Bear Chapman Still Bio
Bluegrass father-son duo Daniel and Adam Lowe have played music together for decades, but are just now crafting an entire album of music under the name Bear Chapman Still.
Bastian resident Daniel Lowe played the banjo professionally years, from the late 1980s through the 1990s. He also played with his brother, Azandel, died in 2006. Mourning his brother, Daniel left the road, but continued to play with his son.
“Me and my son have played together since he was 12 years old,” Daniel said. “We used to travel and play, but never could get a band together. Then, he played country for a while.”
Now, after years of playing and writing country songs, Adam Lowe has returned to his bluegrass roots.
When Adam decided to make music with his dad again, he came prepared with lots of original material he had written himself. Adam, who lives in Wytheville, plays several instruments, including the guitar, bass, drums and mandolin. He also has also built a recording studio in his home.
“He thought he liked country, and I let him play. Now he’s saying let’s record and do it our way,” his father said.
“I had been doing the country music thing for a while and had a bunch of songs I wrote,” Adam Lowe said. “But over the course of time, I always wrote bluegrass tunes, too. The timing was just right. You have to have connections and the right process to do an album.”
Adam can’t remember why he decided to concentrate on playing the guitar when he was young. He only knew he didn’t want to play the banjo – that was his dad’s instrument. His brother, T-bo Reed, also played the banjo.
“It was serious business,” he said of his musical family’s jam sessions. “You couldn’t just bang on it. My dad was real precise – you couldn’t play unless you were good. When I started to play, you didn’t have the access to videos like you do now. I had a hard time picking it up; it took me a long time. If I had had a video, I would be a lot better player than I am now.”
Even in high school, I had the amp and guitar ready for the countdown on CMT; I learned a lot of songs on there.”
Both Lowe men have played in several groups over the years. Together, they played in 717, and Adam Lowe was a member of the popular Wythe County group, Black Mountain Shine.
“I played with them two years, then started another cover band called Night Train,” he said.
The name of the new group, Bear Chapman still honors Daniel Lowe’s grandfather, Chapman, who operated a still in Beartown, near Burke’s Garden.
“It’s where my grandmother was born, and Granddaddy made moonshine there,” said Daniel Lowe, who was raised in Richlands.
Adam Lowe spends a lot of time writing.
“I’m a slow writer,” he said. “I usually sit with a guitar and work up a melody and play along with that. I get the chorus in my head and write from the middle out.”