In a world filled with young Westporters who dream of business school, summer i-bank internships and Wall Street careers, Dustin Lowman stands apart.
He’s a Middlebury College graduate — not unusual in this town — but he’s forged a distinctly different path. Dustin is a guitar-playing singer-songwriter, and he’s ready to make music his career.
If that sounds a bit Bob Dylan-esque, there’s a reason. Dustin has been a Dylan disciple since his mother borrowed CDs from the Westport Library. He evokes the early-’60s Dylan in his writing, playing and voice.
Still, Dustin Lowman is distinctly his own man. And a very talented and confident one too.
Much of that confidence stems from his upbringing here. It began with trumpet at Kings Highway Elementary School, then continued at Coleytown Middle, and band and orchestra at Staples.
Julia McNamee — his teacher for 7th grade workshop, 9th grade English Honors and 11th grade AP English — stressed creativity every day, from class discussions to essay topics. Dustin’s junior research paper was on Woodstock.
“Indulging the farthest corners of your mind” was crucial to him as a teenager, Dustin says.
Also important: Mike Zito and Jim Honeycutt’s Media Lab at Staples. They helped him record, and as a senior in 2011 let him and Noah Weingart make a full-length film.
“They gave us a lot of rope,” Dustin recalls. “We absolutely relished indulging our creative sides.”
The Dressing Room was another important influence. Dustin sang at that now-closed restaurant with older musicians like Michael Mugrage and Tor Newcomer.
He performed Dylan and Springsteen covers, and original numbers too.
The audience nurtured him. “I really felt they were saying, ‘Music is what you’re supposed to be doing,'” Dustin notes.
He designed the front cover from beach glass he collected with his mother at Compo Beach, over the course of his childhood. That too helped ground him, and his music.
All 9 songs are originals. All are compelling — particularly if you like Dylan, channeled through someone born decades after his folk-rock years.
The album dropped on Monday. It’s on Soundcloud, and other online outlets like Spotify (which Dylan definitely did not have, back in the day).
Dustin Lowman moves to Nashville next week. He hopes to make his mark on the music world.
It’s a different path from many of his Westport and Middlebury friends. Bob Dylan would be very proud.
(To hear Dustin Lowman’s “Folk Songs,” click here. “You can pay for it if you want,” he says. PS: You should!)