Mike Lowry Band
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Mike Lowry Band

Savannah, Georgia, United States | SELF

Savannah, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana

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Although he’s just in his mid 20s, guitarist Mike Lowry has what veteran blues guys call an “old soul.” Said one reviewer: “His playing is very natural and fluid; much more blues mainstream, reminding me of a younger Eric Clapton with his phrasing.”

Lowry, who recently left Tinsley Ellis’ band after a two-year stint, moved to Savannah last December from his native Atlanta. “If you want to make a name for yourself, you have to spend some time on the road,” he explains. “And Savannah’s a pretty good spot to travel from – there's Jacksonville two hours away, then all the cities up the Carolina coast.” At first, Lowry hoped to keep his popular Hot ‘lanta trio intact – logistically, however, it turned out to be a nightmare. This week’s show at Locos will introduce the all-new Mike Lowry Band, with Savannah drummer Jason Ussery and bass player Charles Hodge. “We’ve been in rehearsals for a little while now, and I’m really happy with the results,” Lowry explains. “They learned my stuff from the CDs, but I kept saying ‘Make it your own. Put your own stamp on it.’ And they did. I’m excited about it; I’m really looking forward to playing out with them.”

Lowry, whose mother was in show business back in the day, started acting and modeling as a tot. “I’d say it tapered off when I got into music,” he says. “I started playing guitar when I was 11. “And as soon as I started making some headway in making the guitar sound cool, the idea of acting just went out the window.” - Connect Savannah


Singer/songwriter Mike Lowry has been the lead man of the Mike Lowry Band for eight years. But since moving to Savannah in January, Lowry has a new bassist, drummer and sound.

"It's new and fresh and exciting," Lowry said.

You can hear the updated Mike Lowry Band on Friday night at Locos Grill & Pub on Broughton Street. The show is expected to start around 10:30 p.m., and Lowry says there is a $5 cover charge.

Lowry describes his music as roots rock. A lot of his songs and sounds are influenced by the music he grew up listening to and still loves such as The Beatles and Eric Clapton.

Lowry first began playing guitar at age 11, about six months after his father gave him his first guitar. Lowry says he wasn't sure what to do with the instrument until one boring weekend when he picked up the guitar and cord diagrams. After a friend introduced him to starter music books, Lowry said he really took to it.

"For like two weeks, I didn't leave my room; I didn't do homework. I stayed up all night quietly playing and was late to school," Lowry says.

Lowry knew, even at a young age, that music would be his career. Immediately after high school, he joined a group that featured a blues harmonica player. Lowry would go on to form his own band, with different musicians over the years filling the bass and drummer positions.

The new lineup - featuring drummer Jason Ussery and bassist Ryan Donald - really excites Lowry. Ussery and Donald offer a fresh sound to his existing songs and their music excites Lowry as he begins songwriting for the new group.

"We really mesh and jell well together as a band," Lowry says. "We're ready for the show. It's going to be a fun show." - Savannah Morning News


"I wanted to make a song-based album," says guitarist Mike Lowry quietly.

Self-released last May by Lowry, the self-titled nine-track collection, Lowry's second disc, is receiving some well-deserved attention, pushing past the blues' limiting boundaries.

Two years in the making, this production -- which he considers his debut -- consists of well-constructed, professionally produced rootsy ballads, upbeat pop and swampy burners. Lowry sings in a weathered voice sounding far more experienced than his baby face indicates. Unlike most albums from young gun guitarists, Lowry keeps his solos succinct, concentrating on arrangements and overdubs. The result is a textured, nuanced work that avoids getting stuck in a blues pigeonhole.

Helping the process is ex-Wet Willie bassist Jack Hall, who not only plays in Lowry's group but also supports and advises the young guitarist. Spirited, R&B-heavy tracks like the horn-propelled "Home to You" and the Southside Johnny-styled "Good-Bye" wouldn't seem out of place on an old Wet Willie album. Certainly the sunshiny "Don't Carry the Weight" could slot onto pop radio as easily as John Mayer.

