Post-Country, Nu-Folk, Punk-Ballad, Alt-Indie, how to define the undefinable? Maybe you don’t, Lowell Friesen’s unique interpretation of modern folk music springs from a universe of influences. Raised on country and gospel, growing up with punk and metal, experiments with spoken word and electronic, and aging into traditional folk and Indie-Rock one thing that has remained constant is his love of musical expression. Primarily a singer-songwriter Lowell crafts songs close to the heart, vulnerable and honest, sometimes brazen. A sense of humour always persists. With 6 recording projects under his belt and years of touring experience, Lowell is excited to be back, post covid hiatus with a new record to be released in the Fall of 2023.
Born in Manitoba in a small Mennonite farming community Lowell’s first influences ranged from the church choir harmonies he heard on Sundays to the twangy country tunes his father played when no one was around to listen. Moving to British Columbia in his adolescence he then discovered skateboarding and punk rock which inspired him to get his first guitar. Fueled by the energetic culture of the West Coast, Lowell spent his teens and twenties exploring music, writing and art. From the early 90’s in East Vancouver and a stint at Emily Carr School of Art, to the contemplative quiet life on the family farm in the Okanagan to the years in the Kootenays discovering bass culture and a love of the written word, Lowell’s passion for self-knowledge and expression churned, always just beneath the surface.
In 2010 the dam broke and songs began to flood the landscape of his life. Armed with his shiny new Martin D-35 and rooted in his desire to understand the world and his place in it Lowell’s experience began to coalesce into his expression of folk music. Combining his whimsical poetic license, his simple and honest lyrical structure with understated acoustic riffs, the shape and canon of Lowell’s work began to unfold. For the next 3 years he would write profusely, play with as many people as possible and hone the craft of bringing his songs to the stage.
In 2013 Lowell recorded and released his first EP with singing partner Jayme Mckillop, as Ginger & Rose and played extensively across BC, including a memorable slot at the Arts Wells Festival and a busy summer in the Okanagan.
The next year was full of writing, recording and playing live wherever and whenever he could. Focusing on the songs that would be recorded as his debut LP ‘Home …and Away’ he began work with Producer Ben Beveridge. Recorded in Ben’s home and at Skull Creek Studios in Saskatchewan, produced and engineered by Ben and Aspen Beveridge, and mastered by Corwin Fox, the album emerged as a fundamental building block in his career.
In the spring of 2015 Lowell released the independent self funded 12 song record ‘Home …and Away’ and hit the road. Spanning 3 months and over 50 dates, Lowell traveled coast to coast across Canada delivering his folk fueled gift to new friends and fans along the way. Returning to the West in the fall and settling into the Okanagan, he immediately began pre-production on the next collection of songs inspired by life on the road, the people he met upon it and new lessons learned.
2016 & 2017 were years of hard work, hitting the road, hitting the page with a pen and getting ducks in a row for the next move.
The second record appeared under the name of vonReason in 2018 and featured a more polished indie-folk-rock sound and was completed in collaboration with nephew Lancen Harms. The two would go on to put a full band together and traded in their acoustic guitars for fuzz pedals and electric guitars.
2019 was a write off, a year spent in deep rest...
2020 & 2021 was also a total buzzkill. With the onslaught of Covid Lowell cancelled every show he'd booked and went into hiding, burying himself on the family farm and began prepping for the imminent apocalypse. Alas, no armageddon appeared and with the realization that the world was actually going to continue moving forward with or without him he begrudgingly picked himself up by the bootstraps and began writing again.
2022 was a big year. Moving to Salmon Arm and recording the 'Cup of Sevens' EP at Propel Studios in Kaslo BC triggered a new creative wave. Dipping his toes back into performance Lowell played a handful of shows both as a solo performer and with his band The Whelms, channeling both the angst of his grunge roots and the introspective nature of the folk music he had always loved. Now with a new home, a new town a new EP Lowell was free to channel the perspective personalities into the unadulterated versions of himself he had always craved.
2023 will bring the release of 'Cup Of Sevens' into the world and who knows what else... Lets play shall we?