Second Avenue Crush
The songs that are on this site are from my new solo release "Second Avenue Crush." The album has just been released after over a year in the making. I wish that I could say that I went into the studio and recorded it in a couple days with a complete thought in mind, but because of my touring schedule, I had limited time to be in the studio. There wasn't too much over thinking or over producing allowed. The attitude was more like 'let's set up and do this to the best of our abilities.' I wrote most of the cello parts in a hotel room in West Memphis, Arkansas while being stuck there for two days. A real dismal place at that too. You really have to cross the Mississippi to have any fun around there. Most of these songs were written on an old Gibson L-48 acoustic in my apartment which is located by the corner of Second Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. I keep that Gibson by my bed next to my vintage tape recorder - well, it's from the '80s and it uses tapes! - I still think that it's easier to use than all of this digital stuff these days. By the way, I've had a lot of people ask me about the guitar on the cover of the CD. I don't know much about it besides that it says Feb. 17-1938 Shelby Montana inside of the guitar. Shelby, Montana is a little town close to the border of Canada and Montana along the Marias River. It is known for the famous boxing world heavyweight title fight of Jack Dempsey vs. Tommy Gibbons in 1923. I bought it from a transient street musician in Detroit during a gig one night. It looks hand made. Sadly, it doesn't stay in tune well, so it's not really playable. I didn't use it on the album. Anyways, as for the artwork, it was a style that was inspired by an album by El Camaron De La Isla and Poco De Lucia that I bought while I was on the road in southern Spain. Cybelle Codish took great photos and Melanie Markowicz did an absolute great job of designing it! Thanks for understanding my direction with it! Second Avenue Crush was produced by myself and co-produced by John Smerek. John lent a great hand from the beginning, before the first recording button was even pushed! I learned that it's important to be on the same page or to have the same direction with someone from the beginning when starting a project. All of the musicians involved understood this too and they did a great job. I hope that you enjoy the music and get something out of it. That's what art is supposed to do, right? So here's a little about myself: I started writing songs just after I learned a couple chords on the guitar. I was about 9 or 10 years old then, so those songs were only maybe a part of an idea for a song. Honestly, I couldn't even say what they were really about now, but it was a heck of a lot of fun at the time! I thought I was going to be on Star Search in a couple weeks! I was bitten by the music bug early on in my life and especially by Blues music. I started sitting in with bands in Blues clubs before I graduated high school and soon began gigging with many of the top musicians in Detroit. I still play a lot of Blues and Roots music gigs with my band Lucas, The Pickups, and also with other artists including the legendary Bettye Lavette, the great vocalist Thornetta Davis, and the soulful Kelly Hunt. It's not that I push songwriting to the side while I perform as a side guitarist, actually the opposite. I am consistently writing and learning more about music. I write a lot of different styles of music too. I've always blamed that on growing up and living in modern times. As much as I try to focus on being a certain style of musician, I could never get away from the music that surrounds me in my daily life. From the Television, from the Radio, from the Internet, it's everywhere. In the past, there was music from places that had their own sound because it was cultivated from close knit communities, and from the region where those communities live. Examples are cities like New Orleans, Memphis, New York, and Detroit. Though these cities still have their own unique sound to their music, it's much more prevalent and readily available to hear different styles of music in this modern age because of the power of media. "Second Avenue Crush," to me, is a collection of toned downed songs that express desire, loss, emptiness, fulfillment, excitement, longing, completion, and all of the other intense feelings that love has inside of it. It's another side to me as a musician and a songwriter and artist. Thanks for reading and listening! Brett Lucas.