If you go
Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St. (South), 41 Station St. (North)
› For more information: 423-531-2473
AN EVENING WITH ELLIS PAUL
› When: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16 (N)
› Admission: $20
THE WILD FEATHERS WITH LAUREN JENKINS
› When: 9 p.m. Thursday, May 16 (S)
› Admission: $18
NO QUARTER: THE ULTIMATE LEGACY TRIBUTE TO LED ZEPPELIN
› When: 9 p.m. Friday, May 17 (S)
› Admission: $20 in advance, $22 day of show
NICK LOWE: SOLO ACOUSTIC SHOW WITH ESTHER ROSE
› When: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 18 (N)
› Admission: $25
NIRVANNA: A TRIBUTE TO NIRVANA WITH STONED COLD FOX
› When: 9 p.m. Saturday, May 18 (S)
› Admission: $12 in advance, $15 day of show
› When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 (S)
› Admission: $20 in advance, $23 day of show
Even while Nick Lowe was having his moment as a young pop singer, riding the wave of hits like "Cruel to Be Kind" and ("What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," which Elvis Costello turned into a hit, he knew it wouldn't last.
He began thinking of his exit strategy, one that would carry him into senior citizenship.
"I put my mind into looking into when my brief career as a pop star came to an end, which I knew it would," says Lowe, now 70, in a phone interview. "I wanted to use the fact that I was getting older to my advantage. I wanted to figure out how to use it."
He had noticed that people of his generation, there when rock 'n' roll was invented, believed it had to remain pure, unadulterated by musical styles of the past.
"We were kind of snobbish about it. Then I started to realize I really liked some of what Doris Day and Bing Crosby did. And my son, who is 14 years old, doesn't have that sense of snobbishness. If it's good, it's good, and he and his friends like it."
So, after losing some of his past co-producers to cancer, Lowe, who will perform Saturday night at Songbirds, decided it was time to make some more music. He turned to Los Straitjacket, a band he's known and respected for years.
"It was not some sort of assault on the charts. I've never made music with that in mind. It was more as a small-business operator; it was really more to let people know the shop is still open."
Lowe, who performed with Rockpile, Brinsley Schwarz and Little Village, said he has always written and recorded songs with the idea that someone else would record them and hopefully have success with them. He said, however, he didn't have anyone in particular in mind when he recorded "Love Starvation/Trombone" with the band.
Lowe said the band has his sense of musical history and curiosity, "and they are really, really good. They like Doris Day and Bing Crosby, too."
He also said that while his age and life experience may prevent him from writing about teenage-era topics, adulthood offers plenty of material.
"The little vanities and foolishness that we all have," he said. "The foolishness of people to say and do certain things. There is still plenty to write about."
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.