Lucas Westcott
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Lucas Westcott

Band Americana Folk


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"Musician Prefers Solo Act"

Park Ranger by day, performer by night.

Lucas Westcott joined his first band 10 years ago when he was in high school, when he first started playing guitar.

"I really just wanted to play the guitar," Westcott said. "Be in a band, and play the songs that I really loved to hear driving in my car."

Westcott recalls his first time thinking he could make it as a performer when he sold his first CD to a stranger.

"It was then that I really thought I might be able to make a life playing music," he said.

Westcott will be performing his music at 8 tonight at Common Grounds in Mattoon.

Just like everyone has a reason for what they do, Westcott has a very simple for becoming a performer.

"I really just wanted to be in a band," Westcott said. "It was hard for me though. I used to be really shy about getting up in front of people and performing. But over the years, I've gotten to, so I actually really like performing, although I'm still kind of shy about it."

Westcott is also modest when it comes to his style of music. He does not know how to classify it.

"I honestly don't really know what to say about it," Westcott says, "I guess you would call it folk music, but I don't really feel like I have an objective view on it."

Recently, Westcott has been performing solo.

"I really wanted to take the time to explore and figure out what my own aesthetic was," he said.

Westcott has played with close friends in a band called, The Lagers, in Syracuse, N.Y. They performed at house parties most of the time.

Westcott finds that writing songs is the most difficult aspect of being a musician.

"Songwriting is most difficult, least linear and most unpredictable," he said. "When you sit down to work, you never know what you are going to end up with. That's why I love it."

He also said it comes from messing around with certain lines and topics.

"A lot of it comes out of messing around," Westcott said. "Taking the time to make a lot stuff that is really, really bad. I try to save the tidbits that have promise, and make them into something."

Westcott has a wide variety of musical influences.

"I love classic rock, and learned a lot about time, pocket and feel from bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Budgie, ZZ Top and Black Sabbath," Westcott said.

He also loved James Brown for those same reasons, but also because he showed him how important it was to project emotion into his music.

To add to his variety, Westcott also likes the blues.

"Stuff like Howlin' Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt, Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Lee Hooker," Westcott said. "Stylistically, with the stuff I'm making right now, I think I look up to artists like Uncle Tupelo, Todd Snider, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Neil Young, Ani DiFranco, John Prine and Townes Van Zandt for inspiration and guidance in trying to craft songs with wit, heart, punch lines and catchy hooks."

Westcott's career is slowly on the rise with a winter tour coming up soon.

"Travel is sort of new to me and I'm still figuring it out," he said. "I'm taking one big trip this winter. I'll be on the road for a month during January. I'm going to be playing in Massachusetts, New York, Maine and Vermont. I'm also working on a couple shorter trips for February here in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas."

Most bands have big plans and even bigger dream for its future, but this is something in which Westcott differs as well.

"I try not to have too many long-term plans," Westcott said. "I try to live day to day, be a good person, write songs and do the things I need to do to facilitate my own contentment."

Westcott loves the challenge of being a musician.

"It's never easy," he said. "It's never the same (thing) twice."

"A Litte Bit of Country-Folk for your Friday – Lucas Westcott’s “Addition by Subtraction”"

Need a bit of heartache & story telling to ease you into the weekend? How about a bit of southern drawl in your daily listening? How about both in one package, “Addition by Subtraction” by Lucas Westcott just may be exactly what you are looking for.

Lucas sent me the CD the other week which was actually released in 2008 and I was completely unaware of it! Did I say I like getting great musical recommendations? Well I do. Around here I tend to cover a range of artists who’s sound might range from fringe folk to a more traditional country and Lucas sways closer to the country side of that spectrum. He has some great slow burners and it’s his drawl that makes you think it has southern roots when in fact he is from Michigan. I have firmly believed in the Michigan scene and now I know they have even more including some in the alt-country variety.

The majority and the best tracks from the album include Westcott’s vocals out front with it’s country/blues tenor, almost if he is a cross between Texas and Mississippi. I think he could get away with even more grit in his sound as his voice can carry it. That voice looks to be beyond his years and brings me back to days of which I have never been, but you still know it takes you back…if you get what I am saying. The album is pretty straight forward, he knows his sound and he sticks with it – most (if not all) of the tracks are solo singer songwriter in the “troubadour on a back porch” style and that works for me. I want to leave you with two tracks that feature some great tales set to country ballads that should make you run out and pick up a copy…even if we are a year late.



Something Old & Something New - 2006
Addition By Subtraction-2008



A native of upstate New York, Portage, Michigan, singer/songwriter Lucas Westcott studied traditional American folk music and claw hammer banjo with folk musician John Kirk at Bennington College and has played guitar in bands ranging stylistically from Classic Rock, to Japanese Pop.

A largely acoustic singer/songwriter, Lucas’s music draws from influences including Townes Van Zandt, Jonathan Byrd, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Steve Earle and Ani DiFranco. His rhythmically driven guitar style blends elements of folk, blues, country, American Primitive and flat pick styles. Lyrically tending toward storytelling, Lucas makes the most of rhyme and punch lines to give the trials and triumphs of his characters a biting edge.

Lucas supported his most recent release, 2008’s Addition by Subtraction , with tour dates in New England, and the Midwest. He has been featured at Chicago’s Folk You Songwriters Round, and the Tuesday Folk Series in Lawrence Kansas. Lucas also founded the short lived Sangamon Songwriters Series in Springfield Illinois, which featured national and regional acts like The Gordons and Jonathan Byrd.

He is currently working on songs for his third release slated for early 2011.

“Need a bit of heartache & story telling to ease you into the weekend? How about a bit of southern drawl in your daily listening? How about both in one package, “Addition by Subtraction” by Lucas Westcott just may be exactly what you are looking for.”