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Gary Lucas in Ogunquit, Maine, June 2014.
|Origin||Syracuse, New York, United States|
|Genres||Various (blues, jazz, psychedelic rock, Chinese)|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, record producer, film score, composer, lecturer, master class teacher|
|Years active||1970s to present|
|Labels||Knitting Factory Records|
|Associated acts||Jeff Buckley, Captain Beefheart, and many others|
Gary Lucas is an American guitarist, songwriter, soundtrack composer, and a recording artist with more than 25 solo albums.
He has been described as a "guitarist with a global guitar" (Larry Rohter, 9 May 2011, New York Times) "one of the best and most original guitarists in America" (David Fricke, 16 November 2006, Rolling Stone); a "legendary leftfield guitarist" (The Guardian, 24 December 2005); "the thinking man's guitar hero" (The New Yorker, 8 January 2007), "perhaps the greatest living electric guitar player" (Daniel Levitin) and one of "the most innovative and challenging guitarists playing today" (fRoots, March 2002). Lucas' style melds easily into rock and blues, has "avant-garde affinities", but is "not easily typecast" according to the Wall Street Journal. He is also associated with vocalist Jeff Buckley, who performed for a year in Lucas' band, Gods and Monsters, early in his career.
Lucas tours the world solo, as well as with several different ensembles including his longtime band, the NYC-based Gods and Monsters, a psychedelic rock band based around Lucas's guitar playing and songwriting.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Style
- 3 Musical career
- 4 Lectures, master classes, symposia
- 5 Film and television composition
- 6 Other recognition
- 7 Discography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Lucas was born in Syracuse, New York, USA. He obtained a degree in English from Yale University (1974), before establishing his career in music first as a college DJ and then as music director at his college radio station, WYBC FM. He lives in New York City.
Gary Lucas' work draws strongly from the blues tradition, but it has increasing international range, and includes styles such as psychedelic rock, world music, and jazz, as well as classical works. The New York Times described his guitar playing: "Gary Lucas plays guitar the way Salvador Dali painted, with dazzling displays of technique, wicked humor, and a thirst to completely refashion his art from its basic elements".
According to his website, Lucas was encouraged by his father to try the guitar at the age of nine, briefly dabbled with other instruments at school, and played with various groups and combos in the 1960s, during his teens. During his senior year at high school he played for the documentary film unit of the Upstate Medical Center and scored on his first film assignment. In his sophomore year he travelled on what he calls a "pilgrimage" to see childhood hero Captain Beefheart, with whom he became close friends. From being a Beefheart fan, he eventually became his co-manager and occasionally performed on stage during the 1980–81 tours – reciting a poem (usually "One Man Sentence", sometimes "Untitled") or performing the solo guitar piece "Flavor Bud Living".
After gaining his degree, Lucas played for a few years with the O-Bay-Gone Band before gaining a significant step in his career during 1980–82, when he was engaged to record on two Beefheart albums released by Virgin Records, on one of which he was full-time lead alongside Moris Tepper. Lucas performed over a period of five years with the last incarnation of Beefheart's Magic Band. His solo guitar pieces on Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982) were his renditions of Beefheart's instrumental compositions, "Flavor Bud Living" and "Evening Bell". Of the latter, Esquire wrote, "Gary Lucas apparently grew extra fingers in order to negotiate his way through it".
After Captain Beefheart retired in the 1980s, Lucas continued to be associated with the Magic Band's former members, and the band continues to be creatively active: several of Beefheart's former band members reformed the group, touring as the Magic Band from 2003 to 2006. Their 2007 double album and DVD, 21st Century Mirror Men, followed up their debut album Back to the Front which was chosen as one of the best albums of 2004 by The Wire.
In 1988, Lucas mounted his first solo guitar show at New York's Knitting Factory. Shortly after his first gig, he was invited to appear at the 1988 JazzFest Berlin, where the Berliner Morgenpost raved in a banner headline after his performance, "It is Lucas!"
