State College Music Spotlight: Lowjack
If you’ve ever spent a Saturday night drinking in the dark recesses of the Phyrst, chances are you’ve seen Lowjack. The five-member rock band has been making a name for itself in the State College music scene for more than six years.
“Right now is probably the tightest and most energetic version of Lowjack that we’ve had,” said singer and guitarist Jason Davoli.
The band is a staple in the State College bar scene, playing a mix of covers and originals at Bar Bleu, Phyrst, and the Brewery on a weekly basis. Davoli joined the band, which is apparently named after a slang term for house arrest bracelets, six years ago as a replacement for the previous guitarist. Soon enough, he was also doing lead vocals.
Lowjack has also played at larger local events such as THON, where its performance garnered more than 20,000 viewers online. Davoli cites playing THON as the highlight of his time with Lowjack.
“THON really is a big highlight when we get to do that, because we get to play some fun, decent-sized shows,” Davoli said. “It’s a great feeling because of the cause, and also the size of the show we get to be a part of.”
“I just really like the area — it’s Happy Valley,” Davoli said. “There’s a nice music scene here, because I don’t know of many other towns where you can play the same places every week.”
Lowjack aims to create a diverse sound, Davoli said. The band plays a variety of genres by utilizing its five-man lineup, which includes award-winning fiddle player, Dan Collins, who also splits the singing duties with Davoli.
“We’ve played heavy metal, we’ve played the countriest of country songs, and even dipped into pop,” Davoli said. “If we hear it, and we think that we can do it well, then we’ll play it.”
Tom Petty, Oasis, and Dave Matthews Band are all influences for Lowjack’s unique sound because of its band-oriented vibe, Davoli said.
“I’d say the diversity we have is probably one of our biggest strengths,” said Davoli. “There’s a real band feel that I think you don’t get with a lot of other bands around, which comes across — it’s real and that’s what I like about it.”
The band is currently laying down tracks for its first original album. Some Lowjack originals have already made their way onto local and satellite radio stations. Playing at bars is a different beast, and often involves finding a balance between playing covers people are familiar with and mixing in originals, Davoli said.
“We’re lucky enough to go out to places and have people request our originals,” he said. “It’s great to hear a room full of people singing along.”
Davoli plans to continue growing the band in the State College area, at least for now. “I don’t know if any superstars have come out of here, but I’m here to play,” said Davoli. “I’ll play as long as anyone lets me.”
You can watch some of Lowjack’s performances below: