PRESS RELEASE – JULY 2008
JEZ LOWE AND THE BAD PENNIES – “NORTHERN ECHOES – LIVE ON THE TYNE”
Advance warning of a new “live” album by Jez Lowe, slated for September release in North America, and October in the UK. The package features not only an audio CD recorded “live” at a concert in Gateshead on Tyne in February 2008, but a bonus DVD of last year’s much acclaimed “Song For Geordie” tour, which saw Jez and the band, plus special guests, present an evening of music from their native North East England, augmented by archive footage and photographs.
This new album, celebrating the people and music of a very special part of England, comes hot on the heels of Jez’s recent nomination as “Folksinger of the Year” in the prestigious BBC Folk Awards, and his last CD “Jack Common’s Anthem” nominated as album of the year in the US-based indie-Acoustic Project awards.
Having written some of the most widely-sung new folk songs of the last twenty years, recorded by the likes of Fairport Convention, Gordon Bok, the Tannahill Weavers, Cherish the Ladies, The Dubliners and scores more, Jez has chosen to delve deeply into his back catalogue of compositions for this new collection, revisiting many songs from his early albums, many of which have been unavailable for some time. The twenty-plus new songs he wrote for the Sony-Radio Award-winning BBC Radio Ballads series in 2006 remain untouched, as Jez and the band move through seventeen earlier favourites, such as A CALL FOR THE NORTH COUNTRY, CHICK HENDERSON’S MARCH, CURSED BE THE CALLER and A HARD LIFE FOR A ROVER.
The “SONG FOR GEORDIE “ repertoire delved even deeper, in an attempt to put a bunch of Jez’s songs into context with a long tradition of North Eastern “Geordie” songwriters, stretching from historical figures like Joe Wilson and Tommy Armstrong (the latter called by Ewan MacColl “the father of modern protest song”), to more recent local heroes like Mark Knopfler, Alan Hull and Ed Pickford. The DVD included with the new album visits all of these writers, along with stunning footage shot by local people and communities who have known their fair share of good times and bad times, and yet have always had plenty to sing about. The music of Jez Lowe has now taken its place alongside these stalwarts of song, as the region looks forward to the future.
Following a long summer of UK folk festivals, Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies tour the USA and Canada throughout September and October 2008, followed by a UK tour, taking them up to the end of the year.