Ballinger High School graduate and professional musician Manzy Lowry started off December by playing an acoustic set at the Old Texas Theater, “I love when I get the chance to come play in Ballinger because this is my home and my family still lives here.” Lowry presently resides in San Marcos.
Friends, family and fans came to hear Lowry play from 7:30 p.m. until about 10:00 p.m. His music is strongly influenced by his upbringing in Texas and also reflects his musician’s journey playing gigs across the country and is played with heart and soul.
Lowry received strong rounds of applause after every song. On some of his songs the talented multi-instrumentalist played his harmonica as he played his guitar. It’s a feat in itself how quickly he has progressed since he first started playing the guitar after his first year in college at Angelo State University.
Lowry played gigs around the area and soon had his own band and began touring the country, “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to make a living playing music and doing what I love.” His music isn’t flippant or frivolous, it comes from deep within him and he puts full effort into every song. His music has a depth to it and his guitar playing isn’t a few simple chords lightly playing behind his vocals.
The relationship between Lowry and his guitar is symbiotic; the strong guitar playing is complimented by his voice and his voice brings the sound of the guitar alive, as the music realizes its maximum potential, mentoring his own songs as he hits the crescendo. Tunes like “Penny on the ground”, “Muddy Waters” and “Dragonfly”, “Lasting Impressions” and “Blind Rattlesnake” take you on a journey and you feel like he’s singing just to you as he bares his soul on stage.
Lowry plays guitar with the best of them, coaxing a sound out of it that gives you a glimpse into the depth of his talent. He’s genuine, he’s real and his music shows it.
Lowry’s music is uniquely west Texas and fits into no genre other than, “Manzy Lowry.” When I interviewed him earlier in the year and asked him about which genre his music fell into, he turned about and asked me, “What genre do you think my music fits?” With that one question he proves that he wants his music to transcend people and cultures.
Lowry’s music isn’t over-produced commercial candy for pop country fans still dressing like drug store cowboys who rap their “country music” songs more than singing them. Lowry is more Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Don Williams and Johnny Lee than anything you’re likely to hear on a radio station these days. Few radio stations are still loyal to the old country style but stations such as Ballinger’s own KRUN still play true, original country, old western music, music like Lowry writes and sings. Music like the cowboys and blues men of old wrote and sang. really enjoy being able to perform back home. Lowry spoke of playing the acoustic set and where he finds inspiration, "I’m grateful of all the folks that came out to support music and art. I find inspiration in everything! Traveling helps with the new adventure, struggle aside, and conversations with new and old friends are always nice."
While Lowry sits on stage playing his acoustic set it’s easy to imagine him in 1870, on the back of a horse late at night, riding around a herd of cattle weary from a long cattle drive as he plays his guitar and sings to them to keep them calm.
Next year Lowry will start on a new tour across the western states and perhaps drop a new album. His most recent release, “Muddy Waters” is available now on his website and via iTunes and Amazon.
Lowry is going to be touring in Texas, mostly along the I-35 corridor, for the rest of December and through January with dates from Paige to New Braunfels, Schertz, Buda, Wimberly and Cibolo. He’ll play at the Rebecca Creek Distillery in San Antonio on December 28th and then on January 12th, 2019 he’ll play a show in Houston at Goodnight Charlie’s.
To keep up with current news, listen to his music and stay updated on his tour schedule you can check out his website, www.manzylowry.com.