With the raw materials in place, Lowry, who currently performs regionally, is eager to move to the next level. The tough part is getting this CD more visibility. It's all about exposure, which, he has learned, "is a harder job then it seems." - Creative Loafing


These days' blues are borne with a bad sign too often, with too much thought where the deep feelings used to be. This laddie from Atlanta shapes his blues cleverly but right and, he might very well be the most versatile blues singer-guitarist since Rory Gallagher has come of age. Be prepared to be pinching yourself to believe a person who's doing the seemingly seasoned swagger of "No One You'd Know" and fathoms the depth of despair in "Just Defy My Love" is indeed that young and that it's the same person who's musing acoustically about "Dark Before The Dawn", all on his own. Mike's mastered the blues lexicon, and there's no affectation in his songs. The music jives, with organ smoothing the guitar angles - and them's all the right angles Lowry bends his strings into. And his vocal chords, too, as you can mistake "Coming Home To You" with its Stax-like brass and Steve Cropper-esque licks for a lost Otis Redding track. It's red hot but, with a pace like that of "Gettin' Burned", you rather enjoy the temperature than be put off. The album has only one downside: it's too short - yet ain't that a good sign of more to come? - DME Music Site


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The Empire State of the South has struck a resounding chord in the great American idiom Rock n’ Roll. Producing artists as diverse as Blind Willie McTell, “Guitar Man” Jerry Reed and the Allman Brothers Band, Georgia has proven itself a showcase for the southern music scene. Now the Peach State is sending another son into the world of American music, Mike Lowry. He’s breathed in the smoke-filled air of hole-in-the-wall rib joints and felt the clickety-clak of the freights driving straight thru to Atlanta and that influence shines through in the true-to-life stories he tells through his songwriting and his virtuosic guitarmanship.

But native talent alone cannot make an artist great, it requires the journey of finding one’s self and the recognition of their own unique perspective. That journey has taken Lowry down many roads, but on his third album, Lowry’s train is pulling into the station.

Concentrating on songwriting, and taking the time in the studio to experiment with new sounds, Lowry is showcasing the maturity he has gained in his years as a working musician. Songs are built up layer by layer with careful attention paid to texture and the aural experience as a whole. The guitar that was formerly the driving force in Lowry’s repertoire has taken a back seat to song craft, but it continues to take the wheel to aide in the slow burn. Lowry’s voice comes through road worn but hungry, with lyrics reflecting the experiences of an artist growing and developing through the process of change. Songs like ‘Already Fallen’ and ‘Don’t Bend’ speak to the struggle of staying true to one’s self when life begins pulling in so many different directions. The result of these recordings is a collection of songs showcasing a great new talent on his way to the top.

But Lowry is no stranger to the music scene, his youth belies more than 12 years of dues paid in the clubs and bars of Atlanta and the surrounding region. Lowry’s saturated, six-string pyromania made him a fixture in famed Atlanta haunts like Fuzzy’s and the Northside Tavern. And that in turn has led to an impressive résumé of opening slots and shared stages with artists including James Brown, John Mayer, Dr. John, Charlie Mussle White, Levon Helms and Jimmy Vaughn. Recently, Lowry spent an extended time on the road with Blues troubadour Tinsley Ellis.

But the long road of a life lived in the entertainment industry is nothing new for Lowry, it is the next chapter in a family tradition. Both Lowry’s parents conducted their livelihood in the confines of show business: his mother as a Broadway singer/dancer and his father as a lighting and effects engineer for 70s concert spectacles including Parliament’s Mothership Connection Tour. With his parents’ influence, Lowry began an early career as a child actor and commercial model appearing in movies, television and radio. But at age 11, Lowry dedicated himself to music after receiving an electric guitar from his father. From there on, he has put all his passion into teaching himself to be the best, on guitar and as a true, from-the-heart, musician’s musician.

Now, Lowry is on the verge of another breakthrough with the recording of his new album. Like all great musicians, he is stepping away from the over-the-top guitar worship of his youth and concentrating on the honesty of the music that will be his calling card in the years to come.

-Daniel McDonald