by Kim Ruehl
Over the course of his entire career - whether with bands like Brinsley Schwarz and Rockpile, collaborating with John Hiatt, Elvis Costello, and Ry Cooder, or pursuing his own solo projects - Nick Lowe has proven to be one of the most versatile and influential artists to have touched the craft of songwriting. His music has run the gamut from country to rock and back again, but the influence he's made on contemporary Americana music is perhaps most notable.
Recently, a number of the artists whose careers have been stirred by his influence recorded tracks for a tribute to Lowe's songwriting titled Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe (Fiesta Red Records, Sep. 18, 2012). When you consider the quality of the artists who volunteered for this tribute, the impact Lowe's music has made on the world becomes even clearer. Assembled here are such gifted artists as Amanda Shires, Robert Ellis, Chatham County Line, the Parson Red Heads, Lori McKenna, Ron Sexsmith, Hayes Carll, Colin Gilmore, all of whom use brilliant Lowe tunes as a launching pad for their own creative musical explorations.