Nick Lowe plays Great American Music Hall in San Francisco tonight

There was a revealing interview with former Stiff Records alum Nick Lowe on NPR’s “Fresh Air” recently, conducted by the always-great Terry Gross.

In it, the 62-year-old admitted that after his first two glittering power-pop gems, “The Jesus Of Cool” and “Labour Of Lust” he found himself “on the scrap heap” of washed-up also-rans in his 30s, reiterating watered-down versions of his earlier standards.

Then, a chance meeting with Johnny Cash opened his tired eyes — “Just be yourself,” the Man In Black advised him. And that’s when the songwriter realized that his age and experience were virtual gold mines of inspiration.

Hence, Lowe’s back-in-comfortable-stride new “The Old Magic” set for YepRoc Records, who also just reissued “Jesus” and “Labour” classics, with bonus tracks.

You can sample the entire set at www.nicklowe.com, or hear him strum it live at The Great American Music Hall in The City tonight.

He casts a wise, knowing eye on his own mortality on revitalized tracks such as “Sensitive Man,” “I Read A Lot,” “Somebody Cares For Me” and the chugging new single “Checkout Time.” And it sounds just amazing to hear a silver-haired artist actually growing old gracefully.

Don’t miss this album. Or show.

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