Jez Lowe is a singer-songwriter from County Durham, who tours internationally and whose songs have been covereed by the likes of Mary Black, Fairport Convention, The Dubliners, The Tannahill Weavers, Cherish The Ladies, Gordon Bok, The McCalmans, The Black Brothers, Liam Clancy, Bob Fox and literally hundreds of others.
In 2008, Jez was nominated as “Folksinger of the Year” in the BBC Folk awards, and was the 2009 winner of the Indie-Acoustic Award for “Best Lyrics”. Back in 2006 Jez was one of the principle songwriters in the award-winning BBC series The Radio Ballads. In all, he has so far written almost forty songs over the last five years for the Radio Ballads series, many of which such as “Taking On Men” and “The Miami” have already become widely-sung folk classics, and Jez has developed a special concert performance that includes a varying selection of these songs, under the title of “The Muse MacColl”, referencing the instigator of the Radio Ballads format, Ewan MacColl.
The Radio Ballads series, along with other much-acclaimed special commissions like The Darwin Project and All Along The Wall, has enabled Jez to expand his writing and performing styles greatly in recent years, without diverging from his own much admired and unique approach to his craft.
“My only visit to Northern Ireland during the Troubles was in 1977, en route to a music festival in County Clare via the Stranraer-Larne ferry. Driving through Belfast, what struck me most of all was its similarity to the cities of Northern England, but with the effects of the Troubles very plain to see. My own family were from Southern Ireland, but my grandparents had always made us aware of the conflicts and reason behind them.
In 2005, the BBC asked me to write songs for their new Radio Ballads series, based on the format instigated by Ewan MacColl in the late 1950’s. It was for one of these programmes, THIRTY YEARS OF CONFLICT, that I wrote THE MIAMI and DEAR MR.BOMBER. It was a bitter-sweet undertaking for me. I can vividly remember the tragedy that befell the Miami Showband, because a member of my own band in those days had recently seen the Miami group doing a show in Liverpool when the incident occured. The humour I tried to inject into DEAR MR.BOMBER came from the interviewee in the BBC programme itself, who somehow managed to see the irony in what had happened to him. I have visited Northern Ireland more in recent years and always had a fine time among fine people.”
“One of the folkscene’s great unsung heroes.”
MIKE HARDING, BBC RADIO 2
“A profoundly impressive new album. Lowe has earned the right to be counted among England’s finest contemporary songwriters.”
DAILY TELEGRAPH, UK
“An excellent matching of old and new”
“The best songwriter to come out of England in a long time”
“the work of a songwriter at the top of his game”
The Ballad Beyond (2014)
Heads Up: 18 Essential Jez Lowe Songs (2012)
Jack Common’s Anthem (2007)
Back Shift: a collection of songs from 1980 to 1986 (1992)
Bad Penny (1988)
Galloways Fellside FE 049 (1985)
The Old Durham Road Fellside FE 034 (1983)
Jez Lowe Fellside FE 023 (1980)
Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies
Northern Echoes: Live on the Tyne (2008) (two discs – CD live Feb. 2008; DVD live Nov. 2007)
Tantobie Twinset – The Parish Notices + Honesty Box (2007)
Honesty Box (2002)
Live at the Davy Lamp (2000)
The Parish Notices (1998)
Bede Weeps (1993)
Briefly on the Street (1990)