North Carolina banjo picker Andy Lowe is preparing to release his first solo project, due around the first of December. The 29 year old has been performing regionally with Rockford Express and The Loose Cannons, and also served for a time as banjo player with Jeanette Williams.
Andy first came to notoriety as the 2011 banjo champion at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, and after recording an album last year with Rockford Express, Straight for Bluegrass Hill, he has decided to make one himself. So he’s been spending time at Josh Pickett’s Creekside Studios in Cana, VA getting all the tracks cut.
In the studio with Lowe have been Josh Pickett on guitar, Joe Hannabach on bass, Jamie Harper and Rick Lowe on fiddle, Alex McKinney on resonator guitar, and Nick Keen and Adam Steffey on mandolin. Only three of the twelve tracks are instrumentals, with vocals on the others provided by Joey Lemons, Dustin Pyrtle, Rick Lowe, James Bernabe, Pete Wright, and Jesse Smathers. Andy, his fiancé Sierra Wilson, and Rick Lowe handled the harmony parts.
Here’s a thumbnail description of the album he provided.
“The album is titled Motley, after the somewhat, erm, ‘peculiar’ selection of songs I’ve chosen to cut. You’ll find covers of Monroe and Scruggs standards interspersed with covers of Alice in Chains hits.
Cutting the Alice in Chains tune No Excuses scared the heck out of me, but I wanted to try it on for size. It actually has a killer chord progession that lends itself very well to bluegrass.
We even took a crack at They Call the Wind Mariah, from the Broadway play-turned-film, Paint Your Wagon, that saw Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin crooning in the desert. I had to cover that one. I just wanted to put my own unique twist on the everyday banjo album; that was both a challenge and a thrill.”
Other numbers on Motley will include bluegrass classics like Shuckin’ The Corn, Kentucky Waltz, Devil In Disguise, and I’m On My Way Back to the Old Home, and the early jazz standard Bye Bye Blues.