New Friend: M. Lucas – Dust
So I came home from work tonight gave the Roots Music Report a quick look over saw at #23 M. Lucas and the album Dust. So I loaded up Napster found the album and gave it a quick listen. The opening track “Down in the Swamp” sounded like some good swamp music, so I quickly downloaded the album on to the player, and have been listening to some great music all night. From his website I see that the album opened the year at Number 11 on the Euro-Americana Chart!
M (Mark) Lucas calls Danville, Kentucky home and while Dust may be his solo debut Lucas has been honing his craft for a while. From his website:
He played folk and country in the acoustic duo Lucas & Graham in his twenties. Then he was part of the roots group Billyblues for ten years and four albums, performing Americana originals and opening for the likes of bluegrass legends Jim and Jesse.
In ‘08 he went solo and set out to make an LP whose personal passions would be embodied in a cross-section of the American past. Two albums’ worth of recorded material later, he drew together the related songs that comprise his solo debut, Dust. The follow-up, Cathead Biscuits, will release in 2011.
The songs and music on the album are great. Lucas’ provides a lot of the music himself, as he plays electric and acoustic guitar, bass, keys and percussion. But he’s also has some other players on the album that are outstanding. Bleu Mortensen, of Lyle Lovett fame, provides outstanding pedal steel on “Gold” and dobro on “Last Things” and “Circuit Rider.” and Jenée Fleenor provides equally outstanding fiddle, particularly on “Lost John. Other who help out include Derek Deakins (Osborne Brothers), Scott Joyce (Blake Shelton), and Nick Hoffman (Kenny Chesney).
When I first listened to the album, the artist who popped into my mind was Ray Wylie Hubbard, particularly after listening to “Whiskey Railroad” Tonight, when I went to Lucas’ website, I saw I wasn’t the only one who had that thought, KUSH Radio says this about Lucas:
“An original voice, somewhere between Ray Wylie Hubbard and Tom Waits.”
And in his FAME (Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange) review Bob Gottleib had the same reactions I did when he first heard Lucas’ music:
“He is one of those rare talents . . . as soon as the disc starts you straighten up and listen a lot closer to the music coming out of the speakers, because it is good, real good, and goes directly to your heart.”
Here’s a video – “The Sideshow” from Dust!