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Saturday, February 22

Album Review: Levi Lowrey - Self Titled Album - Feb 25th, 2014

Levi Lowrey is no stranger to making music. He’s probably most well known for his collaborative work with the Zac Brown Band; but if that’s all you know about him, you’re missing the good stuff. For his eponymous ep, due out February 25th, Levi delivers fifteen tales that not only connect with everyone in rural America, but also tell the story of a man who is maturing. No, for Levi Lowrey, there is no “All American.” This is serious, contemplative music all the way through. The album opens with “Picket Fences,” a story about a man who is pining for a life he can never get back to. The next track, “December 31, 11:59” is a well written version of an old story. The story of a less-than-stellar year and the potential for positive change.  “Trying Not to Die” is the archetypal coming of age song, but again, Lowrey’s songwriting makes it feel fresh. He’s descriptive; lines like “even my bike would hold its breath” let the listener connect with his memories and share in the excitement of racing toward the makeshift bike ramp.  For “High and Lonesome” Lowrey tones it down a bit to take a long look at a man who, to some degree, is enjoying his unplanned solitude. The next track, “That Is All,” has a dirty-funky feel. Not what one might expect from a song with such religious overtones, but damn it’s got the funk.   He keeps strolling through the church-centered rural life with “Before the Hymnal Died” and he tells the story of many-a southerner with “I’ve Held the Devil’s Hand” and its references to Sunday morning Christianing. It’s a fun tune and, like the rest of the album, although it tells a familiar story, it does so in a creative and descriptive way. The “Blood of the Lamb” breakdown at the end is tent revival quality good.  “Urge for Leaving” looks at the life of a boy growing up in a broken home. It takes a self-loathing turn for the urge in his own eyes. The song continues to follow Lowrey’s story of gaining a new father and then losing his mother.  This is the point in the album, and I hate writing this, where the steam trails off. “Window Pane Soul” and “What She Don’t Know” slowly tell stories confusion, unrequited love and friend-zone lovers. “Barely Getting By’s” bright sounding guitar brings the mood up a bit with the journey to the “top rung” and losing touch with family.  “Don’t Blame Me” starts out with a promising sound and turns into a fun little ditty; “don’t ask me no questions, and I won’t have to leave.” “Long Way Home” is a beautiful guitar song with throwbacks to earlier sounds of church in the album.  The final two tracks, “Flywheel” and an ass-kicking cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” help the album to finish on a high note. Levi Lowrey has a couple of throw-away tracks, but overall it’s a great piece of work. 
Words: Dan Fugate
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