Saturday, January 15, 2011

Four decades of Nick Lowe

Amazing what you'll find on YouTube. Here's an overview of one of my favorite singer-songwriter's careers.

Starting with the Pub Rock legends Brinsley Schwarz, who formed in the late '60s (great 'do, Nick). That's Lowe on guitar, Ian Gomm bass, Billy Rankin drums, Bob Andrews B-3 and Brinsley piano.

Next, from '78, with Rockpile (Billy Bremner and Dave Edmunds guitars, Terry Williams drums). Given all the costume changes, there's clearly lip-synching going on, and yet the music was done live.

About five years later, it's "Half a Boy and Half a Man," with Paul Carrack keys, Marty Belmont (of the Rumour!) guitar, drummer unknown. Back when Lowe was Johnny Cash's son-in-law.

A few years later, he remade one of the Rockpile-era classics, with some help from Huey Lewis and the News:

In 1990, he did a great live set on VH1 (on a show hosted by Nile Rodgers' -- that's right, from Chic) that I saw when it first aired. Elvis Costello did the best-known version of this, but the Brinsleys recorded it in '72 or '73.

And here's a recent performance of a newer number. He's come full-circle, as the Brinsleys fashioned themselves as a country-folk band. Lowe's become a bit of a contemporary country troubadour in his 60s. Marty Robbins could have performed something like this. Hope he's on the road nearby sometime soon ...

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