"I'm sixty-one years old now/Lord, I never thought I'd see 30," Nick Lowe sings on ‘Checkout Time,’ a song from his first new studio album in over four years, 'The Old Magic,' on Proper Records.
Nick Lowe made his debut as a solo artist over thirty years ago but his recording career stretches back another decade still. As the bassist and primary songwriter for Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe was one of the primary catalysts of the pub rock phenomenon in the early 1970s. As the co-founder and house producer at Stiff Records, he would help create the blueprint for the modern indie rock label and usher in British punk and new wave, helming historic recordings for The Damned, Elvis Costello and The Pretenders, not to mention his own releases of the time. But in recent years, Lowe has recorded a string of more intimate, personal - and critically acclaimed - solo albums including ‘The Impossible Bird,’ ‘Dig My Mood,’ and ‘The Convincer.’ As someone on National Public radio in the US observed, “Few musicians get better with age. Nick Lowe is an exception.”
'The Old Magic' was recorded in London with Lowe's crack backing band anchored by Geraint Watkins (keyboards), Steve Donnelly (guitar), and Robert Treherne (a.k.a. Bobby Irwin, drums). Additional musicians include Ron Sexsmith, Paul Carrack, and Jimmie Vaughan among others. The album was co-produced by Lowe, Neil Brockbank and Treherne.
Amidst urbanely insistent grooves (‘Sensitive Man’), and spare-yet-imposing shuffles (the aforementioned ‘Checkout Time’), ‘The Old Magic’ features three exceptional, recently road-tested Lowe ballads - album opener, ‘Stoplight Roses,’ ‘House for Sale’ and ‘I Read A Lot.’
Then there’s ‘Restless Feeling,’ a shimmering dance tune worthy of the roller rink that Lowe wrote for a fictional band he calls Coastline. As is his custom, Lowe also peppers ‘The Old Magic’ with three covers – by Elvis Costello, Tom T. Hall and Jeff West – that fit seamlessly with his originals.
Nick Lowe's last album, 2007's 'At My Age,' was widely acclaimed and since then his long-unavailable first two albums 'Jesus of Cool' and 'Labour of Lust,’ have been released.