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Two Bit Franks / Blog


Featuring some of the finest Bluegrass musicians in Montana, Two Bit Franks are John Lowell, Tom Murphy, Russ Smith and Jeff Shouse.

Our outfit is proud to bring you homegrown original music, classic Bluegrass and some great adaptations to tunes you never imagined.

Fronted by John Lowell of the nationally acclaimed band Kane’s River, The Two Bit Franks bring together some of Bozeman’s best bluegrass musicians to focus on original pieces with high levels of musicianship. Lowell’s music resume is extensive and includes performing on Prairie Home Companion with his duet Growling Old Men, gracing the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine in 2009, and writing dozens of top-notch songs. Many of Lowell’s songs have been recorded previously, but many await recording by the Two Bit Franks.

Lowell has teamed up with a few of Montana’s hottest pickers and songwriters in a new and exciting Americana music project. Solid harmonies are sung by mandolin player Tom Murphy and bass player Russell Smith. Murphy contributes his own impressive instrumental songs to the mix, and Smith leads several of his fine compositions. Rounding out the bluegrass and Americana sound is banjo player Jeff “Hot Sauce” Shouse.

The band also covers traditional and contemporary pieces. Creative solos, driving rhythm, hot vocals and interesting arrangements have pleased listeners at Big Sky’s Big Grass Bluegrass Festival, Missoula’s River City Roots Festival, and the Livingston Summerfest as well as at many private parties and weddings.