The Low Road: Still folkin’ it up (plays The Tin Angel’s 20th anniversary tomorrow)

photo by John Vettese

Back in the early 1990′s one of the local bands we here at XPN adored and significantly supported was The Low Road, a five piece rootsy-folky “Americana” band that included Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, Mark Schreiber, Rosie McNamara-Jones, Palmer Yale, and Alan Hewitt. The band debuted at a time when grunge music was hitting its commercial apex and despite the pop culture odds against their favor, The Low Road managed to make a dent in both the local and national music scene.

Locally at the time, roots rock bands like Go To Blazes, The Rolling Hayseeds and Marah were also getting well-deserved attention and The Low Road came on the scene with a less-rock/more folksy musical flair that distinguished them from the rest of the local scene. They immediately fit right in, and on the strength of several demo tapes were signed to a national label deal with Passenger Records, a boutique imprint that was a subsidiary of Caroline Records. The Low Road were the first band signed to the label. The second band signed to the label was another completely unknown new band at the time called Ben Folds Five.

The Low Road are reuniting tomorrow night at as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Tin Angel for two shows, the first of which is sold out. Tickets are still available for the 10 p.m. show; get information here. Given the recent success of indie-roots bands like The Avett Brothers, The Head and The Heart, The Lumineers, Civil Wars and Mumford & Sons, it’s hard not to think that if The Low Road was just starting out now, they would fare much differently. Listening back to their old albums (all available for free here), one can’t help but recognize they were ahead of their time. Below, download their now classic album The Devil’s Pocket, and watch the band’s only official video they did for the album’s title song.