David Lowery (musician)

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David Lowery
David Lowery.jpg
Background information
Birth name David Charles Lowery
Born (1960-09-10) September 10, 1960 (age 58)
San Antonio, Texas
United States
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Lecturer UG
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1983–present
Labels 429
Associated acts Camper Van Beethoven

David Charles Lowery (born September 10, 1960) is an American guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is the founder of alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven and co-founder of the more traditional rock band Cracker. Lowery released his first solo record, The Palace Guards, on February 2, 2011, via the 429 Records label.[1]


Early years[edit]

Lowery was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of a career Air Force father. His family moved around a great deal during his youth before finally settling in Redlands, California, where he attended high school. Lowery formed Camper Van Beethoven in Santa Cruz, California.[2] The band is best known for their cover of the Status Quo song "Pictures of Matchstick Men" from the Key Lime Pie LP and their original composition "Take the Skinheads Bowling" from the band's 1985 debut LP, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, later featured in the Michael Moore movie Bowling for Columbine.

In the early 1990s, Lowery formed Cracker with guitarist and long-time friend Johnny Hickman, and bassist Davey Faragher. Cracker rejected the indie-rock sound of Camper Van Beethoven in favor of a more traditional, roots rock sound. Cracker's biggest hits were "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" from its eponymous LP released in 1992, and "Low" from 1993's Kerosene Hat. Cracker continues to perform today, although Lowery has also re-formed Camper Van Beethoven, which released a cover of the entire Fleetwood Mac album Tusk in 2002 and a new album of original music, New Roman Times in 2004. Cracker was still touring throughout the USA during the summer of 2009, Camper Van Beethoven followed with several California shows in September, and early 2010 saw a double bill with both bands together.

David Lowery attending a book reading in 2011

Lowery has also done work as a producer at Sound of Music Studios in Richmond, Virginia, working on records by Sparklehorse, Counting Crows, Lauren Hoffman, September 67, Wormburner, LP, Tea Leaf Green, Magnet, Sons of Bill, and others. Lowery, along with Ian Solla-Yates of WNRN started RadioVA with Sound of Music in May 2010, an interview program hosted by David that has featured The Hold Steady, Drive-By Truckers, Minus the Bear and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

On September 13, 2010, David married Velena Vego. Vego has been the manager for both Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven since 2004. She is also the talent buyer for the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia, and Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta.

Other activities[edit]

Lowery is a trained mathematician who has worked as a "quant" (a derivatives trader and financial analyst) and has started a number of music-related businesses, including a studio, a record company and a publishing company.[3] Lowery's extensive experience in business led to his appointment as a lecturer in the University of Georgia's music business program.[4]

Lowery earned a PhD. from the University of Georgia in 2018.

Lowery is critical of the internet era and states that things might be worse for working musicians than the old record system. In 2012, he gave a widely shared talk called "Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss".[5][6] Lowery criticized Pandora Radio for low songwriter royalties, claiming to have made less than $17 from a million streams of his song "Low".[7]

Discography (solo)[edit]

  • The Palace Guards (2011)
  • Conquistador (2016)


  1. ^ "About Us". 429 Records imprint from The Savoy Label Group (SLG), a division of Columbia Music Entertainment. 429 Records Santa Monica. CA. 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  2. ^ Deming, Mark. "David Lowey". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Meet the New Boss, Worse Than the Old Boss". The Trichordist. April 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Miller, Chris (February 1, 2011). "TAKING NOTES: Rock star becomes University music professor". Archived from the original on 2011-02-05.
  5. ^ Andrew Durkin (18 November 2014). Decomposition: A Music Manifesto. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-307-91176-6.
  6. ^ Lowery, David. "Meet the New Boss, Worse Than the Old Boss - On The Media". WNYC. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  7. ^ Timberg, Scott (August 31, 2014). "David Lowery: Here's how Pandora is destroying musicians". Salon. Retrieved March 28, 2018.

External links[edit]