An In Depth Interview with Rob Lutes


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Since the release of his first album Gravity in 2000, Rob Lutes has steadily built a collection of exquisite songs that inhabit the intersection of blues, folk, Americana, and the contemporary singer-songwriter genre. As skilled delivering a Piedmont blues classic as he is performing his own acclaimed original songs, Lutes’s masterful fingerstyle guitar work and soulful voice bring an unmistakable intensity to his live performances.

On his seventh album, Walk in the Dark, he does what he has done for years: kicks up a little dust, wades into some deep waters and tackles the realities of the world with depth, humour and a unique musical style.

Situated at the intersection of the blues, folk, Americana and contemporarysinger-songwriter genres, Walk in the Dark is an exquisite collection of songs that highlight Lutes’s unmistakable voice and literary writing style. Co-produced with celebrated Montreal producer and Cirque de Soleil collaborator Rob Heaney, the album features a group of Canada’s finest roots and blues players, including guitarist Rob MacDonald and keyboardist Bob Stagg along with noted artists Ian Kelly, Guy Bélanger and Joe Grass.

It finds Lutes, a Kerrville New Folk winner, Maple Blues and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee, exploring a wide range of subjects and paying homage to some heroes: James Cotton (on There’s No Way to Tell You That Tonight) and guitarist Joseph Spence (on the instrumental Spence).

Recorded mainly over three days in late January in a small studio in Montreal’s Notre Dame de Grace borough, the recording captures the essence of Lutes’s soulful voice and rhythmic guitar style, enveloped by a group of players who are no stranger to his groove. Featuring 12 new originals, including two co-writes with award-winning Americana songwriter Dale Boyle, and the forgotten John Prine gem Rocky Mountain Time, the album digs deep into the roots of Canadian and American music and delivers another strong statement. “This album, of all of them, was a journey into the unknown, which is why I like the title so much,” Lutes says. “With a great co-producer, and a group of phenomenal players and friends, I went in to the studio to find these songs. And I really feel like we did that.”

Lutes has released six other full-length albums, including 2009’s acclaimed Truth & Fiction and 2013’s The Bravest Birds which spent seven months in the Roots Music Report top 10 and hit #1 on the EuroAmericana Chart.

He performs solo, in duo with Quebec guitar legend Rob MacDonald, and in full-band format and as part of the roots supergroup Sussex.

In early of 2016, as part of Sussex, he released Parade Day, a spellbinding love-letter to the jazz and blues of the 20s and 30s featuring some of Canada’s finest jazz and roots musicians. The record has been widely acclaimed by fans and critics alike. For more information on Sussex, visit Sussex Promo.