Aztec Two-Step 2.0
Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Lead Vocals
After “lifting” the band’s name from a poem by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and writing the first song for or about Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel, “On The Road,” the story of Rex and Aztec Two-Step is intertwined with the history of folk/rock music in America. Originating from a chance meeting at an “open mic night” in a Boston folk club in 1971, the duo that included co-founder Neal Shulman, went on to record four albums throughout the decade on Elektra & RCA Records that left an indelible mark on the musical genre.
As their recording career continued, so did the critical acclaim. In 1986, their first indie album “Living in America” was named in Billboard’s year-end critic’s poll. It also received the New York Music Award for the Best Folk Album. In 1999 they were the subjects of the documentary, “No Hit Wonder,” which was aired on several PBS stations across America. In June 2007, Real Simple, a popular national lifestyle magazine, named Aztec Two-Step’s debut album one of the all-time top five classic “folk” albums, along with works by Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Tom Rush and Phil Ochs. The article cites the duo as “surpass[ing] Simon and Garfunkel for exquisite harmonies, musicianship and emotion.” In this era of Aztec Two-Step 2.0, Rex continues to expand the band’s musical legacy with fan favorites, forgotten gems and new original folk/rock compositions as he introduces the members of his new ensemble:
Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Accomplished songwriter and recording artist, Dodie Pettit first met Rex Fowler when she was a session player and singer on ATS’s 1980 “Times of Our Lives” album. A member of the famed The Untouchable and The Enchanted Forest All-Girl Bands of the mid-1960s, Dodie was a former Principal Dancer for the American Repertory Dance Company which led to a distinguished 15-year career on Broadway as an original cast member of The Phantom of the Opera, as well as appearing in Tony Awarding winning musicals CATS and Titanic. Dodie and Rex were married in August 2018 and together they are now the heart and soul of the new Aztec Two Step “2.0” ensemble.
Steven “Muddy” Roues
Upright Bass, Blues Harmonica, Vocals
Muddy is a cherished member of our band, joining us after Neal and our longtime bassist Fred Holman retired in 2018. As his photo depicts, Mud plays standup bass, and along with his bluesy baritone vocals and harmonica riffs, gives us a rich and distinctive sound. I discovered Mud when he and his brother Billy were recommended by a friend to be in my Rockabilly Kings quartet that celebrates Elvis Presley’s early genius work.
Record producer, songwriter, recording artist and touring musician, Roues has had a rich and fulfilling 40-year career in music. He continues to perform his original music regularly with The Roues Brothers, Finn & The Sharks and The UpSouth Twisters. Muddy has performed live or recorded with luminaries, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Howling Wolf, James Cotton, Sam and Dave, The Chambers Brothers, Wilson Pickett, John Hiatt, Joe Ely, David Bromberg and Jon Pousette-Dart. Muddy was an honored band member in the critically acclaimed documentary film, “The Other Side of Nashville” featuring Carl Perkins.
Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Peter is our band’s diamond in the ruff whom we recently met at a cozy cabaret in Westport, CT when he was sitting in with an exquisite jazz quartet led by multi-instrumentalist Joe Mao. Over the years Peter has performed as a member of several Connecticut orchestral and theater programs including the Hartford Symphony. He is currently the principal percussionist with the Norwalk Symphony. A revered and accomplished musician and teacher, we knew immediately that Peter’s nuanced and versatile drumming style would be a perfect fit for ATS 2.0’s diverse musical canon.
Tenor & Soprano Sax, Flute, Clarinet & Vocals
Joe began playing music at the age of 8. His first instrument, a clarinet, fell from a car and landed in his front yard. He played in musical groups in school but his main experience came from plying in a student led community big band, learning saxophone, flute and guitar along the way. He has since played in pit orchestras for broadway shows, as well as in rock, funk and jazz bands, and as a session player on many studio dates. He has also written and played horn arrangements and been a sideman for distinguished artists like the late Johnny Winter, Julie Budd, Johnny Mathis, Billy Vera, the Temptations, the Four Tops and the Pointer Sisters. Joe is the newest member of ATS 2.0, adding virtuoso solos and supporting lines that compliment and support Dodie’s and Mud’s compelling lead work, and he has been known to step out and sing lead on a song or two as well.