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6th July 2022

Jez Lowe

Over the past four decades, Jez Lowe has been one of the UK’s busiest singer-songwriters, playing for audiences the world over, either solo, (with guitar, cittern, mandolin and harmonica accompaniment), or with his long-time band The Bad Pennies. He has taken his songs of North-East England to concerts and festivals all across Europe, Canada and the USA, as well as building a sizeable following in Australia and New Zealand. Along the way he has gathered a long list of awards and nominations, including from the BBC Folk Awards and the Sony Radio Awards. His pace and enthusiasm for writing, performing and touring shows no sign of waning.  

Jez Lowe’s self-penned songs are among the mostly widely sung wherever folk and acoustic music is performed around the world. Over the last couple of decades, the likes of Fairport Convention, The Dubliners, The Unthanks, Wizz Jones, The McCalmans, Mary Black, The Duhks, Bob Fox, The Young Uns, Enda Kenny, Cherish The Ladies, Tom McConville, The Clancys and scores more, have queued up to adopt his songs for their own repertoires.

No wonder no less than Richard Thompson has called him “The best singer songwriter to come out of the UK for a long time”, and personally invited him to play at Thompson’s Meltdown Festival at London’s South Bank Centre in 2010.  

Jez Lowe’s contributions to the on-going BBC Radio series The Radio Ballads has cemented this reputation, with a Sony Radio Award among the many accolades coming its way. The project culminated in a live BBC Radio 2 broadcast In November 2018 to commemorate The Great War Centenary that featured Jez alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and narrator Michael Morpurgo. 

Jez is also known for his collaborations with fellow artists, notably a long-established partnership with Canadian songwriter James Keelaghan, and a recent duo stint with ace guitarist Steve Tilston that resulted in a best-selling album, “The Janus Game” in 2018. Most notably,as part of The Pitmen Poets (with Bob Fox, Benny Graham and Billy Mitchell), Jez has helped to rekindle the fire in the tradition of mining songs and culture of his native region in a series of sell-out theatre performances around the UK. 

As BBC Radio DJ Mike Harding said recently, “No-one else writes or sounds like Jez Lowe”, and chances are, even if you’ve never heard the man himself, you’ll have heard his songs, sung at festivals, club-gigs, open-mikes or on CD, by the great and good, the professional and the enthusiast, the young and not-so-young. What higher accolade could a songwriter hope for?

Jez Lowe is one of our finest songwriters.’ BBC Radio 2



 
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