The Lowest Pair
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The Lowest Pair

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Folk Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Lowest Pair: 36 Cents"

There are very few humbling experiences in an entertainment industry that prizes flash over substance. Too often, the true auteurs of songwriting languish in obscurity for years before getting even a nibble of genuine recognition for their hard earned efforts. In a business that rewards arrogance in the form of wannabe gangsters, twerkers, and in general, shallow-minded poseurs, with riches beyond most of our comprehension, the unobtrusive appearance of true talent can act as a form of restorative justice to even the most jaded of critics. Kendl Winter, a native of Arkansas, now living in Olympia, Washington and Minnesota native son, Palmer T. Lee have combined their folk/bluegrass talents to form The Lowest Pair. Ms. Winter’s excellent output on the Olympia-based K Records and Mr. Lee’s substantial bluegrass efforts have thus far flown under the radar of contemporary music. With their debut, 36 Cents, a little luck, and a whole lot of justice, that should change dramatically.

A trickling banjo spikes the current of harmony vocals giving “Do You Leave The Light On,” a foreboding, backwoods presence. Bittersweet memories prevail on “Last Summer,” guitar and banjo setting a tone of painful resolve; Lee’s restrained vocals seated nicely inside the framework of this tale of yearning. The pace gets a slight jolt on the stream of consciousness, “Living Is Dying,” a tide pool of guitar and banjo swarming like bees on a warm summer day. A time for contrition prevails on the tale of regret that is, “Magpies At Sunset." Winter’s vocal taking front stage, winding seamlessly like a bulb into a socket, the interplay of banjo and guitar providing the light. Her plaintive vocals on the Stephen Foster, American classic “Oh Susanna,” could draw tears from even the coldest of hearts. “Pear Tree” features some heartfelt guitar picking while the spirit of the late, great, Townes Van Zant resides prominently in Lee’s scruffy vocals on “Trying To Feel At Home,” a song that feels at home in a 2014 release as it would have four decades ago, on a humid, summer night at Houston’s long gone, Old Quarter. “Tuesday Morning” has a sweet, yet melancholy folk feel. ”When I Dock My Boat” appropriately ends this beautiful album with a folk/gospel-tinged send up of our eventual reunion in the sky with all we've loved, that have gone before.

Keeping it real and letting the beauty and flow of simplicity be your calling card is rare in todays, anything-for-a-buck, music industry. On 36 Cents, that is what Winter and Lee have done. It is early on a cold January evening, certainly too premature to surmise how 2014 is going to unfurl in the trendily fickle music world over the next eleven months but one thing is for sure, The Lowest Pair have dealt its hand early, and the listener is left holding a handful of aces in this work of uncommon rustic beauty. Say hello to the first great album of 2014.

Track List:
1. Do You Leave The Light On
2. Last Summer
3. Living Is Dying
4. Magpies At Sunset
5. Moving On
6. Oh Susanna
7. Pear Tree
8. Rumi’s Field
9. Trying To Feel At Home
10. Tuesday Morning
11. When I Dock My Boat

- See more at: - In Your Speakers

"Stream the Lowest Pair's Banjo-centric Debut Album"

A lot of bands like to rehearse in the basement and play as many gigs as possible before hitting the studio, but The Lowest Pair had a different approach in mind. For their debut album 36¢, produced by Trampled By Turtles’ frontman Dave Simonett, Kendl Winter (a former solo artist on K Records) and Palmer T. Lee (of the band Boys n’ the Barrels) started recording virtually from the get-go, pairing a two-banjo approach with earnest, earthy songcraft.

“36¢ was recorded just over a month after we started The Lowest Pair,” says Lee. “We really wanted to capture the energy of what was happening early on in our collaboration. We were both coming out of transitional years, both having been among the primary songwriters for our string bands and both leaving those projects. So it was feeling rather magical for us to find each other and have our musical styles and voices blend so easily. We worked with Dave Simonett, of Trampled by Turtles, who helped encourage that if the record was intended to be organic and raw that we had aught to record it that way. So nearly everything, the singing and the playing, was done live, sitting across from each other.” - American Songwriter

"Stream the Lowest Pair's Wondrous Banjo Duet"

Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee unite for "36¢" debut
Solo country siren Kendl Winter is teaming with Palmer T. Lee of the Boys N' the Barrels to form the Lowest Pair, a double-banjo duo. On January 14, the rootsy twosome will release their debut album, 36¢, through Team Love Records. Recorded and engineered by Trampled By Turtles member Dave Simonett, the upcoming album collects 11 tracks, one of which is streaming right here at SPIN. Head below to hear "Living Is Dying," a tender, finger-picked duet that finds Winter beckoning, "Sweet love, won't you come with me / We can roll around under the cherry tree / Til the neighbors kick us off their property." - Spin

"The Lowest Pair "Feel at Home" in Roots Music"

If you’ve ever wanted to trade in city drudgery for a pastoral life, you’ll identify with “Trying to Feel at Home” by The Lowest Pair.

