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The Palace Guards

by: David Lowery

Album Artwork

(Savoy/429 Records)

Texas born songwriter/singer/producer David Lowery founded the bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. Lowery now works with David Barbe at The University of Georgia. The Palace Guards emerges as Lowery's first solo release.

Lowery wrote on his website about The Palace Guards: "When I say Solo Record I should qualify this statement. This record was very much a group effort. Although many people played on this record, it is largely the work of the staff of Sound of Music Studios. In particular John Morand (engineer, producer, percussion, programming, drums), Alan Weatherhead (lead guitar, banjo, pedal steel. keyboards, engineer, producer) and Miguel Urbiztondo-Rodrigues (Drums and percussion). Without these key collaborators this album would not exist. There were many other notable guests who lent their efforts to this record, including Mark Linkous, Sal Maida, David Immergluck, Kristin Hott and Shannon Worrell. "

Recorded at Lowery's own studio in Richmond, Virginia, these 9 songs track just under forty-minutes. "Raise Em Up On Honey" commences the disc with a harmonica, banjo and pedal steel and then Lowery sings: "Well I'm goin up the mountain where the water comes from glaciers blue/Takin up my sweetheart gonna raise ourselves a brood/Raise em up on honey from bees from buckwheat wine/If we can't go do this make our clothes from hemp & twine/Go up on the mountain where the waters come from glaciers blue..."

The title track, an acoustic-based tune, verifies Lowery's ability to craft a well-written song. "Deep Oblivion" stands as one of the finest tracks on this collection. The hypnotic music operates like some cosmic stream and Lowery's lyrics provide the scenery on the magic ride. "Ah You Left Me" serves as more compelling evidence that Lowery's songwriting transcends category.

"All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me" definitely sounds like a Cracker song. "I Sold The Arabs The Moon" provides a glimpse into Lowery's wry sense of humor. "Marigold", another stellar ditty, resembles the music of Doug Sahm. Vivid lyrics conjure images of a musical painting on "Marigolds". Colorful instrumentation augments the lovesong lyrics on "Big Time". "Submarine", the final track on The Palace Guards, evokes a mid-60s Beatles feeling, but the song really verifies the originality of David Lowery.

A dose of David Lowery's The Palace Guards will take you on a musical journey that allows a lyrical glimpse into a kaleidoscope of sound... 

James Calemine


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