With the feel of a 1960’s coffee shop music parlour, the Green Note in Camden is surely one of the shining jewels in London’s musical crown. Priding itself on the intimacy between artiste and audience and for providing a rare outlet for less mainstream acoustic musical styles it was an appropriate final stop for The Lowest Pair on their Spring tour of the UK. The duo comprises of Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, both playing guitar and banjo and trading vocals; hers an achingly beautiful distinctive tone that complements his smoky delivery to perfection.
On a balmy post marathon Sunday evening the pair took to the cosy Green Note stage and proceeded to captivate a sold out room of suburban city dwellers with their evocative songs of the Pacific North West and the Louisiana swamp lands. Originally formed as a banjo duet, bringing their songs of vast American landscapes to this urban corner of Camden perhaps shouldn’t work but it did, and it did so wonderfully. And it works because the songs are delivered with such charm and with such passion that for an evening the Green Note became a mountain lodge positioned somewhere in the remote Appalachian Mountains. This is music that moves the soul.
A set of largely self-penned originals that immediately felt like old-time Americana standards was delivered to an accompaniment of beautiful melodic banjo playing, Kendl’s wonderfully loose frailing clawhammer style a particular delight for the growing band of UK banjo enthusiasts in the audience. The chemistry works on stage; Palmer’s husky voice evoking moonshine sessions around a camp-fire whilst Kendl’s almost constant smile conveys their utter joy at being able to create such music. Crafted songs of life, hope and despair; songs that soar and fall in equal measure, tunes that trip lightly from the fretboard; they may not be rooted in the UK but these are songs that touch the soul and that was enough to touch the audience who could easily imagine they were in a snowbound mountain lodge called the Green Note on a warm Spring evening in April.
Do yourself and your soul a favour and catch The Lowest Pair when they next return to the UK – this is music that will move you to another time and place and wash away the daily grind of city life. It’s music that we don’t hear enough of in the UK so support it when it washes up on these shores – you won’t regret it.