There was a time when the outlaws reigned in country music; Willie Nelson, Waylon
Jennings, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash to name a few. They weren’t carried by the
folks in Nashville; they created their own journey and story. The music of those men has
never been more alive than today, and Wyatt Lowe is carrying that torch.
Born and raised in the sunny skies and warm sandy beaches of Southern California, Lowe
was born into something that was beyond his years. From before he could legally drive a
car, Wyatt had already become his own all-in-one, music-making machine. At the age of
thirteen, Wyatt released his first record, and by the age of fifteen, he was on the road with
his band touring the nation.
Major performing artists typically have a manager, publicist, booking agent, and record
label. When it comes to Wyatt, he is all of those people plus a guitar-slingin’ front man.
Most club owners would chuckle when a fourteen-year-old Wyatt would call them to ask
about booking his blues group. That is, until they heard the all-youth blues band known
as Wyatt Lowe & The Youngbloods that was gaining attention throughout California.
Lowe was described as “both comfortable and credible in his role as a front man,” and the
Youngbloods added fuel to that fire.
But how does a junior high school kid like Wyatt get interested in the blues? It all
started with his family’s BBQ and Blues Restaurant, Chappy’s Roadhouse, in Temecula,
CA. “Sodapop,” as Wyatt would later become known across the Southern California blues
scene for his lack of appropriate drinking age in the blues bars, would stand at the edge of
the stage and watch the best regional Southern California blues players perform. The
next day, he would be found at home in front of the mirror, harp in one hand and his play
guitar in the other working it out. Ten years later, Wyatt was up on the stage at the San
Diego Blues Fest with Texas blues legend Anson Funderburgh and Kim Wilson of The
Fabulous Thunderbirds. Wyatt’s guitar playing is rooted in the blues, but it’s when he
became a young man that he realized where his true heart laid.
After growing up in the bustling city lights and traffic-packed freeways of “SoCal,” Wyatt
and his family relocated to the remote, yet beautiful valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It
is in Wyoming where Wyatt found his current band, The Mayhem Kings. The band took
the small town of Jackson by storm, opening for and sharing the stage with bands such as
the legendary southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, country great Robert Earle Keen and
Lukas Nelson (Willie’s son) & Promise of the Real, among others. During his three
years in Wyoming, Lowe released two more records, planned and coordinated three US
tours and became a rock-n-roll name across the northwest states.
Wyatt’s latest album “American Iron” adds a much-anticipated chapter to his musical
accomplishments. Describing the inspiration for his new LP, Lowe says “The story of
American Iron really began on the road. That may sound cliché for a touring band, but it
honestly was the heart of this album.” Wyatt adds, “A year or so ago, I found out my great
uncle Howard Lowe, known in the industry as Jerry Ward, was the original bass player for
Merle Haggard and the Strangers.” So not only does the blues run in Wyatt’s veins, but
the outlaw exists too. “It all clicked.” Wyatt explained, “The music of the outlaw greats
always had a place in my writing, and being aware of that only drove myself deeper into
the heart of my music.”
The album tells the story of the true American working man with all the hardship and
blessings, and then connects the deep roots of home values, culture and family to life on
the road as a musician. Lowe says about the album “As you push play on Track 1, you
begin a journey through ten songs that tell a story; a story of finding dignity and peace in
who you are, and embracing your roots and culture. In essence, the album follows the
story of a man so lost and broken, just rapidly out of control, who eventually finds his true
identity through music and a faith so unfamiliar, yet satisfying.”
Singer and guitarist Wyatt Lowe leads the punch of this album with loud grinding
guitars and command of the vocal mic. His Wyoming-based musicians deliver a potent,
powerful backbeat and base for this album’s success. The title track, American Iron
delivers an edgy, ballad-like classic rock feel that channels roots reminiscent of Bob Seger
and Lynyrd Skynyrd with horns and melody lines straight out of Motown. With this
album, Lowe shows the boldness and daring to take classic rock, outlaw country, blues,
rockabilly and soul/r&b, and merge them into something that all listeners can enjoy and
feel at home with. The band’s rock-solid, comfortable tightness with the music makes
everything sound effortless.
So what’s next for Wyatt Lowe and his Mayhem Kings? In the words of his previous
album, Songs from a Bottomless Well, the music and journey has only begun. The well
truly is bottomless, and with all the music that Wyatt continues to produce, it will never
be enough to fully satisfy him. “I just have always had this ‘want’ to push myself further. I
am so proud and humbled by where we are at now and where everything has been put in
my lap up until this point in time,” Wyatt appreciatively says. “Music is a story, and in my
young life, I have been given a story that I feel destined to share with as many people as it
can reach. The music just feels real.”
Even at his young age, Wyatt has paid his dues, and has created sustainable and honest
music in a time when one could argue that a lot of music is lacking in those qualities.
Just like the influences in his life, Wyatt demonstrates the willingness to work hard for
what he gets in return. American Iron is proof of that. Wyatt continues to tour the
nation as a hard-working musician as he paves his own way. And it’s paying off. It’s
never been, nor will it ever be, about the production, the “show,” or the glamour. It’s about
the “real;” the story and the journey that his influences before him set in motion. Guys
like Willie, Waylon, and Merle; they weren’t after the fame, they were after something
greater, something more substantial. Wyatt Lowe has jumped onto that train and is in
the driver’s seat. You can say he’s like those before him; an outlaw, loose and running.