The Lowest Pair

The Lowest Pair

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The Lowest Pair is Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, two banjo players with a singular and growing vision, and who are developing into one of the most accomplished and rewarding groups on the Americana circuit.

Winter moved from Arkansas to Olympia, Washington, after high school and released three solo records on K Records before forming the Lowest Pair in 2013 with Lee, a native of Minneapolis who had honed his chops fronting touring the midwest festival circuit with his band Boys ‘n the Barrels. The pair have released two previous records, 36c, which was produced by Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles, and the acclaimed Sacred Heart Sessions, whose recording over two days in an old cathedral in Duluth, Minnesota, added a haunting resonance to the sound.

What began as a singular follow-up to Sacred Heart Sessions has turned into two simultaneously released yet distinctive albums, Uncertain As It Is Uneven and Fern Girl and Ice Man. The former is an expected next step in the pair’s development of their spare style, while the latter adds more adventurous instrumental accompaniments, fleshing out their sound without abandoning its sparseness.

New listeners will discover many familiar touchstones in the Lowest Pair while becoming enmeshed in their own fast-developing and distinctive style. Winters occasionally chirpy voice conveys simultaneous naiveté and knowing, quirky singularity yet with a depth rooted in Country tradition. Lee’s voice offers counterpoint through his gruff tenor. Both banjoists are deeply rooted in the Clinch Mountain style, their stark, chiming notes wrapping around each other in service to the ballad-like lyrics they sing.

There’s a temptation to compare them to the now-defunct, highly popular folk duo the Civil Wars, and I’ll do just that here in the service of the fact that the Lowest Pair are far better. The moods they evoke are genuine and lasting.


“Music for sunshine and mint juleps”
– Folk radio UK

“Voices just born to sing bluegrass and old-time”
– David Kidman, Fatea magazine

“A musical marriage made in heaven”
– Declan Culliton, Lonesome Highway (Ireland)

“A true joy”
– Rudie Humphrey - AmericanaUK

"With their bare-bones instrumentation and country-inspired,
heartstring-tugging narratives, The Lowest Pair might be
one of the best under-the-radar Americana duos today."
-PASTE MAGAZINE, Hillary Saunders
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