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December 23rd, 2012We had an amazing night at our 19th annual Salvation Army fundraiser! We raised somewhere in the neighbourhood of $7,500 for our local Sally Ann to distribute to those in need in our community. The club was packed with many old and new friends and much dancing ensued. Sarah Harmer, Sean Kelly and all the gang really stepped up to the plate and put on great shows. I was the host with the most and wrangled all the chickens on and off stage and took care of the details but had plenty of help. Kingston really shines at holiday time and the event has become a real special local affair that we look forward to every year. Now the dust has settled and everyone has scattered to spend some time with family and friends. I trust you all have a lovely time as the year winds down and wish you the very best for 2013. xo Lw
December 10th, 2012We are only a couple weeks away from Christmas and Hanukkah is already here so there is plenty of festive action in our lives. As the post below tells you we have the big Salvation Army Benefit show on December 19th at Stages in Kingston. It will be a smashing good event! We are getting a bit of snow and winter weather so far but hope for more to have a nice, white Christmas. On that note check out our sweet version of the song at: White Christmas by LW & Sarah Harmer
November 21st, 2012The shorter the days get the longer my heart reaches towards the sun and all she offers. Big news for the end of the year! We are playing our umpteenth Salvation Army Winter Relief Fund Benefit show on December 19th at Stages Nightclub on Princess Street in sunny Kingston, Ontario. It is a fine rock & roll venue where we can pack them in to see a smoking show of Kingston based talent. The full live band experience of hip hop hosers Slaves of Spanky along with Spencer and Funkyfrenz will get us dancing and there is much to be said for the music of Sarah Harmer, your inimitable host Luther Wright, the grab bag of goodness of Deck the Halls with Balls and Kelly featuring Brucey the Git, the ever precious yet commanding Kris and Dee, and surf monsters The Huaraches. Tickets will be on sale via maplemusic.com in a few days and at the club in Kingston as well as Zap Records. And in closing, it is important that everyone watches the amazing documentary film "Inside Job" by Charles Ferguson. It is available on Netflix and it clearly explains the causes of the financial meltdown of 2008 and how the greed of those in the financial markets has brought immense suffering to so many people world wide.
Farewell but never goodbye my Yukon
September 28th, 2012Let us see, where did we leave off? Dawson City, Yukon and our last big weekend I believe. The in-school work throughout the week was spectacular! The children are happy and engaged, in no small part because of the super teaching staff. A special shout out goes to Peter Menzies who organized our work there and continues to scheme about music education and our involvement. Our Westminster/pit shows were long, four set-ers but a good musical work out for us. One night we did our show there then went to Bombay Peggys for another hour & 1/2 show to a cheery crowd of teachers in town for a conference. Brown played plenty o piano for sure. His left hand was bruised from all the honkytonk. One fine day we cruised the Yukon river with our friend Holly. He took me, Brown and my dear old pal Miami Harald Bachman on a trip to his cabin he is building up river on a beautiful piece of land. I should mention that Harald is up in the Yukon shooting a reality show about miners so it was kismet that we got to visit again after many years. Back in the day we were card carrying members of the Boy, Dog, Gun Club with Doc Danger (r.i.p.), Deadboy, Big Ran and cousin/half brother Hank Wright. While on the river we also caught a big salmon, ate moose meat from a bull that Holly shot last week and also munched on delicious smoked salmon strips. It was perfect. For our last show in pit our talented musician pals Rusty Ford & Sarah McDougall showed up and joined in the show. Once that was finished we rocked Diamond Tooth Gerties casino for what was the season closing night. The stage show was scandalously delicious and some us played roulette quite successfully between laughter and drinks. The topper of the week was the Harvest Moon festival hosted by Holly & Kerstin. They have a magical, off the grid place in West Dawson, which is across the Yukon river. A good many people came out for a great time on a amazing day. It was a balmy 25 degrees celsius and the potluck, including a pig roast, was delicious! (I do not eat piggy piggy though....) The next, more chilly day we had a big drive to Whitehorse where we returned all we borrowed for the trip (thanks Aiden Tentrees, Bob Hamilton and Mica!) Then a fly day to Vancouver and now we are on the train home where have been playing for our passage thanks to Via Rails onboard entertainment program. A few days rest back home and then I am going to prep for recording a new album (finally) with Brown at the helm. What a banner trip to finish up swell summer. And I did a wee interview about Dawson City for the CBC Whitehorse. It is at: CBC luther talks Cheers! Lw
Yukon travels report #2