Projects and collaborations
Lucas has played and collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Captain Beefheart, Jeff Buckley, Chris Cornell, Lou Reed, John Cale, Nick Cave and David Johansen. He has also worked with Mary Margaret O'Hara, Onetwo, Peter Stampfel, Sebastian Doggart, Fred Schneider (The B-52's), Bob Neuwirth, Geoff Muldaur, John Sebastian, John Zorn, Bryan Ferry, Jann Klose, Patti Smith, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Matthew Sweet, DJ Spooky, Damo Suzuki, Iggy Pop, Dr. John, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Hammill, Graham Parker, The Dark Poets, Future Sound of London, Melissa Mars, Iria Fernández Crespo, Van Dyke Parks, Adrian Sherwood, Richard Barone, Bob Weir, Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule), Kristin Diable and many others. Jazz collaborations include Roswell Rudd, Steve Swallow, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, and Billy Bang. Some of these collaborations appear on his retrospective album Improve the Shining Hour, which also features his film and TV music for ABC News, 20/20 and Turning Point. He has produced albums for composer/saxophonists Tim Berne and Peter Gordon, and for the French avant-rock band Tanger. He co-wrote Joan Osborne's Grammy-nominated song "Spider Web" from her triple platinum album Relish.
Often associated with Jeff Buckley's early career, Lucas first met Buckley in New York at the 1990 Tim Buckley tribute concert. Buckley stayed in New York and joined Lucas' band, Gods and Monsters. Lucas composed solo guitar instrumentals for "Rise Up to Be" and "And You Will", which later became the musical templates for "Grace" and "Mojo Pin", which Lucas co-wrote with Buckley for his popular and critically acclaimed album Grace. Early collaborations can also be heard on the Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas album Songs to No One, which charted internationally with worldwide sales approaching 100,000. In the film, Greetings from Tim Buckley (2013), Penn Badgely plays Buckley, and Tony Award winner Frank Wood plays Gary Lucas.
Dutch lutist Jozef van Wissem has collaborated with Lucas on several albums, including "the Universe of Absence" and "Diplopia". They have performed live on Dutch national TV together.
In 2007, Lucas collaborated on an album with underground electronic producer James R Hunter's project The Dark Poets, produced by British label manager Stevo Pearce of Some Bizzare Records. The album, Gary Lucas vs the Dark Poets - Beyond the Pale, features an eclectic mixture of moody drum and bass, techno and rock tracks (notably "Prime Time", featuring vocals by Sarah Hilliard and James R. Hunter) as well as many early collectable Lucas tracks and collaborations (including "Procuress from Karmelitska Street" featuring UK vocalist Pat Fulgoni of Kava Kava and original sketches of songs that went on to be used on Jeff Buckley's Grace album' including "Grace" and "Mojo Pin").
In 2009 Lucas collaborated on a new world music collaboration with an Indian vocalist from the UK, Najma Akhtar. Their album RISHTE combines rock, blues, folk, and raga, on Harmonia Mundi/World Village. It was number 4 in the European World Music charts in 2009.
In the summer of 2009, he collaborated with Juan Galeano on his album El Peregrino, which debuted April 2010.
In 2010, Lucas collaborated with vocalist Dean Bowman on their "spiritual roots project" and gospel album, "CHASE THE DEVIL". The duo performed an amalgam of Hebrew and African American blues live in the United States and Europe.
In May 2011, Lucas released a new studio album with his band, Gods and Monsters, entitled The Ordeal of Civility. Produced by Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) and distributed by Sony/Red, it's available in the UK (Claudia A. review, 12 May 2012, Music-News.com, UK) Gods and Monsters celebrated their 25th anniversary in June 2014 with a special performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Lucas has collaborated intermittently with DJ Cosmo (Colleen Murphy) as Wild Rumpus. Having begun working together through the Manhattan rave scene, their work focuses on incorporating Lucas' electric guitar work and various other genre influences into electronic dance music. In 2014 the duo released the double-vinyl album Musical Blaze-up on Bitches Brew. Curious Animal gave the LP a seven out of ten, saying "the international sound is the album’s... big defining feature". I House U called Musical Blaze-Up a "rawkus musical mash-up" and the video for lead single "Rock the Joint" was named BBC 6 Music Video of the Week.
February 2014 saw the release of Otherworld, an experimental collaboration between Lucas and Peter Hammill. The album was well received by critics, with MAX Magazine Italy writing, "Guitars, abstract landscapes, breathtaking texts (as always when a true poet as Hammill gathers in the field), spectral songs, layers, all conspire to create something unexpectedly powerful and disarming". Lucas and Hammill were featured on the covers of Guitar Player Magazine and Rock Society Magazine for the project, in addition to featured coverage in Prog Magazine. Record Collector gave the album four stars (out of four), and Uncut marked it seven out of ten. In support of the collaboration, Lucas and Hammill performed together at the Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal and at the Teatro de la Ciudad in Mexico City.
