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Gary's European Grand Tour and American Autumn Almanac
Gary Lucas, recently cited as one of DownBeat's "66 Hot 6-Stringers"
(alongside John McLaughlin, Richard Thompson, Pat Metheny and others),
just got back from his most successful solo tour of Europe to date.
Highlights included a near sold-out, rapturously received 2-hour show in
London at The Spitz on Sept. 10th, where he premiered new work, revisited
old crowd favorites like Kraftwerk's "Autobahn", and was joined by
members of Alabama 3 for an acoustic rendition of their theme from The
Sopranos, "Woke Up This Morning". Gary's concert was picked, with photos,
in both "Time Out London" and "The Metro", and received a 4-star
review from The Guardian's John L. Walters.
While in London, Gary also recorded
a session for BBC Radio 3's "World Routes" Show featuring his
arrangements of '30s Chinese pop from his acclaimed album "The Edge of
Heaven", to be broadcast October 18th. And he went into the studio with
Alabama 3 to work on their new album. On his way leaving London for a
show in Lucerne, Gary was pleasantly surprised to pick up the October
issue of "Mojo" magazine, which featured a 4-star review of his recent
compilation "Operators are Standing By—The Essential Gary Lucas". The
album also received 4 stars in the August issue of the UK magazine
"Jazzwise". You can read clips from these reviews here.
Other tour highlights included an outdoor show under the balmy skies of
Bordeaux...two nights in Paris at the Sunset Jazz Club, where his concert
was picked 2 days in a row in "Liberation", and where he jammed with the
French accordion whiz Arnaud Methivier. Plus a well-received appearance
at the Venice Biennale (where Gary disarmed the Italian national press
with grace and good humor at a press conference the day before),
accompanying the silent film "The Golem" (1920) with his original live
Two new charity CDs are out now featuring Gary's work: "Light of Day", a
double collection of Bruce Springsteen tributes including contributions
from Elvis Costello, Garland Jeffreys, Graham Parker and others, with
proceeds going to Bruce's favorite charities: the Parkinson's Disease
Foundation, and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund. The album features Gary with his band Gods and Monsters
(Jonathan Kane and Ernie Brooks) tearing it up on "Ain't Got You", from
the "Tunnel of Love" album. The Boss liked their rendition so much that
they have been invited to play on Nov. 1st at the Stone Pony in Asbury
Park, New Jersey at the 4th annual Light of Day charity concert. The proceeds of the concert will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association for their
ALS research program and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.
The other charity CD featuring Gary Lucas is "Guitar Harvest", a double
CD benefiting the Lucy Moses School's Guitar Outreach program at the
Kaufman Center, and was produced by WNYC's John Schaefer and the New York
Guitar Festival's David Spelman. Guest artists include Pierre Bensusan,
Andy Summers, and Ralph Towner, and Gary is featured with a tribute to
his former bandmate/collaborator, the late Jeff Buckley with an acoustic
instrumental composition "Dream of the Wild Horses"—Gary originally
gave the music to Jeff Buckley as the instrumental foundation for a new
song for his followup album to "Grace", but the singer died tragically
before completing it.
Upcoming Gary Lucas appearances include a lecture/performance on Oct.
28th at Columbia University entitled "Tales of a Wandering Musician",
similar to his recent classroom appearances at the University of Hawaii
and at New York University; and an appearance with The Magic Band at the
All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in Long Beach, California alongside the Queen
Mary, on Nov. 8th.
Lastly, Gary will present a concert at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC
on Nov. 17th of his solo guitar arrangements of Czech music old and
new—including works by Dvorak, Smetena, Janacek, and the Plastic
People—in honor of the 14th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Gary
is of Bohemian ancestry on his father's side and performs
frequently in the Czech Republic.