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Dex’s Laboratory

was still trying to shake the disbelief. “It gets a little more real each round,” he says. “It’s about trying to soak it in and just being grateful.”(Lowell was eliminated from the competition April 8.) He was especially grateful for the level of dedication and coaching that happened behind the scenes. Whether it was meditating with Pharrell to calm pre-performance nerves or picking the brains of older contestants, the process made him stronger and more confident – as illustrated by his victorious and energetic performance of “Hound Dog” in the battle round, his favorite moment of the contest. “I’m learning how to feel the energy on stage,” he says. “I want the audience to believe what I’m singing.” Lowell credits his initial courage to sing on stage to Durham Academy middle school teacher Melody Zentner. He sang “Hallelujah” during an eighth-grade chorus concert and more performance opportunities followed, including a top-10 finish in the Triangle Rising Stars competition and solo performances for Elon’s a cappella group, Rip Chord. Between rounds on “The Voice,” he returned to Melody’s classroom to thank her with a rendition of the same song. Time at home in Durham was short and sweet – or rather, short and savory. Lowell made sure to stop by Dame’s Chicken and Waffles and Bull City Burger & Brewery to squeeze in as much quiet time with friends and family as possible. However, it grew harder and harder for him to get around town unnoticed. “People recognize me,” he says. “You can’t just go out in your pajamas anymore!” Eventually the business major hopes to resume being a normal college student. You know, a college student who has a Facebook fan page and thousands of Twitter followers. But he’s enjoyed taking a chance on what he loves. “Music helped me find myself,” he says. “And I’m happier for it.” – Kelly Archer

Downtown’s new pop-up wine bar, Rx Wine Lab, is officially open for business in Golden Belt. Sharing a space with Carrboro Coffee Roasters, the intimate, 16-seat wine bar features a plethora of wines, offered by the glass or bottle, suitable to quench any palate. A glass of wine is $10, a tasting flight of three is $15 and bottles are $35, with additional selections available from a reserve list. Light snack pairings of charcuterie and cheese complement the carefully curated and ever-changing wine menu. Master Sommelier Fred Dex, the mastermind behind the concept, and partners Kory Lynn and Tristan Pennell aim to create a unique experience for any wine enthusiast. “The pop-up at Golden Belt allows us to bring our concept to the community while we finalize our plans for a permanent downtown Durham location,” Fred says. “We will use this time to fine-tune our concept and continue to find innovative ways to serve and educate our customers.” Rx Wine Lab also offers the opportunity to learn from the Carolinas’ only master sommelier through informative wine classes during the week. Classes – now offered on Tuesdays – will often feature winemakers, importers and other experts. For more information and to register for classes, visit – Kayla Anderson u

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Durham Magazine - May 2015  
Durham Magazine - May 2015