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Guelph, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Guelph, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Blues


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"Lowlands at Yonge and Dunda"

Note: This is a photo blog - The Learning Curve

"My 15 Minutes With...Lowlands rolling into London"

My 15 Minutes With...Lowlands rolling into London

Taylor Marshall
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Taylor Marshall

Published: Monday, September 10th, 2012

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Photo credit: lowlandsmusic.com

The guys of the band Lowlands have no problem taking things slow especially when it came to making their new album Huron, due out on September 14. I got the chance to talk to Lowlands' Gordon Auld about all things music and why he is looking forward to their upcoming tour.

You guys relocated from Toronto to Guelph. In your opinion, what are some of the biggest differences musically between the two cities?
"Well, Guelph is a university town so that's the huge difference, really. The music scene or industries here in university towns are a totally different model than Toronto. In Toronto there are thousands of bands, thousands of venues and a great community and everyone stays really connected there. But in Guelph, (the music scene) is really dependent on students, which is good and bad. In the summer, playing shows can still be good, but it's less frequent, but everyone wants to tour university towns in the fall because that's when everyone is back and around to go see shows. I think that's really one of the biggest differences, though, that we are dependent on the university scene, which I don't really see as a negative thing. I see it as a positive thing, because if you look at the size of the city, there are four or five decent places to play and lots of amazing bands who play there. Also, anyone who plays a show in Toronto would play Guelph as well because it's on the tour route. So there are lots of good opportunities to play locally with people. We don't really play in Guelph more than once every three or four months just because we want to draw our focus to other cities. We can always count on Guelph because most of our friends grew up here and we live here, but it's always better to focus on your stronger cities, which will also make your other cities stronger – for example, cities like London and Hamilton. So I would say those are the two biggest differences musically between the two cities."

Your sophomore album Huron is due out September 14. Can you explain the feel of this album compared to your first album?
"The first big difference between them would have to be the production. With the first album, we had no idea what we were doing as far as recording material. I had only ever done recording on tapes and on (crappy) 4-tracks before that first album. Being in the studio, we had no idea what we were doing. I mean, we had really great people who were recording with us, but they were novices. Dan Beeson, who is the slide player and drummer of Lowands now, has a studio just up the street and mastered the first album, and said he wanted to do the same with this one as well. So we really took our time to make everything sound right. That's really the huge differences when I listen to both of them: it's the sound quality. Also one of the biggest things sound-wise for us that we have been dealing with is playing soft folk songs and loud folk songs and the difference between them. We do play a lot of bars at like 12 at night that are packed and you kind of have to play the loud stuff. But we also played at a farm and did an all acoustic set. Everyone was just drinking whiskey and crowding around and we don't ever want to lose that. Also, with our last album, it was really only our loudest, strongest songs so I guess we are kind of testing the waters a little bit with this one."

You have Canadian dates, but are you planning to play some shows in the States and maybe even overseas?
"Yes, we are planning to do so, but when? I don't really know. We have an east coast (of Canada) tour booked, though. We did have another little lineup change. Our rhythm section has just been a revolving door for the last few months. We have a pedal steel player now – Danny – who is also drumming and is going to be switching up that position as well because they can both play the pedal steel and the drums for the tour. We are also sharing band members with Alanna Gurr, who is touring with us, so it's like six people, one car, two vans. It's going to be fun, though, because we have been playing with Alanna for so long. We do have plans for the States, but it won't be happening too soon, I would say next fall at the earliest."

Go and see the band when they come to London on September 24 at APK Live. For more information, visit their website lowlandsmusic.com and be sure to get their new album, Huron, on September 14 It will also be available for streaming on their website and on iTunes. - Fanshawe Student Union Interrobang

"Ontario band Lowlands celebrate promising album at APK live"

Ontario band Lowlands celebrate promising album at APK live

Written by Kaleigh Boyd

Guelph-based folk band Lowlands celebrated the release of their sophomore album Huron Friday night to a solid and attentive crowd at APK live.

The band began their set quietly, cutting through the general din that filled the room with the soft and sorrowful track The River before greeting the crowd. They quickly established their blues heavy style of folk, with several powerful songs that use haunting imagery to tell stories of love and loss.

All original songs written by band members Gordon Auld and Abe Del Bel Belluz featured raw and honest lyrics, enhanced by lead singer Auld’s distinctive drawl. While at times the tracks blended into one another a bit too well, they made an obvious impact for their ability to evoke the feeling of another place or even time period all together.

While the set certainly showcased their powerful and original sound, it didn't quite capitalize on the unique use of instruments found on their album. The signature use of banjo prevalent in many songs was sadly featured only once, on the track Embers.

However they made good use of the distinct sound of the pedal steel and several backing vocals to fill out even the quietest moments. The band's talent and enthusiasm for their music was clear and they played with a confidence that served the attitude of their music well.

Auld joked with the crowd, speaking with both humour and pride about the new album and the work they put into it. Though not local to the city, the band is obviously well known to the crowd that gathered and he spoke with fondness about previous visits.

Lowlands’ opening set was nicely complemented by London artist Alanna Gurr who followed, with two members of the previous set pulling double-duty to back her solo style. Beginning with a song that mirrored the more heartsick tone of Lowlands, she smoothly transitioned into some whimsical and charming numbers, creating a great balance between blues and folk.

Though the lyrics were often hard to make out, the music was compelling and spoke of the obvious talent that has been garnering her quite a bit of attention as she promotes her first full-length album Oh, Horsefeathers. Gurr ended her set with an upbeat song that had the audience clapping and dancing along, followed by a slower piece that gently rocked towards the finish.

