Solo act Low Volts goes up against San Diego’s best for ‘Song of the Year’
By Logan Broyles | SDUN Reporter
Give Tim Lowman a couple guitars and a kick-drum, and he’ll give you the song of the year. Lowman is the creator of Low Volts, a one-man blues band created in 2010 that has caught fire thanks to award nominations and appearances on hit television shows.
The band released “Twist Shake Grind Break” in May 2011, and took home trophies for Best New Artist and Best Blues Album at that year’s San Diego Music Awards (SDMA). Lowman’s other band, Blackout Party, won the Best Americana award.
The hit song off the album, “Blame It On the Breakup,” has been nominated for Song of the Year at this year’s SDMA, and was used on the Showtime series “Weeds.”
“It was crazy reading that my song is up against Jason Mraz, Blink182 and a bunch of other really successful bands,” Lowman said. Lowman’s single goes up against Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” and Blink 182’s “After Midnight,” as well as “Surrender” by Angels & Airwaves, “California” by Delta Spirit, “Sunday,” by Crocodiles, “Lost in Forever” by P.O.D. and “Afterlife” by Switchfoot.
“The reaction to that song has really surprised me, [local radio station] 91X played it a few times a day for a month straight,” Lowman said. “‘Weeds’ picked it up and now it’s nominated for Song Of The Year? Who knew a song about getting wasted would have so much allure?”
Lowman has been playing some variation of instruments on and off since he was six years old, but didn’t get serious about music until after high school. After bouncing around in a few promising bands, it he decided to break off on his own and go solo.
“I had been in a handful of bands that all had potential, but just when things started to blow up someone in the band would acquire a new drug addiction, get caught up with girlfriends or were just playing in too many other bands,” Lowman said.
In 2010 he began crafting songs at the design studio where he was living at the time, and Low Volts was born.
“I was at home feeling frustrated about all the heart, sweat and time I put into bands that just fizzle, so I picked up my slide guitar and started writing some heavy riffs … using my old 1920’s kick-drum to stomp out a beat and play these swampy grooves,” he said.
“After a while I added lyrics and played some rough recordings for friends, and no one would believe it was just me playing everything at the same time. I got asked to play some house parties here and there and it just kept growing like wildfire.”
Lowman said he is currently working on a new album that will be out in later this year, and hopes to set out on a European tour soon after.
His unique method for creating music hasn’t changed with this new album, and Lowman said the majority of ideas he gets for songs hit him right after he wakes up or while he’s in the shower.
“Timeless is the key word when I’m crafting songs,” he said. “So many bands hop on the biggest, trendiest sounds of the time and end up being hated and hating themselves for hopping on the bandwagon. It’s sad. I want to make timeless sounds of very early rock and roll, mixed with something from the future you’ve never heard before.”
The 22nd annual San Diego Music Awards are August 13 at Humphrey’s by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Dr. This year’s Lifetime Award recipient is jazz pianist Mike Wofford. Blues singer Candye Kane is the Courage in Music recipient. General admission tickets are $30 and the ceremony starts at 7 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sandiegomusicawards.com.