Lawrence Henry Gowan (born 22 November 1956) is a Scottish-born Canadian musician. Gowan has been both a solo artist and the current lead vocalist and keyboardist of the band Styx since May 1999. His musical style is usually classified in the category of progressive rock.
At the age of 19, he earned an ARCT in classical piano performance from The Royal Conservatory of Music, in Toronto, Ontario. Upon graduation, he enjoyed modest local success with the band Rhinegold in 1976.
After the band broke up five years later, Gowan began a solo career under the stage name Gowan, releasing his first album under that name in 1982, which was produced by Rob Freeman and featured Kim Mitchell of Max Webster on guitar. This album contained the singles “Victory”, “Give In” and “Keep Up the Fight”. His 1985 album Strange Animal was his commercial breakthrough in Canada, produced by British producer David Tickle and featuring a more ‘theatrical’ Gowan, backed by Peter Gabriel’s rhythm section players Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta. The album spawned the hit singles “A Criminal Mind”, “(You’re a) Strange Animal”, “Guerilla Soldier” and “Cosmetics”. That year he won a CASBY Award for most promising male artist.
His 1987 follow up Great Dirty World gave him another hit single with “Moonlight Desires,” featuring Jon Anderson (from Yes) on backing vocals, as well as “Dedication”.
In 1997, during Styx’s tour, Gowan performed as a supporting act for Styx at Montreal’s Molson Centre and Quebec City’s Colisée. He also played with Styx in Vancouver at General Motors Place (now Rogers Arena) as the opening act for Def Leppard on 27 September 2007.
Tommy Shaw admired his talent and vibrant stage charisma, and called him in May 1999 asking him to tour with them for 53 dates, replacing their lead singer Dennis DeYoung. Since then, Gowan’s classic hit, “A Criminal Mind”, is often played by Styx.
Styx had long been plagued by differences in artistic inclination. DeYoung’s absence created an opportunity for a more permanent restructuring of Styx. Gowan subsequently became the band’s permanent vocalist.
Styx’s 2003 album Cyclorama was Gowan’s first studio album with the band. Gowan sings two songs on Cyclorama, “Fields of the Brave” and “More Love for the Money”, both of which have an easily recognizable Gowan signature. He then continued recording with Styx for their 2005 album, Big Bang Theory.
Gowan continues with Styx to the present and is featured on many live releases from the band. The band released studio recordings of older Styx songs with the new line-up, titled Regeneration (released in two volumes in 2010 and 2011), and Gowan sings lead vocals on several tracks that were originally recorded by Dennis DeYoung.
Styx new album The Mission with the first single “Gone, Gone, Gone” featuring Gowan on lead vocals is available now at Cheeky Monkey
Video on this page is from brand new album called The Mission – and yes you can get it at Cheeky Monkey