David Lutes

David Lutes

 Austin, Texas, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

2010 Texas Music Award Winner and TX Song of the Year Nominee, and 2009 Top-5 TX “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “Song of the Year”, “David Lutes ignores genres while fusing jazz, pop, rock, Americana and anything else that fits, and everything seems to fit.” -San Antonio Express News

Biography

2008-2010 Highlights:
2010 Texas Music Award Winner (Founder's Award for Artistic Excellence) and Texas Song of the Year Nominee
2010 Austin Music Awards Top-10 Folk Artist and Top-10 Roots Rock Artist
2009 Texas Male Vocalist and Song of the Year Nominee (Top-5) at The Texas Music Awards
2-Time MountainStage New Song Regional Finalist
Release of Big Top: Vol. 1 & 2
Roots/Country Chart Top 20 and Featured on KGSR with Bryan Beck
6th European Tour

David Lutes is a musician. At the age of 4, he started performing melodies on the piano that he’d heard peripherally in the background. By adulthood, he was accomplished on the guitar, mandolin, bass and drums. With these natural gifts and poetic sensibilities, there was no question as to whether or not he would play and write music. Despite that, he tried a professional career (as a lawyer, no less), but music returned as his element of exposure or, in his words, a way of processing the world. For David Lutes, the range of human emotions, experiences and regrets are served in song.

David’s music translates as an antibody that seems to negate poisons in the atmosphere. His newest double EP release, Big Top Vol. 1 & 2, communicates newfound peace after the birth of his first child, a daughter named Ruby. Central to its message is hope, and the record exudes this guiding sentiment to listeners. Have you listened to Texas Song of the Year nominee “You Belong (In Pearls Tonight),” track 3 on Vol. 1? Or even Vol. 2 standout “Stay Awhile”? These songs stand in such stark contrast to melancholic tunes that it’s hard to imagine a world without personal cheer, calm, and clarity.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, David spent his earliest years listening and playing music alongside a family of songsters and aficionados. If you have heard any music penned by Lutes, you would correctly expect that his parents raised him on 60’s-70’s folk-rock, jazz, and R&B. He was familiar with all the great last names before he turned 10, including Simon, Wilson, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Davis and Coltrane, Redding, and Wonder. However, equal in importance to his style is Texas. The roots of Texas music are strong and deep, and living a childhood underneath so much sky tends to give music a soaring sonic quality. The instrumentation on Big Top emphasizes that heady atmosphere, stacked with David’s own sense of endless inspiration.

The first mention of David Lutes in the music scene began with “Plumtucker,” his musical alter-ego and the original name for his band. Meant as a moniker to umbrella all of the talented players on his two previous records and in live performances, David has often toured internationally under the name. Plumtucker also serves as reference to his exhaustive spirit in songwriting- never allowing rest when he had a spark of insight.

Another question may be asked of the recordings: why the choice for double EP’s? This option is more and more common as artists extend their musical tastes, sometimes overlapping genres. For Lutes, the two predominant genres on Big Top are Americana and pop. Vol. 1 contains elements of Lutes’ Americana-roots background, clearly displayed on “Love in the Hard Times.” Vol. 2 exercises his interest in pop music, where experimentation is expected, and is modeled best by “Rooftop.”

Big Top features ample opportunities for listener captivation, as each individual song is wholly memorable. Standouts such as “Fine Line” and “The Wheel” are wistfully crafted in gossamer, lighter than air. Steady syncopations lead “Ginny On Fire,” “Be Reasonable,” and “We Love Me,” while “Lucia’s Song” is a genuine spring of color-rich lyrics. The production value on Big Top Vol. 1 & 2 heightens David’s other talent: his fine ear for opulent melodies. Indicative of his talents, David won a 2010 Texas Music Award for Artistic Excellence, was nominated for Texas Song of the Year, and was previously nominated for “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the 2009 Texas Music Awards. Since an early age, Lutes has been a musician. Where it was once a peripheral need, it is now a defining purpose.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

Lyrics

By & By

Written By: David K. Lutes, ASCAP

Couldn't pay you restitution
For the things that I done.
Couldn't examine my constitution
And pick the parts to come undone.

