17th July - Jez
Lowe has built an enviable
reputation as a songwriter and performer in the world of acoustic music,
and as a recognised musical ambassador for his native North East England,
with almost twenty albums and countless live performances around the world
over the last thirty years.
who have recorded their own versions of Lowe’s songs, are Fairport
Convention, The Unthanks, The Dubliners, The Tannahill Weavers, Cherish
The Ladies, Gordon Bok, Tom McConville, The McCalmans, The Black Brothers,
Liam Clancy, Bob Fox and literally hundreds of others. Songs like BACK IN
DURHAM GAOL, THE BERGEN, GREEK LIGHTNING and THESE COAL TOWN DAYS have generated
scores of cover versions around the globe, and are now classics of their
He has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world, both
solo and with the Bad Pennies, including the main stages at Edmonton Festival
(Canada), Tonder Festival (Denmark), The Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian
(US), Port Fairy and Byron Bay Festivals (Australia) and at concerts and
festivals in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland, Holland, Germany and Spain.
In 2008, Jez was nominated as “Folksinger of the Year” in the
BBC Folk awards, following the success of his album JACK COMMON’S
ANTHEM the previous year. After a retrospective live collection, entitled
NORTHERN ECHOES (winner of the Indie-Acoustic Award for “Best Lyrics”
in 2009), 2010’s follow-up CD, entitled WOTCHEOR! surpassed that success,
and has become Jez’s most popular album yet, spawning a series of
special stage-shows and UK tours based on the themes of the album, to great
acclaim. Last year also saw the release of a compilation of “18 essential
Jez Lowe songs” entitled HEADS UP, containing some of his best-known
compositions, such as THE BERGEN, BACK IN DURHAM GAOL, THESE COAL TOWN DAYS,
GREEK LIGHTNING, and LONDON DANNY, plus bonus collaborative tracks with
James Keelaghan and Vin Garbutt.
Back in 2006 Jez was one of the principle songwriters in the award-winning
BBC series The Radio Ballads. This on-going project has spawned two further
series, and in 2014 the third set of programmes, entitled The Ballad of
the Great War, will be broadcast to commemorate the start of World War One.
Jez has again contributed a number of songs to this series, and is planning
some solo concerts based around his entire canon of Radio Ballads songs,
which by now number around 50, later this year.
The Radio Ballads series, along with other much-acclaimed special commissions
like The Darwin Project and All Along The Wall, has enabled Jez to expand
his writing and performing styles greatly in recent years, without diverging
from his own much admired and unique approach to his craft.
2014 has already seen trips to New Zealand and the USA, with a festival
tour of Canada lined up for August. Work on a new solo CD for Autumn release
has also begun, and next year sees the start of a new collaboration featuring
James Keelaghan, Archie Fisher and Jez Lowe, labelled MEN AT WORDS, which
will tour North America in March 2015. All of this, plus a mind-boggling
series of solo shows, Bad Pennies concerts, festivals, and special projects
ensures that Jez Lowe is one of the busiest and most in-demand performers
on the current acoustic music scene.