Saturday, January 15, 2011

Four decades of Nick Lowe

Found on YouTube. Great tunes by one of my favorites.

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 ...