Low Society
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Low Society

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Blues Americana

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
06
Low Society @ Cha Cha's of Coney Island

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Jul
30
Low Society @ City Limits

None, Connecticut, USA

None, Connecticut, USA

Jul
17
Low Society @ The Local 269

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

Music

Press


Screaming blues band Low Society have pushed back the release date for their new album You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down on Icehouse Records. New street date: October 7. They have posted a teaser video for Crammed & Jammed, the first single.
You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down was mixed at American Recording in Memphis by Will Danger and the band's guitar ace Sturgis Nikides. Guest players include sax axe Herman Green (BB King, Rufus Thomas, Count Basie, John Coltrane) and Rick Steff (Lucero, Dexys Midnight Runners) on keys. The album was mastered at Ardent studios by Larry and Kevin Nix, who got the equipment and the ears to get it right for a vinyl release.
Low Society:
Mandy Lemons: vocals
Sturgis Nikides: electric slide & National Steel guitars, vocals
Nick Dodson: bass
Mike Munn: drums
» screaminblues.com
» Low Society on Facebook - Hans Werksman


"...A real eye(and ear) opener for me was Low Society, a rumbling blues rock based band with a powerhouse female front person worthy of the late 60s glory days, but contemporary enough to sell lots of CDs and downloads right now.If they aren't signed by the time you read this, I want to know why!" - Jimi LaLumia Good Times Magazine


Seriously lacking in stage fright, Miss Lemons is able to scare the shit out of Joss Stone.
- Hans Werkman


With Sturgis, blues is the glue that holds everything together... - Fairfield County Weekly


The Man of Steel
Rating: 10/11
By: Faetra Petillo

Sturgis Nikides is taking blues to a whole new level. It’s a level that makes the average Joe want to become Joe the Rebel. It’s a level that makes you want to rent a convertible, light a Marlboro, and drive off into the sunset thinking only about all the merciless women (or men) who have made you who you are today. Okay, maybe that is a little extreme. But in all seriousness, Nikides is one extremely talented man who knows a thing or two about singing the blues in a modern fashion. His album, Man of Steel, is fierce and intense, but still handles its tough emotions with delicacy and elegance.

From the first few beats of “Lower the Boom,” the listener is hooked. The songs have a way of starting off with one simple instrument or a vocal solo that is built upon as the song goes on. Every track uses a wide range of instruments: with bongos, acoustic guitar, keyboard, banjo, and more (this list just touches the surface), nothing is off limits for Nikides. Straight-up, old-fashioned country tracks like “Heartbreak Lost and Found” and “Dusted” take the listener back to the days of Johnny Cash and early Neil Young. Other tracks, like “She Got a Gun” and “Room 204,” have a more modern pop-folk rhythm and a more traditional use of acoustic guitar/drums/bass.

Nikides’s voice is his selling point: sad and sexy, but strong and confident. Most importantly, Nikides is able to use music to tell a story; his lyrics drive each song rather than acting as mere background to the instruments. His stories are of love, loss, heartbreak and, in many cases, the essence of New York City. As he croons in one song, “I’m not easily impressed/Lonely street is my permanent address.”

Man of Steel is an album with tons of wisdom, both in terms of its lyrics and the way it navigates its various emotions. That alone could sell a record; in this case, the musical talent of Sturgis Nikides puts its quality over the top. - Knocks From The Underground