September 19th, 2012Dawson City I love you so. Here we are on day four here and day seven of our tour. All is well on the western front. The weather has been very suitable for our needs, which are mainly a hankering to hike around between teaching music at the Robert Service School and playing at night. We had a fine house concert the Tuesday at our man Peters place. A nice songy songerson show that contrasts with our kicking bar shows the next few nights. Also the house concert crowd likes a little more yackity yack between songs which both Brown & I are happy to provide. In fact as much as I am happy and somewhat proud of my songs I would prefer to be able to entertain by rambling stream of consciousness stories, jokes and demented observations, peppered with light, political rants. Both my friends, if they are reading this (or can actually even read) would likely argue against that goal but they are not within 2,500 km of here now anyway and I can always find another two friends, probably.... It has been 27 years since I was in the Yukon in September. All the businesses are in transition as the season changes and the transients leave. Saturday is the last night at Diamond Tooth Gerties, ye local casino. Brown and I are quite convinced we can turn our tour cash into something substantial. I am saving for a personality transplant and I believe his goals are more modest. Something like a new tranny for his van (the old one got a job at a strip bar....). We will see who achieves what. Okay, I am stretching it a bit and I will admit that. We have been in the schools all day and my brain is a wee bit rattled. The Robert Service School is a phenomenal institution where the staff obviously care deeply about education. Coming in from away and working with the students gives us a special insight into the vibe of a school and we have both been in a few over the years. Sadly, music programs in public and high schools have been mostly phased out in Ontario where we are from but here in the Yukon they see the value of music in education. We start a three night stint at the Westminster tonight with an early show in the lounge. I have the Charles Bukowski suite on the third floor, replete with stained wallpaper and a tv next door blaring full volume soccer matches. It is a bit of a switch from Bombay Peggys where I lounged around since we arrived. It is nice to have a bit of perspective switch and perhaps sleeping in my clothes the next few nights may not be so bad. And I put up some photographs in the gallery. xo Lw
September 14th, 2012The morning of the beginning of tour always has a surreal aspect to it. Knowing that by days end I will be far away, often across the country thanks to the miracle of air travel. And this day was no different as Chris Brown and I left our respective rural homes to meet up in Kingston and begin our trip to the Yukon via Toronto airport and a show in Vancouver with Carolyn Mark, Rusty Ford and Terri Upton. All went smoothly and we even wrangled some fans on the flight to come to the show which already was peopled by dear Vancouver friends and fans alike. A nice first show that portends increased glory as they dates click by. Brown and I have been running the roads for close to 20 years now ever since his old band the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir took Weeping Tile on what was our first national tour and what was to be their last tour after many years of bringing the music to the masses. They all gave Nyc a shot before disbanding and Chris and Kate opted to stay in Brooklyn and lay the groundwork for many a Canadian band to build a following in the city that never sleeps. Over ten years many a musician benefited from Chris and Kates hospitality, knowledge of the city and contacts on the music scene. Not to mention the stellar, late night jams with an ever changing gang of lovely talent. I wrote more songs in their aptly named groovy grotto than anywhere else other than the hideout or the beaches of Mexico. Now we are going to play a good many of them at our Whitehorse and Dawson City shows and we will even be digging out the mellow gems for our return trip on the train from Vancouver to onsquario. Aahh songs. I may be slipping in output but happily am able to sing the ones I have already with a new found confidence. Nothing raises your game like teaching in the schools as we will be doing next week at the Robert Service school in Dawson. The junior chipmunks are little sponges so you gotta bring your A game or they will eat you alive. Well, more likely one withers from the shame of being the boring teacher we all remember from our past. My secret thrill of returning to Dawson is that I will be staying at my ole digs, Bombay Peggys. It has undergone a remarkable transformation since we huddled around the piece of shit, oil drum wood stove, hungry and broke back in the cold spring of 85. Eleven of us shared what was Dawsons last operating brothel, then perched by the banks of the yukon river. It faded but never fell and sometime at the turn of the millennium a couple of inspired women bought it up and moved he whole building to its present, proud location in the centre of town. A substantial facelift and expansion ensued and now it is the jewel of the north. I will wander the halls and speak softly to my old ghosts and lingering memories of a place that holds the lusty dreams and schemes of many a wayward soul.
