Music

In recent years I have played gigs at Toronto’s Tranzac club, the Free Times Café, local festivals and private events. Pianist Bill Gilliam and I were among the performers at the 2013 Brewers Plate in the CBC Atrium. Here are a few recordings from my self-produced CD, The Road Back Home. Click on the mp3 links below to listen.

The title of the CD echoes the last line of Stan Rogers’ song Northwest Passage: “to find there but the road back home again”. I was also thinking of T.S. Eliot’s poem, Little Gidding, which my friend Ross Woodman read at my wedding.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

The Road Back Home is available online from Bandcamp by clicking the link below, or you can order a CD from Ecotone Productions.

Chris Lowry: The Road Back Home by Chris Lowry

A note of interconnection: The incomparable David Woodhead, who recorded my CD in his Albany Avenue studio, played bass in Stan Rogers’ band on the Fogarty’s Cove record and in many live performances. David’s music can be found at www.davidwoodhead.com

25 Mar 2011

Folky

No Comments Music

Dirty Old Town

(Ewan MacColl)

My inspiration was the Pogues. We played with the arrangement to make something new, and I think we did bring out some primal loneliness with Teilhard’s bodhran and the Ansgar’s harp solo.

Millworker

(James Taylor)

Like John Prine’s ballad “Angels from Montgomery” this song is about suffering and regret written by a man in a woman’s persona. Full of defiance, it cuts to the heart of a factory worker’s boredom and a poor single mother’s desperation. Yet in her dreams she soars toward the light. This is probably the first time Francis Cabrel’s French version has been mixed with James Taylor’s lyrics.

25 Mar 2011

Rocky

No Comments Music

Saint James Infirmary

(traditional)

When I came across the lyrics to this song in a book, it conjured up a long-dormant memory. I must have heard Louis Armstrong’s recording of it when I was a kid, so this arrangement grew out of that fragment of melody. This song has the alchemical power to take a singer deep down inside where that paradox of the blues happens, where sadness becomes energy, where grief is transmuted into joy.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

(Robbie Robertson)

This one reminds me of my dad, Ben Hugh Lowry (1919-1992). Like Virgil Cane, he had a particularly Southern sense of betrayal in his blood, and a fierce courage. When I was very small he had a wonderfully aromatic cigarette lighter with a Confederate flag on it. One of my earliest, fondest memories is the magic of that lighter, because when you flipped the lid open it played Dixie and burst into flame.