Johnny McGowan

Jul 16, 2021
8:30 pm - 12:30am

Johnny McGowan is blazing a trail across the Hill Country faster than a prairie fire.

Hailing from the Smoky Mountains of Knoxville Tn, Johnny was reared on moonshine, honky-tonks and classic country music. “Mom told me when Dad took his teeth out at Lightning’s Tavern, brother you’d better back the heck up!”

Although his natural father skedaddled early on, Johnny’s truck driving step-dad took up the wheel, showing him how to pick guitar on his 1962 Gibson J45. “I would ask Robert (step-father) to let me play guitar a few minutes longer,” he recalls, “so that way, I’d get out of mowing grass. Ha!”

His group, Johnny McGowan’s Rugged Gents, have all the authenticity you’d expect from a twenty seven year music veteran. With earnest vocal delivery and haunting guitar work, Johnny brings songs of love, good times, heartbreak and loss to life, with his truck driving, hillbilly roots shining through.

Wielding his beloved vintage Silverstone archtop guitar named “Betsy”, expect face-melting, two-stepping county honky-tonk from Johnny McGowan’s Rugged Gents that will knock your hat in the creek.


The Biggest Little Stage in South Austin. We are a cozy and small bar, one of the last true live music Honky Tonks still existing in South Austin.