Kerri Lowe’s music career was over before it even began. Unable to sing just months before releasing her first full-length album, The Truth, Lowe found herself having to face some uncomfortable truths of her own.
“I’ve struggled with eating disorders since I was thirteen. What I was doing to my body finally caught up with me. I couldn’t even talk without pain, much less sing,” she said.
So the folk singer without a voice moved back to New York City, the place she had left just six months before for her native North Carolina.
“The first thing I did when I took the train into to Penn Station was go down to the Brooklyn Folk Festival, which I had played the year before. I hardly lasted an hour. I ran into a songwriter friend and he could tell I was upset so we left to catch up. I told him everything. I just cried and cried and cried. I didn’t know who I was anymore without singing.”
Lowe found jobs on craigslist and in coffee shop for the next year while her voice healed, literally, and metaphorically.
“It was so much more than just a physical process. I had to change everything. The way I saw myself, the people I hung out with, the things I spent my time doing. But it was amazing, the more I took care of myself, the more people showed up in my life to support that. And to support my music.”
Lowe’s voice teacher, Cari Cole; collaborator and band mate in The Carolina Honeys, Kristen Reilly; and producer, Charlie Van Kirk were all integral in bringing the singer/songwriter back to life and back to the stage.
“I wrote the title track, “Don’t Turn Away,” just before moving to North Carolina to start playing music full-time, before I lost my voice. But it resonates with me so strongly now because it’s very enmeshed with that dark period. It’s saying to someone, “I’ve been terrible and I’m sorry. I’m really lost and confused and I’m probably not capable of treating you well. But I need you. I need you to keep looking at me no matter how broken I am. Please, Don’t turn away.” God, everybody needs that. Everyone needs someone in their lives that will look at the not-so-pretty truth about you and stick around.”
Lowe is finally ready to make her comeback this fall with an EP titled, “Don’t Turn Away.” Five songs that span journeys north and south, through doubt and determination, it is an apt introduction to a songwriter that refuses to be defeated. Intimate vocals, poetic and powerful lyrics, and a smart, supportive production by Charlie Van Kirk with string arrangements from Christopher Marion fill out the vision.
But Lowe is tied to a bigger plan than just releasing her music, she’s on a mission to help others by raising funds for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Through the month of October, Lowe is accepting donations to sponsor her in the NEDA Awareness Walk. Anyone who donates will receive a free download of Lowe’s new EP, Don’t Turn Away, which is set to release Tuesday, October 22nd.
“Being honest about what I’ve been through has led to so much positive change in my life. I lost my voice once because of the disorder, now I want to use it to help others live happier, healthier lives,” she says.” Cheers to that.