Steve Lutke and Appalachian Uprising

Steve Lutke and Appalachian Uprising


Steve Lutke and Appalachian Uprising is an adventurous four piece acoustic band from the Northeast. Led by the maniacally virtuosic banjo playing of Steve Lutke, they hit audiences square in the chest with an eclectic repertoire of hard-driving trad bluegrass and distinctive instrumentals.


If Bela Fleck is a fine German clock, Steve Lutke is a freight train. Whether he's knocking you over with hard-hitting, J.D. Crow-inspired licks, or conjuring the tranquil, bluesy soul of pianist George Winston, Lutke's music never lacks intensity. Hailing from the northern mountains of New Jersey, Lutke's 40-year love affair with the five-string banjo has led him to stages around the world as, among many others, Vassar Clements's side man, and as heavy artillery for Austin's punk/psychograss outfit, Killbilly.

While his resume is impressive, it's Lutke's simultaneous loyalty to traditional bluegrass and his search for new textures that separates the sound of Appalachian Uprising from most modern bluegrass ensembles. The band jumps at the chance to incorporate a gritty Ventures instrumental into their set, or to adapt a Mozart melody into a bluegrass setting. Lutke's rich and distinctive instrumental compositions, some of which appear on his latest album entitled Appalachian Uprising, are a testament to his edgy creative spirit. They range from wildly maniacal roller coaster rides to tranquil and reflective soundscapes.

Steve Lutke and Appalachian Uprising is a group that is not afraid to take chances, who trade the security of a polished, homogenized sound for the freedom of a jazz ensemble. With freedom comes responsibility, and while Lutke is not afraid to step out on a limb stylistically, the band never loses sight of the original spirit of the bluegrass greats.