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Published: 2014/05/19
by Glenn H Roth

Levi Lowrey’s Southern Legacy

Levi Lowrey speaks with a southern drawl and sings with southern sincerity. His new self-titled album, which was recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, is full of honest, heartfelt lyrics. Lowrey co-wrote Zac Brown Band’s hit song “Colder Weather,” “The Wind,” from the band’s album Uncaged, and “Day For The Dead,” from The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1 .

“Songwriters and musicians are very prideful individuals,” Lowrey. said, “and we all want to be heard by as many people as possible and anyone who tells you differently is lying. It’s a good feeling when you get heard by that many people.” reached Lowrey by phone to talk about his new self-titled album, his relationship with Zac Brown Band, and his family’s southern country lineage.

Zac Brown is the executive producer of the album, how did he help make this album richer and fuller than your debut record in 2011?

He gave me a lot more freedom on this record which I was very thankful for. He also had a big hand in picking out the songs for the record as well. There’s one in particular, the last track on the record “War Pigs,” which is last thing we liked to do, but Zac wanted it on the record. It ended up being an on-going debate between he and I, and I think he ended up being right.

You went to Zac’s Nashville studio to do the final recording along with co-producers Clay Cook and Matt Mangano, both of whom are member of the Zac Brown Band. How was it working with them?

They were wonderful and they did my first record as well. I would love to work with them as long as I can. They’re a really good duo and they bring out the best in every song, in every performance and every take.

How did they bring out the best in you?

They also let me pursue my own ideas even if it’s going to fail. Even if they know something is going to fail. They let me pursue something till failure. They have brilliant ideas themselves and they’re brilliant musicians, the best I ever worked with. Clay is definitely the best musician I ever shared the stage with. Having him in the studio – he can play absolutely everything.

Back in March and April, you performed a series of shows with Clay billed as Clay vs. Levi: Round 2? Did you guys try to outdo each other?

It was played up that way and it definitely worked for marketing purposes. It was just us two on stage, trading songs back and forth and accompanying each other as well. We definitely tried to outdo each other. I think being musicians and songwriters – there’s a competitive nature to it and we tend to embrace it on stage.

I was wondering if you can talk about two of my favorite tracks from the record: “December 31,” and “Don’t Blame Me?”

“December 31” was about my wife and her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and how she beat it. She’s doing good now. The song is all about her, and the notion, that things can kind of turn around in one second. The whole notion of being near death in one second. And “Don’t Blame” was written by my guitar player Danny, I just stepped in with the second verse and helped with the instrumental section. You would have to ask him about that one and he’s a secretive person.

When you listen to the album, what’s your favorite song?

My favorite is “Trying Not to Die,” track It came pretty quick and my inspiration behind it was my kids and learning through them.*

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