And the Fall begins
September 10th, 2012Back from ANOTHER great trip to New York City (I love you so...). We played this crazy party at Rodeo Bar for a bunch of folks from L.A. that were in town to start a country music cruise. My buddy Gordie Tentrees and his band, including Roger Marin joined us for the over the top show. It was packed to the rafters and we kicked it our for 6 hours! Megan Palmer held her own on the fiddle and got many cheers for her smoking solos and fine singing. Music aside, we really had a great day at Coney Island as summer shone her last bits of sun and heat. So nice to be on the ocean when in the city. It is hard to believe that in three days time we will be up in the Yukon but that is how we roll. First a gig in Vancouver to warm it up then zoom! To Whitehorse. Our other fun show in Ny was at the hip Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club in Williamsburg where we joined the Whiskey Revue with the Buddy Hollars. Good times. I will keep updates a-coming from the Yukon as we are playing many shows and hanging about Dawson City for 8 days including at the Harvest Moon Festival! I hope to find a big hunk of gold whilst there and I will share it with all of youze...
3,500 miles and 400 songs later...
August 21st, 2012Just another spectacular run of shows including in the 11th annual Cowpie festival in western Michigan. Our new buddy and drummer DJ McCoy killed it and we rocked the hell out of the crowd on a bill with many excellent bands including Donald Kinsey and the Kinsey Report who absolutely shone. We played right before him and got to hang out. He has played and toured with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Albert King and others. Smoking guitar playing! One of my first and favourite jobs was working at Chez Piggy in Kingston, Ontario. The owners were generous, cultured people who shared their knowledge of food, drink and music readily. Zalman Yanovsky, guitarist for the Lovin Spoonfull stocked the bar with his phenomenal music collection that included Donald Kinsey and I never imagined that I would be on a bill with him one day. After our set he was standing side stage and told me he had never heard music like ours, which I am assuming is a good thing by the way he was smiling and slapping me on the shoulder. Prior to that festival Chicago treated us well again. We did two separate gigs in one night and met piles of great folks. What a town! Our peeps JT & the Clouds and Allison Russell were off in Wisconsin so we crashed at their lovely places. I wish we could have seen them though as the blood runs deep between us. The Wrongs guitarist Dan Curtis shone like the star he is the whole tour which ended in Canada at the wonderful Wesport Music festival in the stunning village of Westport, north of Kingston. Bassist Larry Cook joined us on bass for the tour and wowed them with his tiny ukulele bass with the big sound. As we had to drive from Ny city to Chicago and back to Kingston through Detroit it was the only thing that would fit in the car! No problems though, it sounds huge and fat like a bass should. We had a swinging good show with Carolyn Mark at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto as well as a couple home town shows ta boot. Next up is a barn concert near my place with Carolyn and the likely suspects, a weekend in Nyc with Gordie Tentrees and band from the Yukon. And speaking of the Yukon that is Septembers story. Chris Brown and I are going to Whitehorse and Dawson City for a couple of weeks of shows and in school stuff with the junior chipmunks and swinging through Vancouver on the way up for a show on the 12th. Our return plan is on Via Rail as part of their Onboard Entertainment program that allows us time to sleep, reflect, read, play for the travellers and enjoy the breadth of the worlds second largest country...
August, dear August
August 6th, 2012An exciting few weeks ahead as we make our way to Ny to rehearse for our run of shows including the 11th annual Cowpie Festival in Michigan. https://www.facebook.com/groups/228319067269289/ There is some 44 bands including us and we are hitting the stage 8pm Saturday night. Our new buddy Dan McCoy will be joining us in drums. We are borrowing him from Delilah & the Lost Boys who play before us. We are swinging through Pittsburgh & Chicago as well, prior to the festival and finishing the week off in Detroit at a Sunday evening show. Very excited!
