys of Scotland”…The name is a tribute to a Mark Freeland song and painting.
When Z Mann Zilla left Buffalo in 2008, the band showed their versatility by playing at a Pink Floyd tribute show with two African drummers as their rhythm section. The band then added a drummer (Joe Marciniak) and also played a few benefit shows with rock guitarist Steve Perry and his wife Johnnie’ on vocals. (For these shows, Steve Myers played bass.) Joe left the band and was replaced temporarily by veteran drummers Greg Gizzi and then the legendary Bill “Ringo” Moore.
The current Cowboys of Scotland came into their own with the addition of bass player Paul Hojnowski and drummer Ron “Bad Ronald” Leisten. The band has become known through the Buffalo alternative scene as “Art Rockers”, often combining Steve Myers painting skills during instrumental passages, as well as the liberal use of video, projections, and interesting light shows. Quickly gaining a following, the band played gigs throughout the Western New York area. During this time the music also evolved, combining doses of punk, progressive, funk, electronic, trip-hop, and good old rock and roll.
In the fall of 2010, Bud Redding took the band into a new direction, when he began writing a modern rock opera about his former friend and band mate, the late Mark Freeland. Freeland was an important cog in the Buffalo music and art scene, and was quite successful in both genres.
“Original: The Mark Freeland Story” is the story of the rise, success, tragedy, and triumph of one artistic genius, played out in a gritty Buffalo-style, multi-media, musical production. Cowboys of Scotland had hit upon a classic tale of the up and down, in and out life of the artistic and musical genius.
The band began rehearsing the massive undertaking in early winter of 2010. The other principle song writer in the band, Steve Myers, began to contribute to the work, adding solos, changes, vocals, and ideas to the basic framework. Bass player Paul Hojnowski and drummer Ron Leisten also added their input at this point, and the songs and flow of the overall piece began to take shape. Redding also began to recruit the other necessary personnel for an operation this big. Additional musicians, sound men, lighting directors, as well as video and graphic artists were also brought into the loop.
Long time veteran progressive musician Robert Raithel joined the band on a permanent basis at this point, assisting the band with lush arrangements, funky rhythms, and soaring leads through his midi and synthesized guitars. “It’s like having the London Philharmonic with us one second, and Johnny Ramone the next”, quipped Redding. “Robert is a versatile and experienced guitarist, and the guitar interplay between Steve Myers and him is simply amazing!”
Video projections and film manipulations are performed during the show by Keith Harrington (Projex), along with a light show designed by lighting designer Craig Freudenthal. Numerous other visual effects, special musical guests, and dancers contribute to the overall groove and atmosphere of the show.
Currently, the band is doing live shows of “Original -The Mark Freeland Story” performing it as a multi-media spectacle in its entirety, and is in the studio recording the whole piece. They are also writing and recording another rock opera, tentatively titled “1952”…stay tuned as they forge ahead into new musical directions…
Listen to the music, and come back often, as new songs are being added weekly…Cowboys of Scotland are not your average rock band – they are a symbol of the new face of music, art, and creativity.
Thanks for listening!!!