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STEVE LUTKE NEWS
Steve will appear at the 4th Annual North Branch Bluegrass Festival of Bridgewater, Vermont September 1, 2011 - September 4, 2011
Also on the lineup are illustrious guitar picker Jim Hurst from Kentucky, Remington Ryde from Pennsylvania, Vermont's Big Spike Bluegrass, Fairview Avenue hailing from New York, Hot Mustard from Vermont, Massachusets own Chasing Blue, the Cardigan mountain Tradition from New Hampshire, Wassahickon Chicken Shack with the wildest name and from Pennsylvania, and Four Bridges from Mass.
Quoted from the Bergen Record:
"Sweet home Appalachia" - Thursday, October 22, 2009
BY JIM BECKERMAN, The Record STAFF WRITER
ELIZABETH LARA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Steve joined his old bluegrass band Kentucky Roots for a Second Reunion Concert at Albert Hall in Waretown, NJ on May 30, 2009. Joing Steve were Bob Harris on guitar and vocals, Travis Wetzel on fiddle and vocals, Vic D'Amico on mandolin and vocals, and Randy Bailey on bass and vocals. The group played before a pack house of enthisiastic bluegrass fans. Here is a track from that performance.
Watch here for upcoming concerts and shows. The schedule is starting to heat up!
From Mike Perry: I often feel like when I tell people about an upcoming concert featuring Steve and the rest of the band that I am standing on a street corner handing out wads of cash free for the taking. They are that good! But rather than just talk about it, here's proof. Here are some live samples from a recent concert at the Warwick Winery in Warwick, NY, Please hit the || button in the controller above to stop the music currently playing so as to hear the samples properly. Crank up the volume for these tunes!:
First off is "Saro Jane" one of the more obscure, but darned good, tunes from the catalog of Flatt & Scruggs to show the Traditional Bluegrass side of the Appalachian Uprising Band.
Carrying on the tradition is "Foggy Mountain Special."
Next the band turns to deep Jazz. Steve's brother Kevin is an excellent Jazz guitarist in the New York area who turned Hillbilly. They do "Getting Sentimental Over You" because they can.
"Pachebel's Canon" is a complete about face that sounds almost like it was performed by a Classical String Quartette rather than a hard drivin' bluegrass band.
Finally the band pulls out all the stops with an origianal tune called "Kentucky Roots Breakdown."
Enjoy the music, and don't miss the next time they play in your area.
From the Sing Out Vol 49 #3 Fall 2005 issue:
STEVE LUTKE - APPALACHIAN UPRISING
Fasten your seatbelts; you’re in for the Indy 500 of banjo playing. Perhaps best known regionally as a member for many years of New Jersey-based Kentucky Roots, Steve Lutke brings to the table a musical family background fueled by a keen sense of exploration and experimentation.
Lutke composed all 15 instrumentals on this recording. Rooted in newgrass styling Appalachian Uprising represents a rich, multi-colored tapestry of genres and influences, from jazz to classical nuances to “new acoustic” or progressive bluegrass. Throughout Lutke challenges the confines — if any truly exist — of banjo.
A team of formidable players provides outstanding support. Former Kentucky Roots colleagues join Lutke, including guitarist Bob Harris (Vassar Clements Band), who doubles as producer, well known radio personality Randy Bailey on bass and fiddler/mandolinist Travis Wetzel, seen and heard of late with Jesse McReynolds. Also checking in are Noah Segal and Ken Neill on djembe and alternate bass respectively.
Execution is crisp and clean on all counts, swiftly moving from one cut to the next. The depth of creativity is evident from the get-go, kicking off with the speedy “Minor Rage.” Sensitive, provocative ramblings become clear quickly too, when the second track begins. “Moon Dog” evokes a full-patterned image of a backlit night out under the trees. “Samba in the hills” starts slow and easy, sliding into a more complex construction as it builds momentum. “Hummingbird” is a gentle showcase.
“Spinner” spans the styles and particularly highlights Harris’ precise guitar technique. “Scottish Feat” finds fiddle and banjo toying with each other in a delightful concerto-like atmosphere. There is heady material as well as straight-driving banjo picking on this CD; none will disappoint. “Chainsaw” cuts to the chase and is but one more example of superb composition and musicianship.
An exceptional recording in every respect. An Olympic “10” — SPL
Sing Out, Vol 49 #3 Fall 2005
From the Bluegrass Unlimited July 2005 issue:
STEVE LUTKE - APPALACHIAN UPRISING
Steve Lutke is a banjo picker whose style incorporates a myriad of influences ranging from Earl Scruggs to pianist George Winston. "Appalachian Uprising" is an all-instrumental project consisting of 15 originals including "Minor Rage," "Samba In The Hills," and "House Of Cards." He is assisted by several guest pickers including Travis Wetzel (fiddle and mandolin) and guitarist Bob Harris, who doubles as producer. The performances drift towards the progressive end of the spectrum and glow with imagination and gusto. Any serious student of the five-string banjo would be well served to pick up this CD. (Ampersand Records, Inc., P.O. Box 6023, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.)
