PRESS RAVES FOR "THE ESSENTIAL GARY LUCAS" released January 29th on Knitting Factory Records
"Extraordinary 2-CD retrospective"
"The elegance of the phrasing, the ubiquity of call and response figures (another connection to Miles Davis), the ability to fit almost sonic environment is quite uncanny…There isn't a single item here that doesn't have Lucas's musical personality running through it like quartz. Essential? It's all essential."
"A testament to the man's restless energy and imagination."
"Lucas' work offers a fascinating glimpse into a musical world that allows those imaginative instincts to take spark in ways that simply seem boundless. The Essential Gary Lucas offers a potpourri of adventurous sounds and ambitious intentions."
4.5 out of 5 Stars
American Songwriter Magazine
"A remarkable guitarist with a remarkable career."
OOR Magazine (NL)
"The Essential Gary Lucas" belongs at the heart of every living music collection."
"An exhaustive compilation of 36 songs better to understand an iconoclast of the guitar, a musician who has never been pigeonholed throughout his musical career, since he has never belonged to this or that faction."
Ruta 66 (Spain)
"An essential overview into the work and diverse musical passions of this remarkable musician."
4.5 out of 5 Stars
"Utterly peerless, there's no finer pedigree in the world of creative music than Gary Lucas's and this double CD showcase the remarkable breadth of his work over the years."
5 out of 5 Stars
The Inconsistent Jukebox (UK)
"On this compendium, Lucas collects his own favorite work, and in a career that includes 30+ albums, this is likely to be everyone's favorite record of his, too."
10 out of 10
Take Effect (US)
"A feast for your ears and mind, so many textures and layers which shake, flow, and mould into a fascinating temple of sound. If you are looking for an album to enrich your listening palette, or an album to show off your musical knowledge to friends then look no further!"
4 out of 5
Off the Hook (UK)
"The star is Lucas's cosmic virtuosity, ripping raw down the rural backroads of acoustic 6-string or transforming Abdullh Ibrahim’s "Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro" into poetry that illuminates the entire emotional and sonic spectrum of electric guitar.”
Must-hear tracks: All 36 of them
Premier Guitar (US)
"If you've ever wondered what a Mandarin take on 'All Along the Watchtower' (as sung by Feiifei Yang) would be as exciting as Bob Dylan’s original, the answer is a definite 'yes'."
The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
"A truly epic body of work that spans psychedelic rock, film music, classical, electronica, jazz, blues, avant-garde, and world music excursions through 1930s Chinese pop, Hungarian folk, raga, and more, all unified by Lucas's virtuosic guitar."
"Diversity and a unique playing style steeped in American folk and rock psychedelia make Gary Lucas one of the most important American guitarists of the last 30 years."
Tomasz Gregorczyk, national Polish radio PolskieRadio
"Gary Lucas has always been an electrifying, omnivorous, unshackled artist—and trying to depict a portrait of somebody like that, I can’t say any other thing but 'high', 'large', and 'abundantly overflowing', as these two CDs are."
9 out of 10
"For those willing to go beyond superficial listening, Lucas' work offers a fascinating glimpse into a musical world that allows those imaginative instincts to spark in ways that seem simply boundless. Everyone likes this—really likes it. A potpourri of mysteriously audacious sounds and extraordinarily ambitious intentions—the household goods of those who haven't given a damn about the mainstream and look for notes that always feed different possibilities. Indeed, the whole could easily be titled 'Taking Chances with Gary Lucas'."
"This is one helluva listen! Grab it! A major guitarist and musical artist of the caliber of Gary Lucas is one of those brilliant rareties one misses at one's own peril. He has created a body of recordings no serious student of the instrument should miss. But then of course his art can and does speak to those who do not necessarily play guitar, for those seeking pioneering and exciting sounds as a whole."
Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog (US)
STREAM / DOWNLOAD / PURCHASE: https://garylucas.lnk.to/essential
Autographed copies available here