The John Lowell Band formed in 2014, backing the Montana based singer/songwriter and guitarist John Lowell, as a touring band for appearances in Europe.
Their successful first tour, with a show at the prestigious Buehl Bluegrass Festival, as well as the fact, that the band members enjoyed working together very much, led to consecutive tours through several European countries each year since then.
While the instrumentation may be typical for a Bluegrass Band, their choice of material, with many of Lowell’s original songs, expands their style into the realms of Jazz, Gospel, Blues and other forms of American Roots music.
John Lowell has been a stalwart of the Montana bluegrass scene for the past 25 years. Fronting two of the regions finest bluegrass bands, Wheel Hoss and Kane’s River, John has set a standard for rock solid guitar playing and great singing. “John Lowell is an engaging vocalist and a facile guitarist,” said Bluegrass Unlimited, adding that, “he is a great storyteller.” Lowell’s songs often show up on the bluegrass radio charts, having been covered by a growing list of contemporary bands: Valerie Smith, Front Range, New Vintage, Bryan Bowers, Bluegrass Etc. John has been featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, he has been compared to some of the finest guitarists in the business.
Lowell first toured solo in Germany in 2010 and continues to be asked back. He has become increasingly popular throughout the United States, Canada and Europe with his graceful playing, expressive original songs and smooth baritone vocals.
Julie Elkins (5string banjo)
Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Julie now makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. She teaches banjo, guitar and vocal lessons, conducts workshops, often flies around the world to perform with several different bands and has recorded all kinds of cool music on various projects throughout the past three decades.
With family roots in East Kentucky, Elkins comes from a long line of bluegrass musicians and singers. By age 12, she was the three-time winner of the Classic West Open Banjo Competition and was invited to join her first band before she was old enough to drive. She’s been a professional musician ever since. Elkins received her bluegrass education while performing a long stint with North Carolina’s renowned bluegrass band, New Vintage. In 1999, she joined the trailblazing bluegrass/Americana band, Kane’s River.
Elkins currently performs with several bands including The John Lowell Band and Diamond Creek.
Tom Murphy adds depth and power to the band’s sound on mandolin.
Tom Murphy has explored the sounds of the mandolin for over three decades. Influenced initially by David Grisman and Sam Bush, Tom quickly realized the mandolin’s versatility in playing many styles of music. His inventive mandolin solos, driving rhythm, and tight harmony vocals add color to a variety of bands in his present hometown of Bozeman, Montana. Current bands include: Two Bit Franks (Bluegrass/Americana) Thermal Grass & Stormy Creek (Bluegrass/Newgrass/Jazz), The John Lowell Band (Bluegrass), Hooligans (Rock/Dylan/Dead), Lone Mountain Trio (Bluegrass/Americana), Little Jane and the Pistol Whips (Americana/Country), Grassy Mountain (Americana) and singer-songwriters Jim Averitt, Chris Cunningham, and Connor Garvey.
With imaginative solos, driving rhythm and precise vocal harmonies, Tom brings color to many bands he performs with in his adopted home of Bozeman, Montana and decisively shapes the sound.
Thomas Kaerner (double bass)
A German multi-instrumentalist with many years of experience as a touring and session musician for numerous acoustic bands, Thomas provides the essential foundation of the band’s sound with his tasteful bass lines and solid rhythm as well as vocals.
Based in northeast Bavaria he has been exposed to many forms of american roots music at an early age, playing piano/keyboards in bands at the age of 14. Increasingly being drawn to Bluegrass in the late 70s, he added mandolin and upright bass to his musical arsenal.
Since then he as been working with several groups including the Munich based Americana band „Grass Root Ties“, the East-German „Fox Tower Bluegrass Band“, and a variety of touring artists from foreign countries like Slavek Hanzlik, John Moore and Ben Winship.
The John Lowell Band is coming back to Europe in October 2019, with John Lowell’s recent Solo CD hot off the press. Another tour for 2020 is in the works.
Their CD „The Skalkaho Road,“ was released in March 2016. A spirited collection of previously unreleased original compositions, combined with a few fresh versions of classic songs pulled from a deep pool of genres ranging from bluegrass and country to swing and blues.
Germany: International Bluegrass Festival Buehl, Greven Grass, Bluegrass Festival Birkenried; Switzerland: Bluegrass in Basel, Sunny Mt. Bluegrass Festival; Netherlands: European World of Bluegrass, Big Bear Festival; Canada: Vancouver Folk Music Festival; Czech Republic: Eurocentrum Jablonec, Bluegrass Theatre Metylovice
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