Durham singer and songwriter Jez Lowe, who has spent the last two decades taking his songs of his native region around the folk festivals and concert halls of Britain and beyond, is embarking on a tour of Northern Britain that he feels will vividly bring to life his favourite local songs, as well his own compositions, for audiences of all ages, tastes and accents.
Aided by a six-piece troop of fellow musicians and singers, plus exclusive visual backdrops of local film and fine artwork, Jez has drawn together a ninety minute presentation based loosely on the successful series 'A song for Geordie', that he wrote and presented for BBC Radio Two in 2001. His recent role in the Sony Radio Award-winning Radio Ballads series, also for Radio Two, and for which he wrote over twenty new songs, has inspired him to compile a montage of the familiar and obscure ballads from the industrial, rural and urban North East, of yesterday and today, delivered in that much-envied Geordie style of humour, sensitivity and raucous bonhomie.
The show is produced in conjunction with North Yorkshire company Badapple Theatre, fresh from their recent sell-out success across the region with their play about James Herriot, entitled "An Honorary Yorkshireman". This new musical production follows the same path, concentrating as it does on bringing a top quality professional production to small theatres and village halls in the district, or as Badapple's director Kate Bramley calls it, "Professional doorstep theatre". Kate is also one of the musicians on this new "Geordie" production, along with award-winning Northumbrian bagpiper Andy May, celebrated Durham-based singer and actor Benny Graham, bass-player David de la Haye, and BBC Young Tradition winner Shona Mooney on fiddle. The songs, by North Eastern composers ranging from Tommy Armstrong to Mark Knopfler, from Joe Wilson to Alan Hull, as well as traditional folksongs and those by Jez himself, represent a Tyneside legacy that is the envy of singers and players the world over, as Jez has found on his regular tours across America, Canada, Australia and of course, Europe and the UK. They possess, he says, that same basic attraction shared by the best Irish, Scots and American country music that have all stamped their mark on the world's musical tastes. He, and many more like him, feel it is time that the songs that Geordie sang are given the chance to shine as brightly, and this tour of Northern England and Scotland seems like the best way to get that Geordie ball rolling.
For details of tour dates, go to ExploreMusic's 'What's On' pages and type 'Jez Lowe's A Song for Geordie' in the search box
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