David

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 “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, Lennon, McCartney, 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 has recently been 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.