hot hot heat hot
July 22nd, 2012Ahh, do I ever hate my stupid phone. After writing a nice long update and leaving it for a few days it was erased for some strange not so smart phone reason. So I cracked it in half like they do on Breaking Bad after they make those calls to the po-po. Anyhoo, things have been going quite well on the music front. Jack Grace and Jason Mercer came up from Nyc in June for a run of great shows including the best barn dance in recent memory. We did plenty of swimming in between gigs, either in the Gatineau river or Adolphus reach. I am currently sitting in my pal Martypants living room listening to the master of Rusty Fords record which we have been working on for a good spell. It sounds amazing! Next up is our run of shows that starts with rehearsals in New York City and takes us through Pittsburgh, Chicago, Grand Rapids, MI, Detroit rock City and back to Canadia where we have some fun shows including a Dakota Tavern gig with Ms Carolyn Mark. After that I really have no excuses not to start recording my album. But I am sure I will figure some way out to procrastinate... On the blog front I really had written some clever stuff that got lost in the ether and will endeavour to repeat at least that quality soon!
Train I Ride
May 31st, 2012I watch the vastness that is Canada pass by through the window of my cabin on Via rail train two as we make our way east towards Ontario. It is a magical world on the long haul train. People lurch through the hallways to hear me perform a few times a day in the dome cars. (The lurching is movement related as opposed to the usual reason!) The Via staff are exceptionally wonderful and friendly. The concept of on-board entertainment is genius as it provides another cultural element to an already fabulous journey as well as allowing musicians the chance to travel peacefully to or fro a tour. Many years of crossing this land flicker through my mind like a light fantastic. It is no surprise that it is a big place, Canada. And not many people really. I am never not surprised or amazed by how beautiful people really are when you get a chance to talk with them in a comfortable situation. I think I love that as much or more than I love playing music. Perhaps I should just admit that the music thing is really only a tool for me to get to engage with other humans. My friend Mark is a mechanic and I see that in him too. Except he can fix cars where I can maybe fix your mood for a bit. Train travel seems to bring out the best in people. We are seated at random together for the 3 delicious meals they serve each day and in both my trips I have never had an awkward situation. Again I must say that the staff set a pretty comforting level of goodwill which spreads through the cars. I am particularly curious as to how they like their work and without exception everyone seems content. We are closing in on Winnipeg where they switch over the crew and we continue on to Toronto. I am hoping to visit a few friends, however briefly, in the two hour window we have there. (Last time we did this and stopped in the peg it was February and two in the morning!). I recall that the Times Changed Pub is a few blocks from the train station and we played there with Jack Grace a couple years back. I recall some sort of rubber chicken tossing game being played into the wee hours. Then there is one big day and night push through to Toronto and civilian life. Oh, and did I mention how comfy cozy the beds are? zzzzz.....
Update from Owner Operator Tour
May 22nd, 2012We are heading back into BC after a stint in Alberta that included a fun show in Edmonton at the Artery where they always treat us right. The fabulous Sarah Hart played with us. She is a real star on the fiddle and a great person who we all miss out on the road. Twin Butte was once again spectabulous! Ms Jenny always gives us the royal treatment and the locals are fun people to play for and carry on with. Rancher country and big sky. We had a day off so we went horseback riding and visiting to the ranch of friends of Carolyns. Spectacular landscape and peaceful living. Just five more shows on this run and then I take the train home to loved ones and Ontario summer activity!
May 16th, 2012We have convened for The Owner Operator Tour featuring Carolyn Mark, Jack Grace, Terri Upton and yours truly. A brief visit to Victoria and the Hooteanny behind us now we made our way to sunny Vancouver (really actually sunny) for rehearsals and business fun before kicking off the tour at the fabulous Biltmore. It will also be the debut of my new suit! Made by Waterloo Wendy the suitmaker to the stars. Pictures to come soon!
New York City!
