Rob Lutes | Walk in the Dark

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Walk in the Dark

by Rob Lutes

On his seventh album, acclaimed Canadian songwriter Rob Lutes 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
Genre: Blues: Folk-Blues
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A Little Room
4:32 $0.99
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2. There's No Way to Tell You That Tonight
3:44 $0.99
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3. Pumping Love
3:34 $0.99
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4. I Am the Blues
2:47 $0.99
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5. Whistling Past the Graveyard
3:17 $0.99
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6. Walk in the Dark
3:42 $0.99
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7. Spence
2:21 $0.99
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8. Rocky Mountain Time
3:40 $0.99
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9. Bigger
2:58 $0.99
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10. Rabbit
3:13 $0.99
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11. Hardest Thing of All
3:00 $0.99
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12. Believe in Something
3:15 $0.99
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13. Better Past
2:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
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."

Musicians

Rob Lutes • Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Rob MacDonald • Electric, Resophonic and Acoustic Guitars
Mark Nelson • Drums and Percussion
Andrew Horton • Bass
Bob Stagg • Piano, Wurlitzer, Organ
Joe Grass • Mandolin
Guy Belanger • Harmonica
Josh Zubot • Violin on Rabbit
Rob Fahie • Bass on Rabbit
Josephine von Soukkonov • Backing vocals
Ian Kelly • Backing vocals on Whistling Past the Graveyard

"Lutes is a fine roots/blues writer, one of those gems you find by chance as you're going through a town and he's going through a town and you just want a beer and he gives you the show of the year.”
- Bob Mersereau, CBC.ca

"Widely acknowledged as a gifted songwriter.”
- Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen

“For me, Rob Lutes was one of the highlights.... His unique style, superb musicianship and his rapport with the audience came through loud and clear. A thorough professional, Rob deserves wide recognition as one of Canada's best musical assets. ”
- Mike Hill, AD, Mariposa Folk Festival

"Great songs. I really like Rob's style.” - Chris Smither


Walk in the Dark - Songnotes

Walk in the Dark - Songnotes


A Little Room
Absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. A little musical oddity that I loved and worked up into this song about freedom and finding some space.

I love the band's feel on this tune. It's one of my favourite Rob MacDonald guitar solos ever, and after seven records, that's saying something.

James Cotton/There's No Way to Tell You That Tonight
I wrote this in a few hours a couple of days after seeing a James Cotton show in London, Ontario. I met him backstage, but his voice was largely gone. His harp tone was like freight train that night.

Rob MacDonald's guitar and Guy Bélanger's harmonica add some bluesy textures to this heavy groove.

Pumping Love
Music is good for your heart and head. I learned that as a five-year old going to bed with my radio tuned to the FM station in Saint John, NB but sometimes I forget. So this song is a reminder of what this music thing is all about. I began writing this song on the highway while on tour in Europe in 2016.

This might have been the most fun I had in the studio this time, hearing Bob Stagg on the Wurlitzer and Rob MacDonald on the electric guitar riff off this funky little groove.

I Am the Blues
Another song that was written on tour in Europe in 2016. It was inspired by Dan Cross's film I Am the Blues, which is a gorgeous, moving, bittersweet journey into the Deep South with a group of aging blues legends who embody the spirit of the blues.

When it was written, this was a slow blues. The band and co-producer Rob Heaney suggested it should move a little. I'm glad I took their advice.


Whistling Past the Graveyard
Co-written one evening in my living room with Montreal songwriter Dale Boyle. There are lots of reasons to open our eyes and hearts in the darkness.

I invited my friend, the celebrated Quebec singer-songwriter Ian Kelly to sing backing vocals on this one. His pure vocal adds the ethereal quality that I was looking for on this tune.

Walk in the Dark
The future is unpredictable, so we are all walking in the dark in a sense. Love makes the journey worth it. I started this one a few years ago, and finished the lyrics just before recording with help from my wife Monique Riedel.

Usually my songs have had a bit of live performance history before I take them into the studio. This one was brand new so it was an outlier on this record. We were truly walking in the dark on how it would come out. When Bob Stagg added the organ part to the band, it made sense. I love the driving feel of it. Get in the car and turn it up.

Spence
This instrumental was originally inspired by the music of Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence, one of the most singular players (and singers) I have heard. I pushed myself to try and conjure his style a bit on my acoustic. This is a more bluegrassy and breakneck sound than he ever put out there but the seed came from his beautiful, rhythmic playing.

Along with Andrew Horton's killer bass lines and Rob MacDonald's fiery dobro work, I wanted some mandolin on this one. I invited well-known Montreal player Joe Grass, a fellow New Brunswicker who plays just about every stringed instrument, to come in and lay some down. He arrived at the studio with this sweet mandolin part all worked out. That and his great rhythm help make the tune for me .

Rocky Mountain Time
A John Prine song from his 1972 album Diamonds in the Rough. It touches that place of lost longing that we think we are going to grow out of entirely but never quite do. I first played this with my friend, the singer-songwriter Dave Carmichael back when we were students at Acadia University and we were digging in heavily to Prine's vast catalog. This was always one of my favourites and to me it is less well known than it should be. I hope this version helps correct that.

Once again, Mark Nelson and Andrew Horton hold down a perfect feel for this, with Bob Stagg's swirling accordion and Rob MacDonald's electric guitar floating in the ether.

Bigger
When your heart swells, you're onto something good. This song came out in a short time to celebrate that truth.

This song is one of two on this album without percussion. It kind of has its own little groove with a conversation between the acoustic, Rob MacDonald's electric and Andrew Horton's upright bass.

Rabbit
Our human ways, viewed in animal terms. Kind of Watership Down meets Doc Watson. This lyric was co-written with Dale Boyle.

This song came from a session with Rob Fahie on upright bass and Josh Zubot on violin, two celebrated players who have left Montreal to move to BC.

Hardest Thing of All
Finding yourself in a new life can really make you miss the old one.

Another special acoustic guitar solo by Rob MacDonald. And Bob Stagg's Wurlitzer is like candy on top of the groove.

Believe in Something
As they say, happiness is wanting to be where you are.

I wrote this as a fun live tune, and it is. This version features some sweet solos by Rob MacDonald on acoustic, Bob Stagg on Wurlitzer and Quebec legend Guy Bélanger on harmonica.


Better Past
Inspired by Jack Kornfield's unforgettable line: Forgiveness means giving up hope of a better past.
Here's to that!

The lock-step groove of Mark Nelson and Andrew Horton on bass and drums holds this one down. I love the trade off between Rob MacDonald and Guy Belanger on dobro and harp at the end of the solo.


Rob Lutes - Bio

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.

The New Brunswick-born, long-time Montreal resident is a former Kerrville New Folk and ISC award winner, and a Maple Blues, Canadian Folk Music Awards and Lys Blues nominee. In 2015, he was runner-up in the Toronto Blues Society’s Cobalt Prize, a national award for Contemporary Blues Composition.

Lutes has released six 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, and hit #4 on the EuroAmericana Chart.

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