Interview with Jez Lowe

Jez Lowe is a folk artist hailing from the North East of England He has been making great music since 1980, and warrants your attention if you like strong lyrics a charming voice and beautiful folk guitar.

When did you decide you were going to make your living playing music?

J – It was always a hope, but it was a gradual decision. I studied at college for a few years and by the time I finished that, I knew I was going to give it a go as a profession.

How do you write your lyrics?

I keep a note-book and a small tape recorder and take notes for both lyrics and melodies as I travel around, then let them ferment until I make the big step of putting things down on paper. It can take a long time, or it can happen very quickly.

What are you favorite lyrical themes?

People and relationships, and the context in which they occur. Often with a background of North east England where I come from.

What kind of effect do you think The Internet has had on music?

Good and bad. The accessability has good sides and bad sides. I don’t worry about “rip-offs” or illegal downloads really. But the easiness for people to make music and present it has perhaps diluted the quality of the finished product. But also given us some great new songs!

Do you follow any new bands or singers?

Always try to hear everyone that I hear about. Lots of great new players emerging all the time on the acoustic scene.

Why do you think the music you make is important?

I don’t really think of it in those terms. I get a kick out of doing it, and from other people enjoying it. When I hear other performers talking about their stuff as being “significant and important” it just puts me off.

Do you see yourself as part of a scene or artistic movement?

Part of a world-wide folk movement.

What do you think about Obama’s election?

Thrilling. Fresh, clean, hopeful – what more can we ask for? I hope America gives him the long-term chance he deserves, and the world deserves.

What has kept you making music all these years?

I just love it. It’s the most important thing for me, rightly or wrongly. Sometimes I forget to eat because I’m too busy thinking about playing music.

How many instruments can you play?

Mainly just guitar-type things, plus harmonica and a bit of keyboards and tin-whistle. Banjo, mandolin, cittern.

When are you playing in The United States again?
I’m at Old Songs Festival near Albany NY in late June with a bunch of other gigs on the east coast. Can’t wait to come back!