Link to Living Tradition Homepage





JEZ LOWE - The Jez Lowe Fellside Collection 

JEZ LOWE - The Jez Lowe Fellside Collection 
Fellside Recordings FECD286 

Jez is rightly regarded as one of the most important and successful singer/songwriter performers on the latter-day folk scene; he’s already chalked up an impressive 40-year career as a recording artist. This has brought a constant – and consistent – flow of truly excellent, highly memorable original songs (an enormous number of which, being extensively covered, have readily entered the core repertoire of modern-day folk tradition) which with innate humanity and unnerving percipience both chronicle and comment on everyday life and posit universal truths through a range of emotional states, by means of canny wordsmithery employing generously colloquial yet easily understandable language.

Here Fellside label boss Paul Adams celebrates his discovery and championship of Jez’s talent through the release of this convenient, compact five-disc set containing everything Jez recorded for Fellside between 1980 and 1993 – viz. six full albums (five solo plus the first with his Bad Pennies) plus a plethora of enticing bonus tracks and rarities mostly taken from sundry special projects and themed compilations, variously recorded between 1985 and last year. The avid Lowe-Lifer will note, however, that Jez’s fine 1986 duo album with Jake Walton, Two A Roue, is excluded from this set on the grounds that it is “not a strictly home-grown Fellside album”; but compensation comes in the form of a previously unreleased 1991 live recording of its best-known song, The Bergen.

To have recorded just these half-dozen albums alone would have ensured Jez a place in the folk hall of fame – but his astounding prolicity has extended apace right to this day. (Who was it rhymed “after forty years a man’s out of ideas”? – to him I reply “had away, gan on”!) The Fellside Collection is a handsomely-presented box; it’s simply essential, and will be eagerly embraced by recent converts and die-hard Jez Lowe fans alike.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine