Low Cut Connie is a rock and roll band established in Philadelphia in 2010. Its frontmen and founding members are Adam Weiner (piano), who is from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Dan Finnemore (drums and guitar), who is from Birmingham, England. The band has been recognized by various media in the US for their records and high-energy live show, of which the L.A. Weekly recently said "Their ferocious live show...is unmatched in all of rock right now." They play with a piano they named "Shondra", after a dancer at the Clermont Lounge in Atlanta.
Weiner performed as a solo artist prior to starting Low Cut Connie. While living in New York City, he played piano in gay bars, karaoke bars, restaurants and ballet classes, often under the name Ladyfingers. He toured throughout North America and Europe playing to often unforgiving crowds in dive bars, honky tonks, anarchist squats, warehouses, drag bars, etc. Finnemore was a film studies professor in Birmingham UK and played in various punk and garage rock bands on the Cold Rice label, including his band Swampmeat, and touring Brazil and Western Europe often.
Having met in the Lakeside Lounge in the East Village, Manhattan at one of Weiner's performances, the two began a friendship and eventually did some shows together in both the UK and US as a duo. On one particular night in Birmingham UK, they got stuck together in an elevator for many hours and the idea for a joint project began. The band's name refers to a waitress who often wore low-cut tops at a restaurant near where Weiner grew up.
Get Out the Lotion
The duo recorded their debut album, Get Out the Lotion, at Weiner's friend Neil Duncan's garage in Gainesville, Florida, over a period of four days in the summer of 2010. The two considered the collaboration so informal they had not even decided on a name for it yet during recording. The band self-released this album in 2011. Starting with a surprise review from legendary music critic Robert Christgau, the record received many positive reviews from critics, including NPR's Ken Tucker praising the "buzzsaw yowl of Adam Weiner" on the record. The album also prompted Merrill Garbus to name Low Cut Connie her "favorite artist of the year," and was awarded 3.5 out of 5 stars by Rolling Stone, which described it as "what indie rock might sound like were it invented in Alabama in the late Fifties."
Call Me Sylvia
Weiner and Finnemore began work on their second album, Call Me Sylvia, with the goal of trying harder to make a "real" album than they were with their debut, when their songs were less arranged. The album was released on September 24, 2012, and currently holds a score of 80% on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Among these reviews was a four-star (out of five) review from AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who praised them for making music in a style that originated in the 1960s, but without seeming outdated. PopMatters also reviewed the album, giving it a score of 7 out of 10 and also noting that the album's sound resembled that of mid-20th-century music, as well as specifically comparing Weiner's piano style to Jerry Lee Lewis. The album's song "Boozophilia" was ranked the 31st best song of 2012 by Rolling Stone, which described it as "like Jerry Lee Lewis if he'd had his first religious experience at a Replacements show." It was also chosen by Barack Obama as one of the songs on his Spotify summer playlist in 2015. Weiner and Finnemore posted on Facebook that they were "completely humbled and honored and confused" by Obama doing this.
In the wake of Call Me Sylvia, Low Cut Connie was asked to perform on World Cafe with David Dye, Sirius XM Radio(interviewed by legendary critic Dave Marsh), and a show at Jack White's Third Man Records. They did shows with acts like The Hold Steady, The Shins, J Roddy Walston, Black Joe Lewis, Gary U.S. Bonds, and Jerry Blavat.
In February 2014, the band contributed a cover of the Harry Nilsson song "Jump into the Fire" to the Nilsson tribute album "This Is the Town: A Tribute to Nilsson (Volume One)." In March 2014, the band performed at the SXSW festival for the first time.
In January 2015, Low Cut Connie announced the release of their third album, Hi Honey, which was released April 21, 2015 via Contender Records. The record was produced by former member of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Thomas Brenneck (Charles Bradley, Black Lips, Alabama Shakes) and features contributions from Tune-Yards, Dean Ween, Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound, members of Dap-Kings, Budos Band, and a special cameo by Vincent Pastore of the Sopranos. The record features new members of Low Cut Connie James Everhart and Will Donnelly. The album was recorded at a small studio owned by Daptone Records.