29 September 2017

Jez Lowe

Shawna Caspi opens

On Friday, September 29, British folk artist Jez Lowe brings his wide repertoire of songs to the me&thee. Just last year Lowe received double nominations by the BBC Folk Awards for Folksinger of the Year and Best New Song. Lowe has been plying his musical trade for over thirty years and his songs, old and new, are relevant to everyone who hears them. ¶ Canadian singer-songwriter, Shawna Caspi, opens the show.

Concert starts at 8:00 pm

Jez Lowe

Jez Lowe is known primarily for his compositions deal­ing with every­day life in his native North-East England. He grew up witnessing the decline of the coal-mining industry that had defined the region’s economy for many generations and witnessed how that affected his family, friends and neighbors. His latest collection of songs is included in his nineteenth recording, The Ballad Beyond. He has been appearing before audiences across the United States, Canada, Australia, Spain and Denmark, not only as a solo act but sometimes with his long-standing backing band, Bad Pennies.

It took the release of the compilation CD entitled Heads Up: 18 Essential Jez Lowe Songs in 2012 for the acoustic/​folk world to be jolted into realizing that he is rapidly gaining ground as the most “covered” songwriter on the UK circuit. 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 lined 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 series The Radio Ballads has cemented this reputation, with a Sony Radio Award among the many accolades coming its way. Half of the fifteen songs on the latest album, The Ballad Beyond are Radio Ballads songs recorded by their composer for the first time, revealing not only the breadth of the radio series itself, but also that of the writing and subject matter that Jez has striven to reach.

Photo by Karl Andre Photography

. . .

Shawna Caspi

Shawna Caspi opens the show. She performs solo but there’s a whole band under her fingertips. A mighty singer, a story sculptor, and a truth teller, she has toured across Canada and the U.S. and believes in poetry and the power of one person and one instrument, accompanying herself with a remarkable lyrical fingerpicking guitar style. Shawna loves the landscape of her travels and while weaving them into her songs, she has also been portraying them on canvases, painting one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the rich scenery she sees on tour.

Photo by Ian Sinclair

  • Jez Lowe is one of our finest songwriters. BBC Radio 2
  • The best singer songwriter to come out of the UK for a long time Richard Thompson
  • Jez Lowe is one of those musicians who never seems to rest. If he’s not on an overseas tour, Australia, the US, Canada, much of Europe have long fallen under his spell, then he’ll be travelling the length and breadth of the UK, at folk clubs, festivals, village halls, pubs, pretty much anywhere that will put on live music fruk folk & alt. music webzine
  • . . .
  • Shawna Caspi is a singer-songwriter making her mark in the acoustic roots domain of music. I am impressed by her beautiful, life-affirming songs and her warm, confident stage presence. She has a lovely voice and an ability to draw in an audience not only with her intelligent and poetic lyrics of the landscape of our times, but also with her manner of speaking and singing directly to you; each audience member feels embraced is a special dialogue. I believe that she will become yet another of our truly treasured Canadian artists. Lillian Wauthier, Toronto, ON, Artistic Director, Acoustic Harvest
  • It was a real delight to have Shawna Caspi grace the stage at Blue Skies Music Festival this year. The way she interweaves her stories, songs and guitar playing is pure delight for the audience. She takes her music seriously, yet has a playful sense with the audience to engage them with her wonderful music. Julia Phillips, Artistic Director, Blue Skies Music Festival