2024 Targhee Music Camp Instructor Bios

John Lowell – Guitar

John Lowell Bio

John Lowell’s musical journey began when he crept into his older sister’s room when he was 12 years old to play her guitar.  Since that time, he’s gone on to become a triple threat – he’s a clean, dynamic guitar player, a clear voiced singer and a respected songwriter.  He’s lived for many years in Southwest Montana, carving out a music career while living in the mountains of the Yellowstone ecosystem. John’s first endeavor on the guitar was learning John Denver songs, but upon meeting a classmate that played the banjo while in high school, he was bit by the bluegrass bug.  While he still enjoys playing bluegrass, his tastes have expanded to most types of acoustic music.

John’s songs have been recorded by several groups, most notably his song about love gone wrong in the Old West – Sarah Hogan.  He’s played on Garrison Keillor’s radio show A Prairie Home Companion with his duo The Growling Old Men. He’s played the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival stage for several years with his band Kane’s River, the Telluride stage with Loose Ties, and at the Vancouver Folk Festival with the John Lowell Band along with hundreds of other performances in the last 30 years in locations from Shetland to San Bernardino. John is a recent graduate of Leadership Bluegrass and is one of only 10 songwriters to perform at this year’s Songwriter Showcase at the IBMA in Raleigh.

“I first met John over 25 years ago when we were both subbing with the bluegrass band Loose Ties on a southwest tour. It was great to get to know him and play music together. The tour was a blast and included some great shows as well as some time off at a remote ranch in rural Arizona that included a party that could have been out of cowboy Fellini movie. I’m very happy to be a part of John’s excellent new CD all these years later!” recalls John Reischman, mandolin player and leader of John Reischman and the Jaybirds.

John Lowell remained tethered in the Bozeman area for several decades while his children were young and took a few jobs that allowed him to stay connected with his love of guitars and playing – he became the purchasing agent at Gibson Guitars. This allowed him to travel the world and meet many of the luthiers who are still producing gorgeous instruments today including Dan Roberts, Bruce Weber, Kevin Kopp and John Walker. John’s instrumental skill landed him on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. John has been a working musician for more than 35 years in the Bozeman, Montana area. He’s well known for his work over the years with Medicine Wheel, Wheel Hoss, Deep River, Kane’s River, Loose Ties, the Growling Old Men, the John Lowell Band (a European touring group), Two Bit Franks and the Lone Mountain Trio.