April 30th, 2012Oh New York, how we cannot stay away from you for long. My lonely drive through upstate was highlighted by wet snow and frantic text messages concerning a faulty master cd at the manufacturing facility. Not much I could do from the road though so I stuck it out to Bearsville where I picked up Jack Grace and ripped it down to the city. We went straight to Patsys pizza up in Harlem area. Apparently that is where pizza was invented and it sure is good. There was a huge table of huge guys waiting. All pals from high school and very friendly. Boisterous and New Yorkers full stop. I am six foot one, 165 lbs and looked like a ten year old compared to these giant, ex-football offensive lineman. They make em big down in America. I am doing four shows down here. A great warm up at Cafe Steinhof that included a delicious Austrian meal and some fine beer. The band this run includes Bruce Martin on drums and accordion, Megan Palmer on fiddle and vocals and new comer Larry Cook on double bass. Great singing! We had it all.going on the next night at the Rodeo Bar as well. It must have been close to our 20th gig there over 11 years. Always a good crowd and good time although a segment of my loyal Canadian following was absent due to the crushing defeat of the Ottawa Senators by the NY Rangers that night. It is spring in New York but still cool. Megan and I wandered through Prospect Park and found our way to bass man Benny cha chas place to view their fresh baby boy. Pretty cute! Lots of breeders in Park Slope and as it is Saturday today the streets are full of strollers and the park is loaded with baseball games and frolicking folks. Hmmm, a guy just sat down near me and stripped down to his gitch for some sunning. Must be european, they do that there. Maybe I will wander over to the ball game... Last night we rocked the Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club. A group of hipsters and artists filled out the funky room and we wowed them with our oh so sophisticated sounds. Williamsburg is definitely a groovy area. Last show is there tonight with Steak, Jack Graces jam band from the 90s. Then I can return home to my loved ones and spring projects and a good haircut.
and it is
April 26th, 2012Five banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve
Happy Easter Egg
April 8th, 2012So here comes spring and nothing says change like remembering that the jeezer died on the cross for our sins and then came back to make sure we knew. Ahh sinning and redemption, life and death. Substantial topics for sure but not likely why one would visit a musicians website. Ricky Scaggs perhaps? On this end of things we are plugging away on details for the spring/summer & fall shows as well as mixing mixing mixing the aforementioned albums I have been recording. New York City awaits at the end of this month but not before we play host to The 50 Men from Wakefiled, Quebec. It will be their Mansion debut. Local Kingston, honkytonk upstarts Liquorbox are also on the bill for a big night of shit-kicking music. Jack Grace and I are heading west in May to join up with Carolyn Mark for our owner/operator tour that takes us around BC and Alberty for what will be an amazing show. Check the dates and come out or send word to your pals in the area!! And in closing, the Williams sisters are back!!!!
I-75 is a Mighty Lonely Life
March 10th, 2012Greetings from the sunny south where we have reacquainted ourselves with places and people that have been near and dear to my heart. Asheville, North Carolina especially holds a special spot in my thoughts as we have played there numerous times over the years and have many made wonderful friends. It was so good to see the gang again at our man Chad Battles great club called The Bywater. It lies on the banks of the French Broad River and by all accounts is doing really well. Allison Russell, JT Nero and I played to a packed house of folks and it made me think of how I much I love American music lovers. They really never forget you once you have won them over, even after an absence of 5 years. My homeland of Canadia is certainly full of fine people but they are surely a fickle bunch. I feel like it is a bit of a roller coaster of discovered, forgotten, discovered then forgotten again. And that can all happen in a two year span! Ahh, whadyagonnado? There is so much great music being made and performed that it is hard to keep up. Currently I am sitting in a sweet courtyard in St Augustine, Florida after an afternoon at the beach. So nice to be hot again after the winter months. Next stop is historic Savannah, Georgia.
March 2nd, 2012Just a quick update. We are heading south to North Carolina to play Asheville at the Bywater, owned by our old buddy Chad Battles who worked at Jack of the Wood back in the day with all our Ashevegas hommies. I cannot wait to see everyone and get back to one of my favourite American cities. Allison from Po Girl and Jt Nero will meet us there. I hear that we can even float down the river to our gig which rivals last years arriving by snow machine to the gig in Dawson City as a damn fine way to get around. On the recording front I am just at the mixing stage for both the fabulous Rusty Ford album and local Wakefield heroes The Standardbreds. Spring will be full of music. The Owner/Operator Tour with Carolyn Mark & Jack Grace is looking good, check out the tour dates and alert both your friends about the shows in their area.
Happy Valentines Day!!
February 13th, 2012It is the time to be spontaneous as Shakespeare says, "love sought is good, but given unsought is better". Download our loveliest love song for your sweetie, "The Land of Milk & Honey". http://www.lutherwright.com/music.php A romantic duet with our dear friend Ms. Sarah Harmer. xox
Nice Review of our new Live album!
February 9th, 2012http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/FolkAndCountry/jack_grace_band_with_luther_wright-live_at_acoustic_grill
2012 So Far, So Good