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Lowell J. Mitchell

Guitarist * Vocalist * Songwriter


Lowell John Mitchell is in the third decade of a vibrant musical career in Oregon, California and Hawaii. He’s been studying guitar since age 7, mastering electric, acoustic and fingerpicking techniques and cultivating a seamless journey of styles drawn from a century of American and international music. He supplements his own unique originals by covering hundreds of obscure B-sides from the 20’s through the 60’s and a few beloved anthems by artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

Lowell brings a grass-roots jug-band sensibility to an upbeat blend of rock, blues, rockabilly, soul, island and gospel flavors. Devoted to all genres, his innumerable influences include the Reverend Gary Davis, Mahalia Jackson, Buck Owens, the Staples Singers, Prince, Captain Beefheart, The Residents, King Sunny Ade, Joseph Spence, Jimi Hendrix and Link Wray.

His devoted musical apprenticeship began in 1980, when he started studying with John Cipollina (of the Quicksilver Messenger Service), and continued under the gamey wing of Steve Weber (Holy Modal Rounders), Tim Call (owner of Mansfield Studios), Buzzy Linhart (writer of "You Got To Have Friends" recorded by Bette Midler), and Baby Gramps. He also earned degrees in Recording Engineering and Commercial Music.

Lowell John Mitchell’s guitar virtuosity has appeared on studio albums by Billy Kennedy, Bazza (including a push-mower rhythm track), The Four Dudes (videos and CD’s) and Heavy Petting Zoo.

Lowell has credits in the recent movie Bound to Lose, about the Holy Modal Rounders. Under the name Holy Roller Permotions, he booked and managed their 40th anniversary tour on the West Coast.

Lowell has promoted and/or booked for Wavy Gravy, Holy Modal Rounders, Baby Gramps, Hazel and Golden Delicious. He is also a founding organizer of Alternative Stage, a 3-day free music festival in Vernonia, Oregon established in 1987.

He has also recorded and engineered projects for Billy Kennedy and Darren Clendenin (of the Swing-line Cubs).


Lowell J. Mitchell has been a member of the following bands:
  • Primitive Sex Cells 83-89
  • Dial Memphis 85-90
  • Road Opossum 87 (with John Harris on washboard)
  • Galvinizors 90-93
  • Alternative Medicine Show 94-97
  • Buzzy Lindhart 95-99
  • ATM (with Sky Saxon, founder & lead singer of The Seeds, on improvised vocals and Jeff Mockus on Chapman Stick)
  • The Four Dudes
  • Heavy Petting Zoo
  • Chata Addy
  • Angelic Glow Love Band (church gospel band)

And performed with the following artists:
  • Medical Marijuana Healers (with Buzzy Linhart, Harvey Mandel, Steve Kimock, and many other Bay Area notables)
  • Holy Modal Rounders
  • Billy Kennedy (guitar, washtub bass, vocals)
  • Lynn Conover (guitar, vocals)
  • Jimmy Boyer (guitar, vocals)
  • Dave Reisch (guitar, vocals)
  • Baby Gramps ('32 National Duolian, washtub bass)
  • Steve James Wright

And had the honor and good fortune of jamming with:
  • Neil Young
  • Elvin Bishop
  • Steve Kimock
  • Dan Hicks

Local venues where Lowell John Mitchell has performed over the years include:

  • Crystal Ballroom
  • Laurelthirst
  • the Zoo
  • The Bitter End
  • The White Eagle
  • McMenamin’s Grand Lodge
  • McMenamin’s Rock Creek Tavern
  • McMenamin’s Edgefield
  • Portland Farmers’ Market
  • Key Largo
  • The Long Goodbye
  • Biddy McGraw’s
  • The Snake and Weasel
  • The Satyricon
  • The Pine Street Theater