S.T. Young, who plays guitar and sings for the Naked Bootleggers, and Joshua Lowe, frontman for Joshua Lowe and the Juncos, found something in each other they didn’t expect: an easygoing side project that really stretches their creative muscles. They call it, appropriately enough, Young and Lowe.
“Usually with a duo or trio, you just get together and there’s a natural easiness to it—it’s a back-porch-picking style of music,” Lowe explains. “The arrangements [in Young and Lowe] are much more simple, and one of the instruments usually takes the lead. It just comes together with a throwback feel. We find a groove and we don’t really have to talk about it.”
The two musicians had been talking about playing together for a while, for fun, and turned it into a live set when a mutual friend asked them if they wanted to play a show. It went so well, they decided to make it an official group.
Compared to their other projects, Young and Lowe pulls from a similar reserve of influences—American roots music (jazz, blues, country), but with Young and Lowe it leans more toward the old-timey jug band sound. Not to mention they switch around instruments—Lowe plays tenor banjo, five string banjo, mandolin, guitar, and a kick drum pedal on an old suitcase, while Young plays guitar, harmonica, kazoo and the washboard. They sit down at their performances, with a set that’s normally about 60 percent originals and 40 percent old timey covers.
“We complement each other well. We’re both songwriters, so we both bring in our own material,” Lowe says. “It’s cool to have an outlet where I’m experimenting with new songs in a really intimate setting. We’re both leaning toward songs that aren’t being played in other projects.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Thursday, October 1. Crepe Place, Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.