Two of America’s premier music destinations experienced significant natural disasters that disrupted and dislocated many in their respective communities. In Central Texas last year, wildfires consumed nearly four million acres and thousands of homes, affecting the livelihoods of many living around Austin. In 2010, Nashville’s Cumberland River crested twelve feet above flood stage after rainfall that far exceeded previous amounts from 140 years of recorded history, causing deaths and around two billion dollars in destruction of private property.
Those affected by the destruction will find some relief in proceeds (and sounds!) from a new album, Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe. Known more for his contributions to D.I.Y. punk sounds, production of Elvis Costello’s first five albums, and unrivaled lyrical sagacity, this tribute album reminds us of Lowe’s roots origins and passions demonstrated in his years with the group Brinsley Schwarz—especially his affinity and reverence for country music. On Lowe Country, a fine cast of contemporary musicians, including Nashville staples such as Jeff the Brotherhood, Hayes Carll, and Caitlin Rose, showcase beautiful reinterpretations of Lowe songs. It’s a welcome salute to a prolific musician who is reaching a new height of popularity after more than four decades in the business.