The Cowsills? Really? The leisure-suited, harmonizing , family combo that performed the theme to “Love American Style”?
Who care what happened to them?
No one understood that skepticism more than Billy Cowsill.
Cowsill, who died in 2006, was a legit talent who tried for years to put his bubblegum past behind him with a string of authentic rockabilly and cowpunk bands that unfortunately never got much attention outside their native Canada.
In the 1990s, Cowsill was fronting an alt-country band called The Blue Shadows, which got the attention of Sony Records and its promise to release their 1993 debut album, “On the Floor of Heaven” in the U.S. That never happened, and after a weaker follow-up album, the band folded and Cowsill fell back into his drug problems.
Still, the debut album had a fairly good run in Canada and had a huge influence on the gathering country-rock boom.
It’s revived here as a two CD set that includes the original album plus 12 bonus cuts. There are plenty of the harmonies and giant melodic hooks that marked Cowsill’s career. But, in this context, it works just fine as a sort of Bock-Owens-meets-the-Everly Brothers project.