Lucas Stagg
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Lucas Stagg


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"Lucas Stagg - Press Reviews"

ECHO MAgazine

Goin’ Stagg and Strong

Patrick Finch

“Success depends on your definition,” explains Kitchener-Waterloo’s hardest working entertainer, Lucas Stagg. “In a place like Nashville, (Stagg’s Mecca), there are many different entities that create the spectrum of that particular songwriting community: there are the writers with publishing deals who get up at 8:00 am and go to the office from nine to five to write songs; there are the ‘Idol’ types who are there to get famous, almost a sick, dying need to be famous.
“The ones I consider most successful are the songwriters who go out and kill the locals every night with the greatest song ever written. I mean, it may not be “Like A Rolling Stone”, but those motherfuckers will make you believe it is when they’re singing it through you.”
If that is indeed Stagg’s definition, then he is certainly successful beyond measure. Since releasing his solo debut in 2004, Stagg has seen his audience multiply, and his stock rise through the roof. Three more full-length releases have surfaced in as many years, and somehow each record is stronger than the last. By paying attention to the careers of his heroes and the ears of his audience, Stagg has refined his craft, (and his new band), into the well-oiled machine that has been burning down crowds nightly since the recent release of his self-titled fourth record last month. Stagg is obviously a highly motivated, dedicated writer and performer, but he couldn’t do it all himself.
“I was listening to Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger, and figured we could get these tunes soundin’ like that by recruiting a full band. There’s an energy with the band that can bring a song into a new dimension.”
Not content to only switch things up by employing a full band, (guitarist Jesse Aultman, bassist Scott Wicken, drummer Andy Miller, and back-up singers Marcy Dwyer and Craig McNair), Stagg also changed his recording studio. While his previous records had been cut at Cambridge’s Hi-Fi Way recording facility, Stagg instead chose to work with local soundboard guru Mark Fortuna at his studio, The Bunker, for his latest effort.
“Mark showed me The Bunker Studio, and before I left that day, the decision was made. It's an old Frank Lloyd Wright-style mansion with a salt water pool and massage chair. How could I say no? He also had some great gear, and a real excitement to work with me, and me with him.”
The talent and enthusiasm of Fortuna, and Stagg’s band, (particularly Dwyer’s dirty-sweet June Carterisms and Aultman’s twanging Stratocaster licks), raise these recordings above anything Stagg has previously attempted. “Doin’ Time” and “People Talk” are raucous, beer-swillin’ country anthems, while “William Holden”, “Glory Bound”, and “Love’s All That Matters” tread gently and reverently over the sort of heart-breaking, lesson-learned tunes that Johnny Cash could have called his own. This is not to say that the new record is a complete departure for Stagg. He’s been building towards this album for a couple of years, while strengthening his local presence and continuing to look to his mentor, (rock ‘n’ roll journeyman/painter John Mars), for guidance.
“John knows what I’m trying to get done on a record. He’s got something like 20,000 records, and any rock, folk, or country record that has ever generated serious merit is in there. We just recorded his new album at Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, and it’s killer!”
Stagg’s obvious affection for Mars’ work extends towards many others in the local community. He’s put in his time giving a boost to the scene, (particularly by putting on his own shows and inviting any and all artists willing to put their songs on the line), because he understands how important a strong community of artists is to his, and to everyone’s success. He also has no time for hangers-on, and docile artists expecting success to come to them.
“All of my friends are in the music community here, helping each other out, and if that were to cease, we’d all be pretty screwed. There needs to be more though. I hate it when I play a show with someone, or hook ‘em up with a show and then I get an email letting me know that they can’t wait for me to book their ass another show. It’s basically like saying, ‘I’m a lazy shit who will never help anyone but myself, so fuck you’. I tend not to waste any more time with those types.”
Stagg tends not to waste time with anything. Despite still being in the midst of his CD release tour, he’s already in pre-production for his next record, (“We’ve got seventeen songs, but I’m still writing,”), and is prepping for a tour south of the border. This may sound like an astoundingly cramped agenda, but it doesn’t take much to keep vibrant artists inspired and motivated. For Stagg, keeping his ears full of his heroes is enough.
“Townes Van Zant, putting the song across to the audience on ‘Rear View Mirror’, or Springsteen laying it down on ‘Nebraska’. And I spend a lot of time in the c - Various


Concrete - Lucas Stagg Band - 2009
Great Big Gone - Busted Flat Records - 2008
Lucas Stagg - Songhammer - 2007
Love, Or Lack Thereof - Ugly Dog Records - 2006



Lucas Stagg is a roots rock hopeful to watch - Neil McDonald – EXCLAIM! Magazine

Lucas Stagg has refined his craft, (and his new band), into the well-oiled machine that has been burning down clubs nightly - Patrick Finch - ECHO WEEKLY

The second Eastern Canada Tour within a year with Busted Flat label mate, and former 'Skydigger', Paul MacLeod in Spring '09. Check out the calendar for details.

The new Lucas Stagg Band record, 'CONCRETE', has been recorded at River Edge Studios. It will be released in Spring 2009.

'Great Big Gone' has been Produced by Dan Walsh, and is the first release for Lucas on Busted Flat Records. Label mates Walsh, Duane Rutter, and Toronto songstress Tanya Philipovich lend their talents to this batch of tunes. 'GBG' was recorded and mixed at Dan's Studio on Lake Erie, and mastered by Paul Riemens at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton.

By turns confessional and narrative, the tunes here are presented in an unadorned performance and production style that throws their lyrical and melodic content into sharp relief. Name-checking this material influence-wise would include some fine artists such as Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt and John Prine. Lucas Stagg measures up well against such vintage stuff while projecting his own clear style, no mean feat in itself. Whether it’s the James Burton chug of ‘Hell Bent’ or the straight-up country cautionary tale ‘Doin’ Time’, the order of the day is sharp playing, strong clear vocal harmonies and melodies that stick in the mind.

Production: A
Performance: A

Rod Nicholson - SCENE Magazine