John Lowell’s musical journey began when he crept into his older sister’s room when he was 12 years old to play her guitar. Since that time, he’s gone on to become a triple threat – he’s a clean, dynamic guitar player, a clear voiced singer and a respected songwriter. He’s lived for many years in Southwest Montana, carving out a music career while living in the mountains of the Yellowstone ecosystem. John’s first endeavor on the guitar was learning John Denver songs, but upon meeting a classmate that played the banjo while in high school, he was bit by the bluegrass bug. While he still enjoys playing bluegrass, his tastes have expanded to most types of acoustic music. John is in great demand as a teacher in the US, Canada, Europe and the UK, and travels abroad to all those countries often to teach at music camps and to tour. In 2019, he retains his title at Sorefingers Music Camp in Cotswald, UK as the guitar teacher who has taught more than any other.
John Lowell’s songs have been recorded by several groups, most notably his song about love gone wrong in the Old West – Sarah Hogan. He’s played on Garrison Keillor’s radio show A Prairie Home Companion with his duo The Growling Old Men. He’s played the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival stage for several years with his band Kane’s River, the Telluride stage with Loose Ties, and at the Vancouver Folk Festival with the John Lowell Band along with hundreds of other performances in the last 30 years in locations from Shetland to San Bernardino.
John Lowell remained tethered in the Bozeman area for several decades while his children were young and took a few jobs that allowed him to stay connected with his love of guitars and playing – he became the purchasing agent at Gibson Guitars. This allowed him to travel the world and meet many of the luthiers who are still producing gorgeous instruments today including Dan Roberts, Bruce Weber, Kevin Kopp and John Walker. John’s instrumental skill landed him on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. He won the coveted Best Musician in Bozeman award from Music Villa, one of the leading showrooms for acoustic music in the Mountain West.
After a solo CD released in 2012, and multiple releases with the Growling Old Men, Kane’s River, and his own European touring band – the John Lowell Band, it was time to produce a record with friends he’d met along the way.
2018 was spent recording in Lowell’s home studio and contacting a who’s who in music, and the project is finally coming together. “This Long Stretch Of Gravel – John Lowell & friends” features 11 original songs with collaborators 8 time IBMA Award winner Becky Buller, 7 time IBMA winner Missy Raines, Classical/Bluegrass cellist Joy Adams, Legendary fiddle player/composer/trailblazer/Berklee faculty member Darol Anger, Multiple award winner/songwriter/vocalist/banjo player Ron Block, IBMA winner and Grammy nominee/banjo player/producer/vocalist Greg Cahill, Internationally recognized clawhammer banjo player/songwriter/vocalist Chris Coole, Grammy and IBMA winning fiddle player/writer/singer Jeremy Garrett, IBMA winner/broadcaster /songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Chris Jones, IBMA and Grammy winning dobro player/vocalist/songwriter Andy Hall, IBMA winner and Grammy nominated legendary vocalist/songwriter Claire Lynch, IBMA winner/producer/ vocalist/ guitarist Stephen Mougin, IBMA winner/songwriter/banjo player/vocalist Joe Newberry, Grammy winner/founder of Little Feat, keyboardist/songwriter /vocalist Bill Payne, IBMA and Grammy winner/Juno nominee/mandolin player/ songwriter/vocalist John Reischman, Folk/Bluegrass/Jazz performer/ composer/vocalist/songwriter Ben Somers, Multiple award winner in Canada and the US for mandolin and fiddle/vocalist Jason Thomas and American Roots/ Bluegrass/String music mandolin player/vocalist/Berklee faculty member Joe K. Walsh. IBMA engineer of the year Ben Surratt mixed the project, which will be released in 2019.
“I first met John over 25 years ago when we were both subbing with the bluegrass band Loose Ties on a southwest tour. It was great to get to know him and play music together. The tour was a blast and included some great shows as well as some time off at a remote ranch in rural Arizona that included a party that could have been out of cowboy Fellini movie. I’m very happy to be a part of John’s excellent new CD all these years later!” recalls John Reischman, mandolin player and leader of John Reischman and the Jaybirds.
John Reischman is one of the featured performers on John Lowell’s upcoming CD, scheduled for a 2019 release. Watch this space for updated information as we get it.
John Lowell has been a working musician for more than 35 years in the Bozeman Montana area. He’s well known for his work over the years with Medicine Wheel, Wheel Hoss, Deep River, Kane’s River, Loose Ties, the Growling Old Men, the John Lowell Band (a European touring group), Two Bit Franks and the Lone Mountain Trio. John will also be touring Canada this year with Miles Zurawell and Nico Humby. All touring information can be found on the Tour tab.
John’s an in demand instructor in guitar, voice, songwriting and arranging and in 2019 will be teaching at Sore Fingers, Nimble Fingers, Montana Fiddle Camp, Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, his own Fishing Musician camp and a few private workshops. More information can be found on the Tour tab.