Cedar Falls Historic Tour App Honors Blues Guitarist | Business

The Eddie Bowles Historical Tour, an augmented reality mobile app, now allows users to follow a two-mile trail of sites in Cedar Falls that played a significant role in the life of blues guitarist Eddie Bowles.

Using technology similar to the popular Pokémon Go!, the free mobile app takes users along a path to discover digital waypoints that reveal information about Bowles and the history of Cedar Falls.

Bowles was recently the subject of an exhibit, Eddie Bowles’s Blues, at the Hearst Center for the Arts in Cedar Falls.

Bowles (1884-1984) grew up in New Orleans, and learned to play guitar alongside Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory.

A job search led him to Cedar Falls, where he was first employed to build some of the city’s first paved roads.

Bowles remained in Cedar Falls, working a series of handicrafts and playing a distinctive style of 12-bar blues for friends and neighbors.

During the blues revival of the 1960s, Bowles was sought out by young guitarists eager to learn his unique style of guitar playing, and he continued to play for local audiences well into the 90s before his death in 1984 in the age of 100 years.

This free app is now available on Apple App Store (for iPhone users) and Google Play Store (for Android users).

This month, The Best of Eddie Bowles was released as a digital album on all major streaming services. It can also be listened to for free on eddiebowles.hearnow.com.

Support for this project was provided by the Saul and Joan Diamond Arts and History Fund of the Cedar Falls Community Foundation, Humanities Iowa, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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