The Headmaster of British Rock Returns!

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I am very jazzed about this! I’ve been a Nick Lowe fan for decades, and drove several hours to see him in a live concert just a few years ago. Now he is releasing a new album. If you’re not very familiar with Nick Lowe and his long career, you should start with Basher, a decent compilation CD; if you’re already a fan, go straight for The Doings, his career-spanning boxed set.

For a picture of me and Nick Lowe, and more information about his new release, see more below.

Me and NickThe Headmaster of British Rock Returns!

June 26 marks the long-awaited return of Nick Lowe, when Yep Roc Records releases At My Age, his first album in nearly six years. The album finds Lowe, one of the architects of pub rock, British punk and new wave, exploring a nuanced musical palette, colored with horns, strings, and country flourishes. Lowe wrote nine new songs for At My Age and excavated three gems originally recorded by Charlie Feathers, The Uniques, and Farron Young.

The buzz for At My Age is already strong, and the full blitz begins today, with mentions in USA Today, Billboard.com, Harp Magazine Online and Paste Magazine Online. USA Today’s Elysa Gardner calls the album “rootsy and eclectic, mixing pop and country textures.” We call it just about perfect, and well worth the wait.

At My Age was recorded in London, and produced by Lowe and Neil Brockbank. It features Lowe on rhythm guitar and bass, accompanied by his steady band – drummer Bobby Irwin, keyboardist Geraint Watkins, and guitarist Steve Donnelly – plus special guests, including Chrissie Hynde and Bill Kirchen, among others.

The album opens with “A Better Man,” a gorgeous ballad with a brass section and slip-note piano that evoke Johnny Cash and Floyd Cramer respectively. It’s followed by “Long Limbed Girl,” which adds banjo and even more horns to the mix, and is perhaps the most fully realized execution to date of what Lowe calls the “diary set to music,” writing style that he has mined on recent albums. Track three “I Trained Her To Love Me,” is a classic Lowe construct, about, in his words, “a complete twat,” adding, “who I frankly have been in the past, as have other men.” Track five, “Hope For Us All,” is a beautifully ardent ode to the power of love, and perhaps the first pop song to use the word “feckless.” Lowe describes the album closer, Virgin’s “Feel Again,” as “a bit like a Dean Martin country record,” but a similar mood of sophistication, wit, and uncluttered emotion pervades much of At My Age.

At My Age arrives just over thirty years after Nick Lowe made his debut as a solo artist, but his recording career stretches back another decade still. As the bassist and primary songwriter for Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe was one of the primary catalysts of the pub rock phenomenon in the early 1970s. As the co-founder and house producer at Stiff Records, he would help create the blueprint for the modern indie rock label, and usher in British punk and new wave, helming historic recordings for The Damned, Elvis Costello, and The Pretenders, not to mention his own releases of the time. In recent years, Lowe has recorded a string of more intimate, personal – and critically acclaimed – solo albums including The Impossible Bird, Dig My Mood, and The Convincer.

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