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THE LOW ANTHEM

Providence, RI

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The Low Anthem began in 2006 as a collaboration between Ben Knox Miller, a folk musician, poet, and painter from New York's Hudson River Valley and Jeff Prystowsky, jazz bassist and baseball scholar from Jersey. The place was Providence, RI, a post-industrial city reborn as a college town and artistic hotbed. Attending Brown, the two bonded as DJs on WBRU’s freeform graveyard shift and as teammates in the wood bat summer leagues in rural Connecticut, their mutual interests in Americana, baseball, and morally agnostic narrative necessitated the formation of The Low Anthem. They began collaborating with classical composer and NASA technician Jocie Adams at Brown University in November 2007. In June of 2006 The Low Anthem released its first full-length recording, a twelve song, self-titled LP. It was recorded by Grammy-nominated producer John Paul Gauthier. Gauthier, most famous for his work with Dispatch, had also worked with John Hammond, Jr., Tom Waits, and Duke Robillard. His ears were a perfect fit for the band's sound. He turned Miller and Prystowsky onto Tom Waits and Neil Young, two introductions that would seriously alter the direction of the sound. The LP is a dozen stories, subtle and artful in their telling, but ultimately naive according to its authors. However, it’s eclectic instrumentation (saxophones, tabla drums, cellos, and organs combined with more traditional folk instruments) foreshadowed the developments to come. The band's sound has undergone significant evolution since the self-titled record. A year-long collaboration with Virginia bluesman Dan Lefkowitz and a new batch of songs revealed The Low Anthem's closeted love of raw minimalist rock. The seeds of this edgy rock sound can be heard on their award winning 2007 release "What the Crow Brings." This direction would be fleshed out further on "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin,” released in September 2008. With the release of “What The Crow Brings” the band embraced a full-fledged DIY ideology, writing, recording, mixing, and even painting and silk-screening the record jackets in their Providence, RI apartment. The long awaited release brought on a wave of enthusiastic press coverage with rave reviews from NPR and many local papers. The band achieved a new level of visibility, and with over 100 shows in 2007 a devoted fan-base was emerging in a dozen Northeast cities. After two years and another 100 shows, the band’sfollowing is growing rapidly. Big breaks included support tours with The Slip side-project Surprise Me Mr. Davis, and Rachael Yamagatadate, openings for Elvis Perkins, Bon Iver, Chris Thile, AA Bondy, and Martin Sexton. CMJ showcases, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Soundsession, NEKMF, and consistently excellent opening slots at the best clubs in the Northeast - The Narrows, Higher Ground, The Iron Horse, Helsinkis, Passim, Paradise Rock Club. They now tour as a trio and are known for their song-writing and revolving multi-instrumentalism. In September The Low Anthem embarked on a 30 city tour promoting "Oh My God, Charlie Darwin," their third and newest LP. It’s a thematic 12 song work, co-produced with and engineered by Jesse Lauter. Recording was done in the cold, bare stillness of a Block Island winter. The abandoned tourist destination was a haven of peace and quiet. The only sounds were the rush of sea wind against the panes of the cabin and the crackling hum of the woodstove. 10 sleepless days and nights. Hundreds of live takes. Many bottles of bourbon. These were the record’s principle ingredients. “Oh My God, Charlie Darwin” has received glowing reviews from NPR, Paste Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Performing Songwriter. In December, the band embarked on a string of dates with Rachael Yamagata that helped boost their visibility. In February and March they hit the road with Lisa Hannigan on a tour headed to SXSW, where they will play several major showcases. In January, NPR featured "To Ohio" as their Song of the Day. In April the band is playing a dozen support dates around the Northeast with Ray LaMontagne. This summer the The Low Anthem will be playing Bonnaroo and some of the major festivals. A "Breaking" piece in Rolling Stone will hit stands in mid February. The snowball gathers speed.  (from band’s website)
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