Lowell Thompson Band
w/ Kelly Ravin
Monday, March 28, 2016
18+ $5 // 21+ FREE
When it’s time to make a record, you can go to a studio or you can take your friends and set up in somebody’s house. If there are cemeteries to the north and south, the neighbors are dead anyway, and so who cares if you play all night? Not long ago, Lowell Thompson went to a house in Burlington, Vermont’s Old North End and stood in the kitchen with his guitar, looked out over the microphone and gas range to his regular band in the little living room, and recorded Stranger’s Advice just as they played it: drums, guitars, bass and vocals.
They’ve played together a lot. He’s played a lot for a lot of years – with his band, with other bands (RayLand Baxter, Barbacoa, etc.), by himself (touring as Graham Parker’s handpicked opener). He’s moved around, back and forth to Texas to California. But he orbits back to his native Vermont and the same musicians who’ve backed him on stage for a decade and who set up their instruments in the living room to make Stranger’s Advice.
These songs are pure pop, charging along with crashing choruses, guitar countermelody, and surprise changes (spoiler alert: the solo acoustic opener doesn’t stay solo or acoustic). They zig-zag away from pigeonhole – the plaintive singer-songwriter tune becomes a caveman-rhythm dirge before taking a honky-tonk turn.
Lowell’s easy voice moves seamlessly between spitty indictment (Rose Petals), moody defenselessness (Morning), and breathless rave-up (Honey It’s True). He merges styles without drawing attention to his clever arrangements. It sounds like good music.
Born and raised in rural Brooks, ME, Kelly Ravin started playing guitar at the age of 9. He grew up playing in numerous bands in the Waldo County area until the age of 18, when Kelly moved to Vermont to persue a career as working musician. Since then, Kelly has toured all across the country, been a part of 5 full length albums, and shared the stage with some great people as part of Burlington outlaw rock outfit Waylon Speed.