Al Lukas’s upbringing was split between rural Ontario, where bluegrass is popular, and the other side of the river from Detroit – where the sounds of Motown haven’t waned in popularity.
The mix of musical environments have allowed Mr. Lukas “to cultivate a unique songwriting style by incorporating all of these genres to suit the lyrics and the mood that a song, or setting, calls for,” he said.
He’s still living in Ontario, but Lukas is touring out west as a musician with his Acoustic Altitude Tour, which will be stopping in Fairmont Hot Springs for two shows.
As the headlining artist for the Fire and Ice Festival, Mr. Lukas will bring the blues to the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort on Friday, February 7th, at 8 p.m., before another show down the road the following night, Saturday, February 8th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hoodoo Grill.
He connected with a Fairmont venue owner in 2009 during his first trip out west, the Good Faith Tour, which was inspired by a CBC Radio segment about using the barter system rather than money. With no shows booked in advance, Mr. Lukas built a bed in his van and managed to travel to Victoria and back. After finishing a show, he scavenged in Golden, where he bumped heads with Hoodoo Lounge owner Rory Sinclair, which led to his exposure in the valley.
Mr. Lukas has three studio albums and a fourth on the way; he’ll be ready to record after gathering influence from the Acoustic Altitude Tour. He plans to jam his way through the songs planned for his next record, working out the kinks along the way.
“Even just by myself on the acoustic guitar, I get a dance floor going,” said Mr. Lukas.
His voice stands out most in his music, he said, which throws audiences when they notice his young appearance and hear his chiseled and guttural vocals.
“It’s a distinctive sound – I’ve been compared a lot to Tom Waits,” he said.
He’s used to playing the blues in any environment, but said that “it’s going to be a couple of classy evenings, so I’m going to try and set the mood that way.”
And between most songs, he’ll be sharing stories from his musical journeys. Those coming to his shows can expect “storytelling, music, and a party,” he added.
Tickets for the Friday, February 7th show show can be purchased by calling Fairmont Hot Springs Resort at 1-800-663-4979, and tickets for the Saturday, February 8th show at the Hoodoo Grill are available by calling 250-345-2166.