Lowlands move on to play shows throughout Canada and their new album Huron is currently available for online streaming at www.lowlandsmusic.com

Kaleigh Boyd is a freelance writer from London with a love of music and a BA in literature and creative writing. She is an avid bookworm and a writer of fiction and poetry.

- The Beat Magazine

"October 27th, 2012 - Lowlands on CBC Bandwidth w. Meg Wilcox"

Note: This is a radio interview

Interview: Lowlands

lowlands studio sit.jpg

Guelph band Lowlands has been called "folk with a rock heart that's been tinged with whiskey."

And that whiskey is probably home brew -- Lowlands has completely embraced the Do It Yourself route --
lead singer Gordon Auld even drew the artwork for the band's sophomore album, Huron.

Click below to hear Meg's interview with bandmates Gordon Auld and Abrahm Del Bel Belluz, which aired on Bandwidth on Oct. 27th: - CBC Radio One

"Album Review: Lowlands "Huron""

Album Review: Lowlands – Huron
Nick Revington on October 25, 2012 with 0 Comments

Guelph band takes listeners back in time

On Oct. 11, Guelph band Lowlands held a release party for their second album, Huron, at the eBar alongside local folk singer, Alanna Gurr.

With folk and delta blues influences, Huron presents country music the way it is meant to be. It’s got the twangy banjo, pedal steel and acoustic guitar, but without any of that standard crap about dogs running away. Nor are there any mentions of pickup trucks or tractors.

Instead, it is a collection of old-timey songs with an intense feeling of loss, longing and lonesomeness. This intensity permeates every track on the record, a testament to the songwriting abilities of Gordon Auld and Abraham Del Bel Belluz.

At the end of the day, Lowlands’s sound is not much different than folk sensations Mumford & Sons, but it somehow feels more genuine. Lowlands manages to slow it down, without losing the power and emotion in their songs. While the biggest criticism one could make of Huron is the lack of upbeat selections on the album, the band makes up for it with differences in volume both within and between songs.

Listening to the album, one can’t help but feel as though they’ve been transported back in time. In “Wonderful Hearts,” lines such as “the rock hard earth grows tender with the water’s love” evoke scenes of drought, and listeners may find themselves walking the train tracks in some godforsaken dustbowl town in the 1930s American Midwest. When “The River” discusses a rising flood, the scene changes to a hard-luck clapboard settlement in Mississippi. Either way, they might imagine themselves with a bottle of bootlegged whiskey or moonshine in hand.

There is a distinctly dark edge to the ballads the band presents here. It is partly the lyrical content. “Embers” makes reference to a drowning, while “First Kill” details a killer’s first murder. But it’s also partly the instrumentation and arrangement of the songs. Auld’s vocals are dynamic and haunting, and the harmonies make exceptional use of mild discord. The songs are laced with minor chords, and the percussion is heavily focussed on the toms, snare, and bass. Rather than using typical popular cymbal-driven beats, time is kept in many songs with march-type rhythms, forgoing cymbals except for a few moments of emphasis. It’s enough to give a listener chills.

This is country music that even non-fans of the genre can enjoy. It ditches the contemporary pop sound that has permeated mainstream country and replaces it with a return to the traditional. In doing so, Huron shows there’s no need to be flashy to make good music. - The Ontarion


I have never had a more protracted back-and-forth with any artist than with Gordon Auld, the man behind Guelph-based folk group Lowlands. Auld's dedication seems to be to the music first and foremost — and self-promotion afterward. It’s a rare, admirable position for a young musician to take. - Torro Magazine

"Review: Hillside Festival, July 22 – 24 Written By Paul, Hillside ,Comments (0)"

“That’s a pretty good way to start off a folk festival.” So said Old Man Luedecke after hearing a song by Lowlands, - The panic manual


Thank you to everyone who came out last night for our May installment of My Liner Notes Presents…, where Lowlands played an incredible, stripped-down set of their gritty folk-rock tunes.

We knew things were on the right track when we started getting noise complaints from Joon’s Kitchen downstairs that the band was “stomping too much”.

One of the night’s highlights came from Lowlands’ haunting cover of Timber Timbre’s “Oh Messiah”, which sort of left us all speechless. - My Liner Notes


Still working on that hot first release.



Theres something unsettling, haunted and unassuming about Lowlands.

A dark country, roots, bluegrass and delta blues mix, its tempting to label their sound as death folk or old timey, but theres a much deeper and more genuine element at play. What can only be described as unequivocal honesty is laden throughout their repertoire and contests to the signature sound of Gordon Auld and Abrahm Del Bel Belluz songwriting. Low-lying vocal harmonies and trudging tempos, carried on the lightly resonant and simple melodies of banjo, dobro and pedal steel, the result is an ethereal and captivating sound; undeniably their own. Once only a baby-faced folk band from Guelph, Ontario, Lowlands have since toured cross-country, released two full-length albums and have performed at some of Canadas most notable festivals and venues.

Aulds lyrics are humble, prudent and reflective, while his voice hints at subtle torment and ancient sadness. His storytelling draws parallels between personal experience and an untouched northern Canadian landscape, stirring vivid images of a rustic and rugged countryside. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Del Barber, Dan Mangan, The Wooden Sky and Deep Dark Woods, Lowlands have found themselves amongst an emerging and open armed Canadian community. With the much anticipated release of their 3rd studio album "Eire", Lowlands pursue the new-year with more tenacity and determination than ever before and as always the greatest gratitude with every step that carries them.

Band Members