Sturgis Nikides is a superman on his steel guitar
Preview by Dave Richards
Staff writer
He may not be Superman, but he's definitely a man of steel.
New York City's Sturgis Nikides proved that in 2004 with his belated but superb debut "Man of Steel," a do-it-yourself project on which he played all instruments, including National steel guitar.
The haunting, richly atmospheric CD casts a spell with vivid songwriting that's steeped in the Delta with dark, dusty strains of folk and lonesome highway country-blues peeking through.
Nikides was a vital part of New York City's underground scene in the '70s and '80s. He played guitar with former Velvet Underground member John Cale for six years. He's also backed Chris Spedding, the Soft Machine's Kevin Ayers, and singer Nico, another Velvet alumnus.
"Man of Steel" marked his emergence as a vocalist and frontman, though most the spotlight shines on his stunning National steel.
"They are such unique-sounding instruments," said Nikides, who plays Friday in Findley Lake, N.Y., and Saturday at Bobby's Place. "You start playing it, and songs pour out of it -- well, for me, anyway. Something else happens. It has such a haunting, beautiful sound.
"In 2003, when I did this CD, I was really immersed in that guitar and doing obviously a lot of writing with it. So I decided to base the entire album upon that influence."
Nikides has played guitar since he was a youngster.
"I started playing with John Cale when I was 19. I was a very motivated young man," he said. "I left home when I was 15, and struck out to be a rock and roll star. I've been playing since age 6.
"Even today, I still practice a minimum of two hours per day. I just play. I wake up with my coffee in the morning, and it's the first thing I do. I wouldn't be able to go on with my day otherwise. But when I was young, I practiced eight hours a day. That's how I landed a gig at 19."
He played with Cale from 1979 to 1984, which he described as a "lifetime."
"He goes through a lot of musicians. I don't know if that's cheapness or the fact that he keeps things fresh, but he moves on quickly."
They still communicate. In fact, on the morning of 9/11, Nikides began sending urgent e-mails to Cale, who lived near the World Trade Center. Those e-mails are included in "Sedition and Alchemy," a Cale bio published in 2002.
Nikides played a few Velvet Underground songs while with Cale, including "I'll Be Your Mirror" and "Waiting for the Man."
"He wouldn't do much, mainly because of the feud between him and Lou [Reed]," Nikides said. "No one was more surprised than I when that [1993 Velvet Underground] reunion took place."
Still, that fizzled before the tour reached the U.S., which bummed out Nikides. At least he got a chance to jam once with Sterling Morrison, the Velvets' guitarist, who died in 1995. At the time, Morrison had quit music and was teaching in Austin, Texas.
"It was a proud moment for me. I couldn't have been more in awe, playing with him," Nikides said.
Nikides didn't cover any Velvets on "Man of Steel," but did offer a raw, bluesy version of the Stones' "Play with Fire." In Erie, he'll play with a band that includes longtime musical partner Rowdy Bodine on bass, Rick Lopez on drums, and Lance Elbaum on percussion. He'll open solo, on National guitar.
"You're going to hear a lot of slide guitar, real American roots music. That's the bottom line," he said. "I don't want to call it blues because it's not just blues. It has elements of '50s rock and roll, rockabilly, country, English '60s, English blues revivals -- a heavy Jimmy Page-Jeff Beck influence.
"I say roots, but we don't really fit in with that roots crowd. It's a little harder-edged than that."
Burny -- as in Burny White, formerly of X-Whites -- and Claude will open both shows. Saturday's gig will close with a blues jam with Nikides, White, Lance Elbaum, former Dogs' guitarist Tom Weber, and more guests. - ERIE-TIMES NEWS 4/16/2009


Having made his name as a sideman for members of the Velvet Underground, Sturgis Nikides has in recent years been at the center of his own band - a group which he says blends blues, rock and the jam band genre into one powerful amalgamation.

Described as one of the world's finest steel guitar players by promoter Kipp Elbaum, who booked him at Pine Junction in Findley Lake for this Friday night, Nikides recalled previous shows in Western New York, gigs in Buffalo and Rochester with John Cale, as having happened a lifetime ago.

''This particular version of me is, well, I don't know quite how to put it,'' Nikides said of his music these days. ''I'm really not comfortable putting a descriptive term on it. It's not that it's undefinable, but it doesn't easily fit into any slot. While there's a major blues influence, it's not a blues band. And though there is a major hard rock influence, it's definitely not a hard rock band. If you listen to my last CD, that's got Nashville stamped all over it. The songs on it are very dynamic, but my life show doesn't really go there. While I play those songs, they're much harder versions of those.''

A power trio, Nikides said his band is steeped in the styles of rock 'n' roll he has been playing for decades - which includes everything from bottleneck slide guitar to the steel guitar playing he's now best known for.

''The idea that I'm playing a different kind of music now is not really true,'' Sturgis said Wednesday, ''outside of the fact that I was a sideman playing strictly, obviously, John Cale's music. That said, I'm still the same guitar player. I was playing slide guitar with John.''

Following Friday's Findley Lake show, Nikides will play Bobby's Place in Erie. According to Nikides, shows consist mainly of his own original music, mostly new songs with a handful of tracks from his 2004 CD ''Man of Steel.'' Additionally, Nikides said he's been known to throw Velvet Underground songs into the mix and regularly performs ''Pablo Picasso'' - a John Cale staple which Nikides said he has been playing since his days on the road with the Velvet Underground member.

''His sets start with national steel guitar, but mid-set he's a monster, monster guitar player,'' Elbaum said of Nikides' shows. ''He's Stevie Ray Vaughan if Vaughan had come from the East Village. It's a blues sound, but it's heavier, louder, faster and more driving.''

