The folk-rock duo Aztec Two-Step formed after a chance meeting between Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman in 1971. The pair met at an open stage at the Stone Phoenix, a Boston coffee house. Within a few months of working together, they recorded their debut as Aztec Two-Step, and a few months later, they had a deal with Elektra Records.
The duo's self-titled major-label debut was released in 1972 to widespread critical acclaim; joined by John Sebastian, Doug Dillard, and Jerry Yester, among others, the album spawned the early-'70s radio hit "The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road)." Shulman (born and raised in New York) and Fowler (born and raised in a small town in Maine) didn't record their follow-up, Second Step, until three years later, followed by Two's Company (1976) and Adjoining Suites (1977). As folk-rock fell out of fashion in the mid- and late '70s, the duo continued to tour in support of their earlier albums. In 1979, Aztec Two-Step recorded and released The Times of Our Lives and then took a long hiatus from recording while continuing to tour around the U.S. and Europe.
Finally, in 1986, the duo recorded Living in America for Reflex Records, which won a 1987 New York Music Award for Best Folk Album. They followed it up three years later with See, It Was Like This in 1989 for the Flying Fish label. Aztec Two-Step's '90s releases included 1993's Of Age and an album recorded live at three different New York coffee houses in December, 1995, Highway Signs. In 1996, Fowler also recorded a short cassette of solo material about the sport of golf, one of his lifelong passions. ~ Richard Skelly