The Current Lineup of Terraplane:
Ivan Fowler, Leader, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar and Vocals
Ben Champion, Tenor Sax and Flute
Ed Coogan , Harmonicas, Keyboards & Vocals
Billy Bowker, Drums
Al Tomes, Drums & Vocals
Check out the newspaper article about the band.
The TERRAPLANE TRIO is comprised of Ivan and any two combination
of the band. The TRIO is generally more of an acoustic sound.
In Gainesville Florida in 1990, Ivan was looking for a new lineup to play
his favorite music, swinging blues and rhythm and blues, as he did a decade
before in Athens, GA. While playing in a previous band, he met Ron Anton
who was a small club owner in Keystone Heights, a small town near
Gainesville, who sat in on blues harp, and the two hit it off, and began
looking for a bass player. Ivan had met John Binello several years earlier
at Gatortrax Studio (owned by the incomparable Shelton Irwin) in Archer,
Florida, while doing some sessions there with another group, but had lost
touch, and remembered John for his smooth, tasteful, playing, and his fine
singing voice. By a stroke of luck, Ron was jamming with some other
musicians, and John was there, so John became the third member. Ivan got
the drummer from his previous band to round out the quartet, and after
hearing the great slide player Roy Rogers' version of Robert Johnson's
"Terraplane Blues", the guys were knocked out by the song, and inspired
enough by the name to adapt a slightly enhanced version, and make it the
name of their band. The quartet began playing locally until they were called
by Shelton Irwin to play as backup band for the recently returned legend,
"BO DIDDLEY". BO liked Terraplane so much, he asked them to play many
local concerts with him.
A couple of years later, Ivan wanted to expand the
band's sound, so they were lucky enough to find Amanda Heaitly, a gifted young
musician with an M.S. in musical performance, who played both keyboard and
sax, and added a wonderful dimension to the bands' sound.
The band became very tight over the years and played in concert with, and
opened for many national acts including Gregg Allman, Bobby Blue Bland,
Pat Travers, Marcia Ball, Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter, etc.
While Ivan and John stayed on, several of the other band members changed,
generally improving the sound with more experience, and additional talent.
JT has been playing fabulous sax with the band for about three years.
Occasionally, the inspiring Ben Champion
(from the Dizzy Gillespie band) plays horns and flute with the band.
One of the most well respected and talented percussionists in the area,
Billy Bowker is an exceptional addition to the band. Billy's prowess
includes all forms of percussion, and he has played with many jazz,
blues and Latin recording artists.
Al Tomes has been playing drums with the band on and off for the last 10 years.
He came to Gainesville by way of New Jersey and Miami. He is also an
excellent vocalist. Al has been all over the world playing drums for several
regional bands, and has been a strong addition to the band. Al is also a
professional photgrapher who's credits include many of the bands' official photos.
We regret to share the passing of Chris MacDonald in December 2009, at his flat in
Sheffield, England, of a heart related illness. He was 58. We will cherish the
memory of his wonderful talent and positive influence to the band while he was
with us. He played keyboard and sang on most of our second CD.
On November 21, 2010 our beloved Johnnie B (John Binello) passed away at 68.
John was one of the original members of the band, and a dear and close friend.
John's fine voice was predominant in the sound of the band, and his bass playing
was the foundation of our swinging blues sound. He was a wonderful musician,
loved by many, and will be greatly missed.
Ed Coogan comes by way of Nashville, TN, where he worked
with many well known artists. His musical knowledge and outstanding
harmonica style is a welcome assett to the band, not to mention the fullness
his keyboard work adds to their overall sound, while keeping a third
vocalist in the lineup.
Currently Terraplane has three CD's available, and has been playing extensively
around most of Florida, coastal Georgia, and the Carolinas.
New material from Terraplane is in the works!