Located in Findley Lake, Pine Junction is known to many as the ''Tavern in the Pines.'' A combination bar and restaurant built by Lonnie and Shirlee Pound, Pine Junction is located at 9757 Bailey Hill Road in Sherman and can be reached by calling 769-7854.
- Jamestown NY Post Journal


John Cale HoboSapiens (Or Music)
Sturgis Nikides Man of Steel (rezonate records)
Deerfrance: Extra Virgin Mary Blest (Moon Caravan)
When considering John Cale's storied career, remember he came into rock & roll through the backstage door, via the Velvet Underground. The classical music background developed in his native Wales, the one that met with the New York avant-garde in the Sixties, was stunningly reintroduced on the recent Sun Blindness Music. With its pre-natal "Sister Ray" prototype, "Summer Heat," Sun Blindness suggested that the Velvets were a mere (albeit profound) stepping stone for his lengthy oeuvre. On HoboSapiens, Cale reasserts his position in the pantheon of musicians who matter. At 61, he's as creative and subversive as ever, sure of his craft and comfortable in his art. The music is a brilliant mixture of sounds and lyrical concepts to surround and immerse yourself in. It complements the life of the listener much as I'm sure it complements Cale's own. Witness the bright "Things" and doppelgänger "Things X," where he deconstructs his own work, not to mention "Magritte," which echoes the viola elegance of Paris 1919. Cale has also created one of his loveliest compositions in the ethereal "Over Her Head." Hobo's beauty lies in its organic cross-pollination of electronic wizardry and instrumentation, an aurally stunning tour de force in a lifetime blessed with many. Cale's influence on generations of musicians is understood, but nowhere is it more apparent than with guitarist Sturgis Nikides and vocalist Deerfrance, both of whom released their first solo albums this year. Nikides played guitar for the latter half of Cale's '79-'80 Sabotage tour, but those searing leads bear little resemblance to the fine and moody National Steel performances on Man of Steel. With a voice cured in the smoke of countless nightclubs, Nikides travels a contemporary road of nine captivating, melancholy compositions and a fine rendering of the Rolling Stones' "Play With Fire." "I'm not easily impressed," he sings on "Heartbreak Lost & Found," but he pays homage to the Delta bluesmen on "Dusted." Deerfrance was the honey-voiced, 6-foot, pink-haired punk rock darling of CBGBs in the late-Seventies when Cale tapped her for the band. The dreamy pop of Blest is her impressive debut, a delightful collection of 15 originals (save for Cale's "Only Time Will Tell") that lure with her china-doll vocals. "Operation," "Cher O' Bowlies," and "Tramp" are outstanding, while "Dark (Nico)" invokes the Velvet's Teutonic vocalist. The choice of "Only Time Will Tell" to end the disc is indeed telling. The song was Deerfrance's spotlight moment during the heady days of Cale's tour and it's as sweet and tender 25 years later, delivered as it is with the patina of wisdom and age.

- Austin Chronicle


Discography

Low Society - You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down - CD (Oct 2014)

Low Society - High Time - CD (August 2011)

Photos

Bio

Mandy Lemons and Low Society are blazing new trails on the stomping grounds of Blues and Americana music. Texas Blues, Memphis Rock 'N Soul and a healthy dose of New York attitude help define the sound and spirit of their second album, "You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down". It's a diverse collection of original songs that inject new life into, while remaining firmly rooted in, the traditional music that they live and breathe. Among the albums guest appearances are two of Memphis' best known musicians, B.B. King and Lionel Hampton alumni Dr Herman Green on the saxophone and Lucero's Rick Steff on keys and accordion. The album was recorded at the historic Memphis landmark, American Recording Studio, and mastered by Stax legend, Larry Nix.

Low Society is the brainchild of blues belter Mandy Lemons, and her partner in crime, guitarist and producer Sturgis Nikides, former sideman with John Cale, of the Velvet Underground. The pair has codified their shared love of Texas and Delta Blues, soul music and rock 'n roll into their own subconscious language. Mandy sings the blues with an emotionally charged powerhouse voice that mixes original southern fried soul and northern attitude. Woven together with Sturgis Nikides blistering slide guitar they blaze their way through a veritable map of the South. Holding down the rock solid rhythm section are Memphis native sons, Mike "Drummerlife" Munn and Nick Dodson on the bass guitar. Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine said "these hipsters have taken southern country blues and super-charged it to a white-hot intensity". The band has traveled extensively, playing hundreds of shows on festival, juke joint and club stages everywhere from Eastern Europe to NYC, from Mississippi to Texas, to Memphis, to Arkansas and Missouri, to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana, Florida and points beyond. They have appeared at Clarksdale Mississippi's Juke Joint Festival for the last 4 consecutive years, the 2012 Bluesalive Festival in the Czech Republic and Poland, as well as NYC's Howl Festival for 3 consecutive years. They also participated in the 30th International Blues Challenge. #rootsrockrebellion

Band Members