The limited-edition EP, recorded at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis, MO, at the conclusion of Lowe’s Fall 2019 US tour, features three recently road-tested gems on its A-side: the Lowe originals “Lay It On Me Baby” and “Don’t Be Nice To Me,” plus a cover of the Dorsey Burnette-penned Brenda Lee hit “Here Comes That Feeling.” The flip finds Nick behind the boards, producing his first session for another artist in twenty-five years, on the Straitjackets’ stinging version of the Shocking Blue classic “Venus.”
Says Nick: “In the late 1960’s CBS had an inspired idea; they invented the ‘sampler’ LP. It was called The Rock Machine Turns You On and consisted of a dozen tracks, each one lifted from the current album releases of twelve of the label’s ‘second tier’ of talent. It was an unashamed promotional device and sold by the truck load. I had a copy, as did everyone I knew.
“One night in London a few years back, I had Neil Brockbank and Bobby Irwin (my late friends and collaborators), round for dinner at my house. During what might be described as the ‘port and cigars’ part of the evening, we found ourselves riffing on the idea of producing a sampler for an imaginary record label of its imaginary artists.
“We started by fancying what the names of those artists might be and what kind of music they’d do, and from there began to create likely song titles to suit them. Even though the whole idea started as a joke, we got into it pretty seriously and made copious notes as the plan unfolded. Song titles became songs.
“The next day when the enormous cost and limited commercial appeal of such a project became clearer, our enthusiasm soon waned and most of the fruits of the evening are now lost. Two examples however remain. They are ‘Restless Feeling’ originally written for Coastline [and released on Nick’s The Old Magic LP] and ‘Lay It On Me Baby’ for Turk Collins.”
At the age of 71, Nick Lowe continues to accrue many of the honors that become a legend most. In 2019, he was the subject of an acclaimed biography by Will Birch, Cruel To Be Kind: The Life and Music of Nick Lowe, named one of the best music books of the year by Pitchfork. And in January, he accepted the Trailblazer Award at the Americana UK Awards in London, joining esteemed previous recipients Mumford & Sons and Billy Bragg.Tags: EP, Lay It On Me, Los Straitjackets, New Release, New Single, nick lowe