Gary Lucas   what's new  

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 score.

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.