I tend to be pretty loyal to artists that I like. I find it interesting to take the musical journey with them through all their shifts and changes. There is nothing more boring than an artist who sticks to the same formula over decades. The only constant in life is change. I am a much different man than I was in my Twenties and I am sure I will be equally different in my Sixties. Good artists help us understand the times we are in, but also help reflect back what we are experiencing in our various stages of life.
I am intrigued by the fact that many of my musical heroes are in the throes of their golden years. As was the case when I was younger they are paving the way for what comes next in our life expereince. Some of them struggle to hold on to their youth, relevance and swagger, while others seem more comfortable with their changing circumstances and adapt/reinvent accordingly. Nick Lowe definitely fits in this latter category.
Nick has gone through some fascinating changes in his journey as an artist and producer. From the 1970s on it’s been intriguing to watch him grow as a singer-songwriter with changes each and every decade. He has dabbled in everything from pub rock, new wave and pop to country music and the old standards. He has worked with artists as diverse as The Damned, Rockpile, The Bay City Rollers, Dave Edmunds, Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, John Hiatt, Johnny Cash and Wilco.
Where he was once was a brash, talented artist having fun and letting it rip, you now feel like you are in the presence of a wise old uncle who has been there and done that. He seems very comfortable in his own skin and is now more interested in sharing his deeper more intimate thoughts about life in a much more understated yet resonant way. I’ve always believed that all truly gifted singer-songwriters can hold your attention with just a guitar and break your heart with a lyric.
I never would have pictured the guy who wrote “Cruel To be Kind” now enjoying a reemergence as a white haired crooner. His last few albums have been fantastic if you are into this latest more mellow vibe. I especially like his song, “When I Write The Book.” Enjoy…
- Various Artists: Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe (Review) (popmatters.com)
- Music History #14: “Marie Provost” (mentalfloss.com)
- What’s so funny ’bout Peace, Love and Understanding (caveoffame.wordpress.com)