The Rock And Roll Massey Ferguson Dealer
Massey Ferguson® dealer by day, musician by night? That’s how Jamie Bowman keeps harmony in life.
By Brigid Galloway | Photos By Art Meripol
Every other Saturday night, strains of “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama” drift over the fields in the rural community of Henagar, Ala. Follow the sound and you’ll come upon a big garage behind Jamie Bowman’s house where The Karl Childers Band* convenes.
Friends and family turn out for the jam sessions. Neighbors within earshot text requests across fields, and the group happily obliges. “We can play just about anything,” Bowman says. “But mostly we play stuff that was popular when we were teenagers.”
On weekdays, Bowman can be found behind the counter of Bowman-Weaver Equipment, where he’s been an owner since 1980. (Since his dad retired in 1995, he now runs the business.) For Bowman, playing music and owning a Massey Ferguson dealership make for a harmonious combination. “Especially during hay season, by the time you get home your nerves are about a millimeter long,” he says. “When you’re playing music, whatever problems we have go away for a while. We call it therapy.”
A few years ago, Bowman introduced his brand of rock ‘n’ roll therapy to customer Mark Herndon. The former drummer for the Southern rock and country band Alabama, Herndon lives nearby and came to the dealership seeking advice about a riding lawn mower.
When Bowman invited him to come out and play, at first the Country Music Hall of Famer turned him down. “He was burned out after being on the road,” Bowman says. “But every time I’d see him, I’d ask him to come join us.” One fateful day, Herndon changed his tune, sat in on a session and was hooked again.
Keeping the band nonprofessional is important to Bowman. The band never charges a fee, and they only play for charities or community fundraisers. “We play for fun,” Bowman says with a mischievous grin. “Besides, if we played more, our wives wouldn’t like it and we might get in trouble.”
*Bowman named the band after the unwitting hero played by Billy Bob Thornton in the cult classic film “Sling Blade.”