Sometimes you just got to follow your own path, do your own thing, and that’s very much a lesson that Matthew Lowry has learned as he navigates life through his early to mid-30s. Today marks the release of his new music video for “All My Friends Are Selling Out,” from his brand new record Flamingo County, set for release on September 15th. The title of this new single is very much representative of the song’s sentiment, a musing on growing up, evolving, and the way people’s lives change as they get into those life-defining years when they make the most important choices. While many of Lowry’s musician friends decided to abandon that career path for a more traditional family life, he has remained very committed to the dream.

This theme is present throughout Flamingo County, a special release for Lowry that ended up including many of those friends who decided to opt for that more regular life. When he arranged studio time at The Vanguard Room in his hometown of Lakeland, Florida, he ordered all of his friends to attend to be the session musicians on this new album. Because it would be titled Flamingo County, he decided to name his troupe The Flamingo County Players. That free-spirited attitude that prompted Lowry to demand that all his friends participate is one of the key ingredients which defines this record, an unpretentious, traditional rock record meant to be the key to your good time.

Joining us today is Lowry himself for a very special guest blog in which he explains the story behind Flamingo Country and the universal concept within it that would enable anyone to relate to it.

Flamingo County: A State of Mind:

“‘Flamingo County is a state of mind.’ These are the words I kept saying to the people around me, the band, and the guys at The Vanguard Room. I knew when we were in the heart of making this album in this beautiful place where I had to share my songs and vision, that if anyone was stuck on something, I wanted those words to be ringing in their heads… and damn if that didn’t happen. As I listen back to this album with pride and accomplishment, I really feel like my team, and I were really able to sink into that Flamingo County state of mind. So what the hell am I even talking about, right?

Before and while I was writing these songs, I was going through a huge shift in my mentality and life. What does it feel like to wake up one day and realize that, not only are you not the person you used to be, but that you are actively seeking to forge forward in a new direction? I’m talking about a direction that is not to please everyone else in the world, but to bring myself to a place where I can actually be myself. A state of mind that reminds me, ‘hey, this is the world you want to be in, this is mentality you want to have, this is the love you want to share.’

So without even trying to, I took what I felt and let it rip. I kept writing all the time, and when it was time to put it all together into this album after a few years, it was right there in front of me. Lyrics about the freedom in just being someone who could smoke some weed, grow their hair out, and sing songs (‘Get By, Get High’), losing my fear of being my authentic self in front of people (‘Coming For You’), and an honest discussion about needing therapy before my panic attacks put me in the ground (‘Fall Away’). I saw that I was writing the journey of becoming the man I am: a man that had to fall in love with himself and then try to navigate the world with this new mentality and what that looked like.

One of my favourite self-reflections on Flamingo County is ‘All My Friends Are Selling Out,’ which is a tongue-in-cheek reflection on all my friends ‘growing up and selling out’ while I just keep grinding away to sing my songs. I was so honest on this album that I used their real names: G, Rick, and Micah are actually Grant (Radio DJ), Rick (Guitar/Live Bass) and Micah (Drums). The fact that I got them all to be on the album, and more specifically, this song, was such a fulfilling moment, and the fact that I got my dear friend Aaron Marsh (Copeland) to shoot the video for us made it even more fun. What’s it feel like to be the guy in your 30s still rocking out in your garage because it’s all you want to do? This song is what that feels like.

Matthew Lowry “All My Friends Are Selling Out” single artwork
Matthew Lowry “All My Friends Are Selling Out” single artwork

As we get deeper in the album, we see that last bit of wrestling with my faith/beliefs (‘Deconstruction’) before I start to find myself steadied and embracing life exactly where it is (‘It Could Be Raining Outside’). Then the track list transitions to a plea to my mom to help her understand that not only will I be ok, but I will still make her proud (‘Mama’). Here, I hit the point that I think we all feel good hitting, which is the freedom of being open with our families about who we really are and what we want for our own lives.

As we take this journey, we are all going to be influenced by our family, our culture, our beliefs, everything around us growing up. At some point, though, we have to take the part of our background and upbringing we want to hold on to, let go of what does not serve us from that, embrace the knowledge we have gained from our own questions, and find a way to let our own new light shine.

As Ram Dass said, ‘Each one of us finds his unique vehicle for sharing with others his bit of wisdom.’ I kept that quote on my phone screen while making this album. It’s still there. It’s how we grow not just as individuals, but as a society. We find peace when we hit that place of comfort in who we are and remember to just breathe and be ourselves in the middle of the storms of life. You can live in that Flamingo County state of mind in between all the palm trees and the sunshine.

I finish the album with a song that started as a complaint, but turned into a reflection on what it takes to live a full life of love on your own terms (‘Tired’). While initially a way for me to vent about the physical toll that I felt like my years of manual labour jobs had already taken on my body, it became a reflection on my grandfather waking up and doing the hard work of life day in and day out.

I swear to you, the man did it all with joy in his heart and a smile on his face. He showed my mother, and then me, how to live with that Flamingo County state of mind. He left his hometown and generations of family history in Pennsylvania and moved to Florida after he got married to my grandmother because that is where his heart wanted to be. He worked and saved until he could start his own businesses and then kept working at those.

Even when he ‘retired,’ he was out clearing land and taking care of properties he had acquired and rented to families who needed them. When you’re tired after a long day/week/year, I feel like as long as you can look back and honestly say that you were true to yourself, you loved those close to you, and gave life all you had, that you did it right. In that case, it’s not bad to be tired…

I hope that you all find comfort and encouragement in the journey I took to make Flamingo County and that these songs can help you continue to find your peace of mind and your own Flamingo County. No matter who you are or where you call home, I hope from the bottom of my heart that you can find that peace of mind.”


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