Written and sung by Palmer T. Lee with harmonies by bandmate Kendl Winter, the melancholy song is a highlight of the duo’s upcoming album, 36¢, arriving digitally on Jan. 14. Trampled by Turtles’ front man Dave Simonett served as the project’s producer and engineer.

Lee answered a few questions by email about the poetic track.

CMT Edge: I can identify with the line about only walking three blocks to work — and how some people would call that lucky. It’s a smart way to illustrate the narrator’s frame of mind. Did you envision somebody else when you wrote the song, like a millworker who would rather have a piece of land, or is it from your perspective — or a bit of both?

Lee: “Trying to Feel at Home” is a personal narrative. I wrote that song while I was living in the Logan Park neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis. I was literally living three blocks from the mill I was working at. I wrote a lot of songs while working at the mill. It was the only way to stay sane while performing the tedious labor.

I had five gardens in the yard of the house I was renting, and I was studying urban farming at the local permaculture research institute. So I was almost constantly daydreaming about someday having my own land where I could plant trees and raspberry bushes. The dreams weren’t new but prevalent in mind because of how I was spending my free time.

The harmonies are well-placed as the song unfolds. What do you think they bring out in this particular track — either in the music or the message?

I think our vocals are a strong suit for us, so we try to harmonize in arrangements as often as possible. Kendl has a very emotionally powerful voice, so it fit perfectly when Kendl opted to sing the entire second verse with me.

I appreciate the gentle arrangement of the song. How would you describe the experience of recording the song and working with Dave Simonett?

The arrangement for the song arose organically. We recorded the whole record playing together, sitting across from each other in a room, just like we would have played the songs live.

Kendl had worked out the melody on an open-back banjo in the clawhammer style, and it sounded great to me, so we kept it that way — except she used her Ome banjo on the recording instead of the open-back. I don’t think fingerstyle banjo would have served the longing vibe of the song very well. I wrote the song on guitar and I was playing guitar when I showed it to Kendl, so when we went to record it, I played guitar.

Dave produced the whole record with a pretty gentle hand. He would offer suggestions whenever he had them, but for the most part, we kept the original arrangements we had already been playing the songs live with. My six-string was actually in the shop the day we had that session, but Dave had a 1973 Martin D-35 in the studio that sounded great and played real easy — so I recorded that song with it. - CMT Edge

"Song of the Week: The Lowest Pair's "Oh Susannna""

Very rarely do two people, separated by mountains, rivers and 1,600 miles, get to share something so utterly touching -- it's as if they've never parted. Enter the Lowest Pair, a banjo driven duo fronted by Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee.

The group's latest single, "Oh Susanna" is a modern twist on the old time classic (written by Stephen Foster). Although it barely resembles the original, the Lowest Pair's version is rooted in deep Southern charm and an intense feeling of longing.

"When I wrote our version of 'Oh Susanna' I was driving south on the I-5 corridor between Seattle to Olympia. I had performed solo in the city and was happy about the performance but was feeling lonely in the experience. I think overall I was just in a lonesome space, working alone, sleeping alone, being alone for the first time in years," singer Winter tells The Sitch.

She and Lee's banjos intertwine with ease, emoting softer than the instruments usually do. Despite their resonance and volume, the twin tracks allow Winter's Nicks-esque vocals to cut through the mix with devastating effect.

"I started singing that old tune to myself and then all of the sudden it was different and I just let it swirl around in my head down the highway. I got home and wrote it down and when I took the train out to the Midwest to visit Palmer in Minneapolis I played it for him. It was really natural for us to arrange the double banjo backing and harmonies to it. Some songs are like that … they just fall into place simply." - The Bluegrass Situation


"36 Cents"  -Debut Record released in January of 2014 on Team Love Records



The Lowest Pair is a quirky, old-time roots influenced duet featuring the high lonesome harmonies of banjo pickin' songsters Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee.  They perform both traditional and original music, often nestling in somewhere in between.  Arkansas born, and homesteading in Olympia, WA, Kendl is a solo artist on the indie record label K Records and toured for years with a string band previous to the Lowest Pair.  Palmer hails from Minneapolis, MN and is the front man of high energy midwest bluegrass festival favorites, The Boys n' the Barrels.  The two met in early 2013 and began discussing the idea of a primarily double banjo project.  Shortly thereafter they hit the road with their banjos and an old guitar.  They collaborated with Dave Simonette of Trampled By Turtles to produce and record their debut record, "36Ă‚Ë˜" put out by Team Love Records.  Since then they have  supported tours with Trampled By Turtles and Elephant Revival, and found themselves on various stages across the country.  This dynamic duo is getting attention nationally for the authentic quality of their city folk front and back porch sound.

Band Members