Harmony, Heart, Highways...the Story of Lowen & Navarro

Harmony: 1. tuneful sound, 2. a pleasing, congruent arrangement of parts, 3. correspondence, accord, 4. internal calm, 5. Lowen & Navarro

For more than a twenty years, Lowen & Navarro arranging parts in tuneful, pleasing ways for larger and larger national audiences.

Between 1990 and 2008, they released fourteen albums showcasing self-penned songs of experience, colored by steady, supple acoustic-based arrangements and centered around their intertwined voices.  When they come together musically, a special magic happens.

 Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro are also songwriters of notable cachet.  Their creations have been recorded by Pat Benatar (who had a worldwide Top 5 hit with L&N's "We Belong"), The Bangles, The Four Tops, The Tempatations, Dave Edmunds, David Lee Roth, The Triplets and Dionne Warwick.

 Eric and Dan met inauspiciously when both were working in an entertainment restaurant as singing waiters.  First singing together in an improptu after-hours gathering, they discovered their individual vocal styles complemented each other perfectly.  However, their distinctly polar temperaments  (each considering the other to be "competition") would keep them from joining forces at first.  Over time, a creative pact emerged that first led them to form bands and later to compose songs for themselves to sing.

 "We didn't start out writing songs to give to people, we wrote them for us," Eric says.  "But other singers wanted them, so we figured, 'Let's get songs on records.'  We thought it would help us as artists, but it didn't.  We became successful, but we weren't satisfied."

 So Lowen & Navarro was formed as a labor of love.  Dan says, "When we started, we didn't call our music biz friends.  We were doing it for ourselves."  They sang what they pleased, paying no attention to styles, singing songs they felt deeply about.   Their acoustic guitar, harmony-vocal style was distinctly out of step with the trends, but they were happy.  Their pleasure became contagious, crowds grew and ultimately record companies came calling.

 In 1990, Lowen & Navarro's debut album, Walking On A Wire, was released on Chameleon, garnering various rave reviews and establishing their sound -- two voices, tightly linked with the underpinnings of acoustic guitar and bass, cello and drums.  Produced by Jim Scott (Sting, Tom Petty, BoDeans, Whiskeytown), the record was completed in a dizzying 19 days.  They toured extensively and built an incipient radio following with songs like "Walking on a Wire" and "The Spell You're Under".  However, in 1991 Chameleon would experience a restructuring that would leave L&N without a label.  They carried on touring and building their audience.

 By 1993, the Adult Alternative Album radio format (Triple A) exploded, featuring challenging yet listenable music for an audience raised on rock and roll.  This led to the formation of Parachute Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, whose first signing was Lowen & Navarro.  Broken Moon was released and became a hit at the fledgeling radio format.  Songs like "All Is Quiet", "Constant As The Night" and "Just To See You"  kept the album in the Triple A charts for more than four months.  The band's touring base expanded as more and more cities became L&N Towns.

 As new fans became aware of music that pre-dated Broken Moon, popular demand forced Parachute to purchase the now out-of-print Walking On A WIre from Chameleon.  It was re-issued in 1994 with three bonus tracks, of which "Rapt In You" solidified their status at Triple A radio.

 Broken Moon would be followed-up in 1995 by the enigmatic Pendulum.  With stellar backing musicians and songs co-written with superlative composers, L&N had created their most cohesive work to date.  Producer Jim Scott, on board for the fourth time, honed the Lowen & Navarro sound to a fine edge, characterized by economical arrangements and a closer vocal presence.  But management changes at Parachute led to the album being given scant promotion, and it sold poorly.  Still, it remains Eric and Dan's favorite of their records.

 With the release of Live Wire, they have come full circle.  A live recording of a 1989 club performance, it documents their landmark Hollywood debut, which brought them their first widespread attention, their first review and both their record contracts.  Previously available only at L&N shows and on their website,  the CD is now on Intersound Records and in stock at major record stores.

 Their fourth studio album, "Scratch at the Door", dropped  in mid-1998, touching on new subjects as they entered new phases of their lives.  

They continued to document "humanity's dignity and frailty", to examine life and its losses and lessons, well into the 2000s.  Those stories will be added here at a later date.

They sang about experience and its many anomalies, so that they and their audience might feel greater insight, a deeper essence.  Or, you might say, harmony.