Indie American/Folk genre. Jen Lowe is a singer, songwriter, percussionist, loves to giggle…always on the hunt for the next adventure and balance. In the Indie American/Folk space, Jen Lowe is as good as it gets. If you’re looking for a new artist to add to your collection of great finds – look no further. Jen Lowe is that rare artist who does it perfectly — writes, sings and performs. Here’s what Ron Wiles, Producer of the Ron Wiles Music Show, commented about Jen’s debut CD: Having toured with prestigious national and international artists, Lowe is a journey-woman through and through; armed with a beaten-up backpack stuffed with sentimental keep-sakes of a woman both beloved and scorned. The songs on her debut solo CD, “From the End of this Hallway”, play like bittersweet battle-cries of a great victory won against fallen relationships and personal struggles in a coming-of-age war. And when the dust settles, there’s the lone voice of Jen’s soul, swaying gently, beautifully, between each song like a feather dropping from the heavens between the limbs of Oak trees. Jen’s eternal search for balance and connection in her life comes through strongly in her writing and performance. Never taking herself too seriously in life or on the stage, you will often find her giggling and at ease as she tells a funny anecdote or reaches into her soul to share the darker parts of her journey. She is a true natural performer, whether she’s pounding ferociously on a djembe or gently finger-picking her old guitar; as a multi-instrumentalist, Jen’s shows are spontaneous, fun and never predictable. And it truly resonates. Her stage presence, songwriting, and musical ability have instantly captured audiences from state to state. Her lovelorn poetic verses and catchy choruses will remain in your head, illuminating and fluttering, like fireflies in a mason jar, long after the last note is played.
When was it that you realized you had many talents, eventually becoming an multi-instrumentalist? I don’t know if it was a realization or more of an understanding I have always had with myself. I have always been a curious person, so stretching out and learning new instruments satisfied that curiosity. I love to write, so it seemed only natural to learn guitar in order to put some of those words to music. Once I learned guitar, it opened up so many possibilities for instruments like ukulele and bass and singing. I am not a shredder by any means, but writing on different instruments opens up new doors and ideas.
Was this when you decided to seriously pursue music? Which instrument would you say you gravitate to most when performing Growing up I played music and sports. I have an equal love for both to this day. Truthfully, I thought I was going to go to law school and become an attorney, but music had this pull on me and won over everything. Right now I gravitate to guitar more than anything. I sing and play guitar more than I do anything else – which is funny, because my primary instruments are drums and percussion. Perhaps Don Henley has the same dilemma – LOL.
Who are some of your main influences when it comes to writing? How about performing? I love Jason Isbel. I will admit to being pretty obsessed with him right now. I think he is one of the greatest songwriters of our time. He is a bad ass guitar player as well. So I guess you could say I am influenced by Jason right now. When it comes to performing, I like the style of artists who can really talk to a crowd. When I toured with Jason Mraz, I learned so much from him in that respect. He held the audience in the palm of his hand. He did it by really being himself, being vulnerable and available. I try to do the same thing when I am performing.
If you could explain your music in 4 words, what would those words be? Why? Heady. Heartfelt. Catchy. Authentic. I think they kind of speak for themselves. I am not the songwriter who is trying to get a cut on the radio or in a commercial – not that I would ever turn that down. I write for myself, for what ever it is I am processing or observing or feeling. It’s a form of therapy for me, so when people get it, relate to it and dig it, I am deeply flattered.
What challenges have you faced (if any), being a female musician? Do you feel that it works to your benefit? I think being a female is more challenging than beneficial for me. I don’t aim to play the chick drummer card or the chick guitar player card, etc. I would rather have people simply like what I do because they like what I do. That being said, the challenges come when I am not taken seriously (mostly as a drummer/percussionist) because I am a girl. I have had this struggle since I decided to play drums. With more great female drummers coming on to the scene though, that landscape will slowly change over time. Still, I don’t think we will ever stop hearing “oh cool! a chick drummer!”
Tell us about a recent release, or a recent performance of yours. I did a little mini tour around the NE with Kevin Griffin from Better Than Ezra. We performed as a duo. I played percussion and sang with him. He’s a great guy, and it’s always a blast “rock’n the boxes” with Kevin.
When you aren’t performing or writing, how do you like to spend your spare time? I do some public speaking, brand management, work on my on line store BoomBoom Percussion, and play as much golf as I can fit in to my schedule.
What is in store for you as 2015 wraps up, and the new year rolls in? On December 6, 2015 we will hold our 3rd annual Super Sensitive Dude-A-Palloza at the Charter Oak Cultural Arts Center in Hartford 8PM. This is a time for all of the amazing musicians I know in the Hartford area to get together and perform. It’s part reunion, part holiday celebration and part charity event. We have a good old fashioned ho-down and a great time. I am also continuing my Songwriters In The Round Series at J. Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford, CT. This is the 2nd Friday of every month at 7 PM. I am working on a 3rd record and have started to finally write my book.