But in the sweet by & by,
Well I'll meet you in the sky.
By & by, by & by.

And with regrets so familiar
All the words left to speak,
It's my own brand of sorry
To sing to you and sing my peace.

In the sweet by & by,
Well I'll meet you in the sky.
By & by, by & by, by & by, by & by.

And your face - sunshine sweet.
Water cool - splash my feet.

Couldn't give you all that I should have
Couldn't now, if I tried.
But you speak the sweetest promise,
And I'll see you on the other side.

In the sweet by & by
Well I'll meet you in the sky.
By & by, by & by.
In the sweet by & by
Well I'll meet you in the sky.
By & by, by & by, by & by, by & by.

Rise Up, Elijah

Written By: David Lutes, Red Root Music ASCAP

Gospel and memory,
Is all that I own.
They've taken the rest of me,
Through my hands that work their soil.
But you've been the hope for me,
And freedom's your birthright.
And I have this hope for you,
On a Mississippi night.

CHORUS:
Rise up, Elijah,
My only son.
Think of your mother,
My true one gone.
And look to heaven,
With your final prayer,
And I'll find you there.

There's salvation on the railroad,
They say runs underground.
And it's running past the pinebox,
That holds your mother down.
Until we rise in glory,
Just like she always sang.
And we'll see you on that chariot,
Burning cotton with its flame.
Its flame. Its flame.

CHORUS

As I walk you through the meadow,
Darkness takes you from my view.
And with a gospel and a memory,
You take the best of you.
Over cross the river,
The waters move aside.
And over cross the desert,
The promise land abide.
Abide.

CHORUS

You Belong In Pearls Tonight

Written By: David K. Lutes

You belong in pearls tonight
Set apart from your daily fight
As my angel of salt and light
You belong in pearls tonight

Well, I ain't got the money to buy them, dear
So, here's a crimson ribbon for your long brown hair
Though it don't quite do justice
And that don't seem quite fair
Here's a crimson ribbon for you long brown hair

You belong in pearls tonight
Set apart from your daily fight
As my angel of salt and light
You belong in pearls tonight

Well, I ain't got a garden to grow for you
So here's some wildflowers of bronze and blue
They're kind of like your shining eyes, just a different hue
Here's some wildflowers of bronze and blue

You belong in pearls tonight
Set apart from your daily fight
As my angel of salt and light
You belong in pearls tonight

Well, if I had a goldmine, I'd try to buy the moon
For now, all I can afford is to sing to you this tune
And ten bucks for a bottle of a fine drugstore perfume
On second thought, perhaps, I'll just sing to you this tune

You belong in pearls tonight
Set apart from your daily fight
As my angel of salt and light
You belong in pearls tonight
As my angel of salt and light
You belong in pearls tonight
You belong in pearls tonight
You belong in pearls tonight

Discography

WEST/EAST EP, 2004
Lightning Wheels Prerelease EP, 2005
Live on Eklektikos with John Aielli, Jay Trachtenburg on KUT, 90.5 FM, Austin - Streaming on kut.org, Multiple Dates 2005-2009
Live with Bryan Beck on KGSR, 107.1 FM, Austin - Multiple Dates 2008-2009
Radio Without Borders @ www.kut.org
Lightning Wheels, 2006 - on label, Blueroot Music: Radio and Internet Airplay
1 Night In 1A, 2007 - Live @ KUT, UK-Only Release, 2007
Solo Stages, 2008, Blueroot Music - David Lutes Live around the world
Big Top: Vol. 1 & 2, 2009, Blueroot Music with FC+, Top 20 on Roots/Country Chart

Set List

Set Length - Variable, Flexible, 1-4 hours

Set List Originals - typical
Ginny on Fire
Stay Awhile
Lucia's Song
Rise Up, Elijah
You Belong (in Pearls Tonight)
Love in the Hard Times
Be Reasonable
This Echo Life
We Love Me
My River
Lady Persuasion
Big Parade
I Found You
Carolina Blue
Over The Moon
The Hammock Song
By & By

Set List Covers - typical examples
If I Had A Boat - Lyle Lovett
I'd Have To Be Crazy - Willie Nelson
Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Weight - The Band
Dublin Blues - Guy Clark