"Appalachian Uprising" Reviewed in the June 2005 issue of "Frets" magazine:
STEVE LUTKE - APPALACHIAN UPRISING
Steve Lutke has been called “the Michael Jordan of the banjo.” While that might be a slight stretch (no way does Lutke have a 42" vertical leap), a listen to this record gives you an idea of where the comparison comes from. Lutke possesses a dizzying command of his instrument and peels off death-defying licks and runs with ease and humor. He’s accompanied by a former flatpicking champ in Bob Harris, as well as monster mandolin/fiddle player Travis Wetzel. He also brings techniques to the banjo table that seem to come from the classical guitar, piano, and even harp traditions and he gets a lot of new and refreshing timbres out of his 5-string. When Lutke isn’t pushing the boundaries of what a banjo can sound like, he absolutely shreds and then shreds again. Woo hoo!
The following was published in The
a Straus Newspaper
Steve Lutke: One heck of a fantastic banjo-pickin' man
VERNON-Forget everything you ever thought about banjo music. When Highland Lakes musician Steve Lutke plays one of his banjos, the sounds he creates are like no banjo music you ever heard. Lutke's consummate virtuosity and right-on phrasing recalls guitarist Django Reinhardt or supreme banjo artists Béla Fleck or Earl Scruggs.
Lutke's style defies classification: He is fresh, dynamic and fluid. Picking up his banjo, Lutke starts with a lyrical banjo arrangement of Beethoven's "Für Elise," then segues to a version of "Bonnie Scotland" beautiful enough to break your heart, finishing with a rip-roarious bluegrass tune that makes you want to stand up and cheer.
For those who think they know all there is to know about banjo music, Lutke's new CD "Appalachian Uprising" will be a revelation. The songs, all original compositions, range from the exquisite ballad, "The Sky is Falling," composed when Lutke learned of the horrifying events of Sept. 11, 2001, to the true bluegrass "Spinner" and "Moon Dog." Appalachian Uprising was released on the Ampersand Label.
Accompanying Lutke are master fiddle player Travis Wetzel, flat-picking guitarist Bob Harris, Randy Bailey and Ken Neill on bass, and Noah Segal on the African Djembe drums. Segal is featured on the pieces "Moondog" and "Samba in the Hills."
Lutke, who will peform his music June 11 at the Echo Lake Baptist Church in West Milford, has music in his blood, and he credits his "fantastically talented" mother, Ginger Dinning Lutke, with never accepting anything less than musical perfection from him. Former lead singer of the famous a cappella group, The Dinning Sisters, Ginger Dinning Lutke led the group's Oscar-winning song "Buttons and Bows" in the 1948 movie, "The Paleface," starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell. The sisters also sang the feature song in Walt Disney's 1948 animated film, "Blame it on the Samba," starring Donald Duck. A collection of The Dinning Sister's songs recently has been released on the Collectors' Choice label.
Other musical influences include George Winston and Lutke's brother, jazz guitarist Kevin Lutke, as well as his aunt, Dolores Dinning-Edgin, who introduced him to the best studio musicians in Nashville.
For a musician who has achieved so much, Lutke took up the five-string banjo relatively late in life, at age 20.
"I practiced 12 hours a day, until I thought I had mastered something I wanted to do. I'm dyslexic, so I had to learn everything differently."
Lutke says he plays his banjo as if he were a painter putting gorgeous colors on canvas. The banjo has so many beautiful tunes in it, and can convey so many emotions, he says. He creates his music on a Gibson, which, he says, has a bucolic sound, and on Red Fox and Sunflower banjos handcrafted by Geoff Stellings.
"The Stellings banjos have a wide-open sound that allow me to experiment with various music forms," Lutke explained. All but two of the songs on "Appalachian Uprising" feature one of the Stellings banjos.
"When my band starts setting up to play, people see the banjo and think, ‘Oh no, more "Hee-Haw" music.' But when we start to play, everyone is stunned into silence," he said. "I've seen grown men sit on the floor in front of us listening with tears in their eyes."
Lutke has played in venues all over the country, including the celebrated Bodles Opera House in Chester, N.Y., and has accompanied supreme jazz-bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clemens.
An avid mountain bike rider and skier, Lutke lives with his German boxer Max in a cabin in Highland Lakes. When he isn't playing his banjo, he loves to cook.
Lutke will be giving a special concert at 7 p.m. on June 11 at the Echo Lake Baptist Church at 1355 Macopin Road in West Milford. The opening act for the concert will be "Blue Plate Special," a local bluegrass band. Call 866-NO1 SONG (866-661-7664) for more information and to purchase advance seating.
To hear songs from "Appalachian Uprising", click here.
This is the spot where you will find the latest information on Steve's appearances, latest projects, and other items of interest. A touching photo of Steve and his trusty dog, Max. . .
. . . And Steve's "Girls."