David Lutes | Big Top: Volumes 1 & 2

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Big Top: Volumes 1 & 2

by David Lutes

Two stunning, wholly memorable albums from this Austin-based, Texas Male Vocalist of the Year nominee wed gossamer-crafted, melodic americana and charming, hook-laden pop under a soaring soundscape evocative of the vast Texas sky.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lucia\'s Song
5:01 album only
2. Be Reasonable (My Mother Said)
3:25 album only
3. You Belong (In Pearls Tonight)
5:11 album only
4. Rise Up, Elijah
6:08 album only
5. Love In The Hard Times
5:19 album only
6. This Echo Life
4:55 album only
7. Coming Apart
3:57 album only
8. Ginny, On Fire
4:42 album only
9. Stay Awhile
3:45 album only
10. We Love Me
3:15 album only
11. Fine Line
6:55 album only
12. Big Parade
4:41 album only
13. Rooftop
3:50 album only
14. The Wheel
5:48 album only
15. The Night Watchman
2:29 album only


Album Notes
Nominated for “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the 2009 Texas Music Awards

“Plumtucker ignores genres while fusing jazz, pop, rock, Americana and anything else that fits, and everything seems to fit.”
-San Antonio Express News

“Lutes has a commanding mastery of his voice…Plumtucker is indeed an elevated talent. Sitting a notch above the droves of singer/songwriters who want but never act, Lutes has redefined the brass ring.”
-Lucky Boyd, Academy of Texas Music (Texas Music Awards)

“The pristine beauty of David’s voice sends me away, and the tears spring not from the melancholy of losing what was, but from the joy of celebrating what is…Americana fans, step up to the plate on this one. Solo Stages presents Americana with slight jazz overtones, ethereal but earthbound lyrics enhanced by elegant melodies.”
-Steve Circeo, Americana Music Times, March 2008

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, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, 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.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson



to write a review

Casey Pons

A Few Words About... Big Top
There are CD's when you hear them for the first time that request your attention, the separate cuts run their individual courses, and finally subside and life goes on.
And then there is... "Big Top" This labor of love begins with,"Lucia's Song" and won't let you go once she has you in her grasp!
This Opening Act is a thing of beauty, from the very first glide of that hauntingly beautiful bow across the taut strings of that fiddle, while David's soulful vocal introduction (as well as Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Bass, Accordion, Organ, Piano, Brushes or most any inanimate, or otherwise, object left to lay in his presence for an extended period of time) invites you into his heart with this musical expression of love for this, "Golden Lady" of his life, as he wills you to come along and share the journey "In Posey-In Posey." This is (I believe) the closest to divine musical intervention I have been witness to in a very long time (quite possibly ever). The more one allows this galactic expanding production to manifest itself into your chemistry, the firmer the hold the entire effort will have on you and your moral constitution. It took me two days just to get beyond Lucia, as she is an image so vividly painted you don't want to say,"So-Long," just quite yet, if in fact ever.
But once you loosen that rein a scosche and let her run... What rewards are in store for you under the,"Big Top."
Once able to navigate further, is "Be Reasonable." Guidance your Mother always carefully advised you as a younger man and that,"Lady Fortune," always has a winking eye and a easy mind awaiting you down the trail a piece.
Next Act, for the searching of your being, is the humble but lovingly refrain of, "You Belong In Pearls Tonight," sincerely informing your one and only love of life, what she (is) worthy of... if only you could afford, to adorn her with, but alas, this tune is all you have to humbly offer up.
Followed dramatically by your last words of guidance to your only son and," Rise Up Elijah" take the underground journey North for another chance at the life you deserve, and one day you, your mother and I will all be together once again on the other-side of high cotton.
And just in case you didn't think, "Love in the Hard Times," was possible, Johnny & Jackie will set you straight with their observations of life in low places, with her casual glances in your direction while you wait for the spin cycle to complete on those pants before the next go round of life leans on your weary mind & bones, once again.
With the gentle reminder of love and the subtle tale of,"This Echo Life," which confronts the pain of letting go, and returning to where you started, for another un-chartered journey of love, in another place in time.
The mending muses of "Coming Apart" cuts so deep to the heart & soul by exposing the naked truth two people have shared, with their moral convictions of Life, Faith, Music and the consequences of choice in life unknown to the less-forgiving masses of the outside world where anything's possible, but highly improbable, and now it's time to reflect over a simple cup of tea, and all those songs of innocence your Grandma used to soothe you as a child, all the while slowly reconstructing your being by her mending songs of love. I'm particularly fond of the continuous knocks of reconstructing throughout the song, as if to slowly make one,"whole again."
All this poetry, and surrounded by a plethora of Texas' finest musicians; Tom Benton (Upright Bass), Richard Bowden (Fiddle), David Breeding (French Horn), Kullen Fuchs(Keyboards Extraordinaire), Lloyd Maines (Pedal & Lap Steel Guitars), Brady Muckleroy (Fretless Bass) Dany Wynn (Drums,Percussion,Keyboards) Whit Williams (Electric & Classical Guitars) and Larry Schooler (additional Keyboards), last but not least, Betty Soo (Harmonizing Vocals) and the Kitchen Sink... as itself.
In summary, these are the only acts The Ring Master has allowed into my town as of yet, but there is a whole other Big Top CD awaiting my exploration(Vol.#2) when Vol.1 will release me from this adventure, while coming to a Center Ring in my mind soon... and yours too, if you allow the, "Circus of Life" to walk the "Tightrope of Introspection," David & Friends have so eloquently painted for your listening, and viewing pleasure in the theater of your mind.
Bravo, Mr. Lutes… Bravo!