The Lowest Pair
About The Lowest Pair
A blend of old-timey string music and thoughtful, rustic indie folk, the Lowest Pair are a duo from Olympia, Washington featuring singer/songwriters Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee. Working primarily as a double-banjo duo with occasional guitar, they were extremely prolific in the middle part of the 2010s, releasing five albums over a three-year period. After some time off, the Lowest Pair regrouped in 2020 to record their sixth album, The Perfect Plan.
A native of Arkansas, Winter migrated to the Pacific Northwest in the late 2000s where she signed with esteemed Olympia-based indie K Records, releasing a string of rustic, indie folk albums beginning with 2010's Apple Core. Meanwhile, Minneapolis native Lee spent several years honing his songcraft and banjo picking as the frontman of Twin Cities bluegrass outfit the Boys 'n the Barrels. The two met at a bluegrass festival in Winona, Minnesota in 2009 where they were both performing. They remained friendly, but it wasn't until January 2013 that Lee pitched the idea of making a record together. Intrigued by the possibilities of a double-banjo duo, Lee headed to Olympia where the two began writing and performing together. Working with producer Dave Simonett of the progressive bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles, they recorded their debut album, 36¢, which was released on New York indie Team Love Records. Their Mike Mogis-produced follow-up, The Sacred Heart Sessions, arrived in February of 2015, kicking off what would prove to be a prolific run. I Reckon I'm Fixin' on Kickin' Round to Pick a Little, their third album, was released just five months later in July of that year. Despite heavy touring schedules, Winter and Lee managed not only to record, but release two more albums -- Uncertain as It Is Uneven and Fern Girl and Ice Man -- simultaneously in April 2016.
After such a frenetic period, the Lowest Pair took a break with Winter releasing the 2018 solo outing, Stumbler's Business, and Lee making his own solo debut with 2019's Winebringer. Reuniting with Mogis at his Omaha studio, the duo returned in 2010 with their sixth album, The Perfect Plan. ~ Timothy Monger