North Carolina banjo man Andy Lowe was born into bluegrass music. Andy’s father Rick, who plays fiddle and mandolin, introduced him to bluegrass when Andy was still at the age where he was confined to a car seat and couldn’t escape. His mother, a jazz devotee, would do the same. But it turned out to be a blessing; Andy got to hear Craig Smith, who shared the stage with his dad in the band Boot Hill, which became the seed that was planted to grow Andy’s obsession with the five-string banjo.
While he secretly always liked bluegrass music (a fact he hid from his fellow grunge-loving friends), Andy didn’t actually pick up a banjo until he was 17 years old, a senior in high school. His dad knew enough to show him the basics of a roll pattern, and Andy was off to the races. Banjo players are not renowned for their extracurricular activities, and Andy was able to spend his college years annoying his roommates to no end with his practicing. When he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2006, Andy had developed into a solid, if not quirky, player.
Many players were an influence on Andy’s playing, for better or worse. The aforementioned Mr. Smith, along with players from bands constantly in his CD player’s rotation: Steve Dilling, Jason Burleson, Sammy Shelor, Terry Baucom, and Scott Vestal. Andy was lucky enough to meet many of these fantastic banjo pickers as he travelled from festival to festival. As a banjo player, Andy was a member of several groups in the years that followed, including Rockford Express, The Jeanette Williams Band, and The Loose Cannons.
In 2014, Andy was asked to join Virginia’s Deer Creek Boys, reuniting with good friends he’d made while festival-hopping in his younger days. He remained with the group for six years, recording three acclaimed projects with them via Mountain Fever Records and playing countless festivals on both the national and international circuits.