Fleischerei: Music From Max Fleischer Cartoons, collaboration between Lucas, Tony Award nominee Sarah Stiles, and Joe Fiedler, is a musical tribute to Max Fleischer and the jazz and swing scores that accompanied his animated work. Their public debut came at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cafe in November 2014. The project features Stiles as Betty Boop. An album of the songs was released on February 5, 2015 on Cuneiform Records.
Lucas's psychedelic world music trio, Pearly Clouds, released their debut album on Discovery Records on March 15, 2015. The project features Hungarian traditional folk vocalist Enikő Szabó and Serbian saxophonist Toni Dezso.
2000s to present
Lucas has toured the world throughout his career with various bands, as a solo performer, and as a lecturer.
During his fourth tour of Russia in 2005, he performed his original solo guitar adaptation of the Lucas/Horn score accompanying the silent classic German horror film The Golem (1920) in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and appeared on national TV before an estimated 50 million viewers, as well as being feted in the Russian edition of Rolling Stone. He's played with The Golem solo globally since the live debut of the duet score he and keyboardist Walter Horn wrote for the movie in 1989 for the BAM Next Wave Festival. He has performed it at the Venice Biennale, London's Royal Festival Hall, the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center, as part of a weeklong artist-in-residency at the Quebec City Summer Festival, at the Alien artist H. R. Giger's Retrospective in Prague (home of the Golem), at Atlanta's Dragon Con 2002, the largest science fiction festival in the world, and at the fifth annual Pop Montreal music and film festival.
Lucas co-leads a jazz-oriented, all-instrumental Beefheart tribute ensemble, Fast 'n' Bulbous: the Captain Beefheart Project, who have made appearances at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival and the Jazz Em Agosto Festival in Lisbon during 2006. Their debut album Pork Chop Blue Around the Rind was profiled on NPR and charted on college radio in the United States. In Fall, 2006, they toured Europe extensively, selling out shows at the London Jazz Festival, in Amsterdam's Bimhuis, as well as playing in Bern, Switzerland; Vienna and Schwaz, Austria; and Ljubljana, Slovenia. The group released its second album, Waxed Oop, on Cuneiform Records in 2008.
In November 2006, Lucas toured Europe with Phillip Johnston and five other jazz musicians as the Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston Septet. The group performed jazz arrangements of Captain Beefheart's work in London, Amsterdam, Bern, Vienna, Schwaz (Austria) and Ljubljana.
Other recent concert appearances include a concert at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C., by invitation of the Czech ambassador spotlighting Lucas's solo guitar arrangements of Czech classical music in honor of the 14th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution (Lucas is of Bohemian descent on his father's side and is friends with legendary Czech rock band The Plastic People of the Universe). Lucas made an extensive solo acoustic tour of Spain in 2007.
Gary Lucas' January 2012 solo tour of Europe began in Spain with a program on National Basque Radio Euskadi, and a performance of the "Spanish Dracula for Bilbao's Musiketan Festival" in Sala BBK. In England, Lucas conducted his Captain Beefheart Symposium two nights in a row at Liverpool's Philharmonic and record 8 tracks in a collaboration with Bryan Ferry at Olympia Studios. Two solo performances followed in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, with guest performer Diana Silviera. The tour finished in Paris with a surprise performance at La Feline, and solo show at The New Morning with Cheyenne Schiavone, Beatrice Demi-Mondaine, Jean-Francis Pauvros, and Daniel Yvinec, reviewed favorably by E. Corvee, 12 February 2012, in Politis. Lucas returned to Europe for a debut solo in Sardinia at the Santa Arresi Jazz Festival, and a special concert at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on September 2, 2012, in a collaboration with the Metropole Orkest and Dutch singers entitled "The music of Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas" and featuring Italian vocalist Alessio Franchini; this coincided with publication of his first book, Touched by Grace—La Mia Musica con Jeff Buckley. He then performed a week of shows in the Czech Republic, headlining Prague's Alternativa Festival solo, appearing live for three hours of interviews and performance on national Beat Radio, performing in Jablonec, Bohemia, with his "Monsters from the Id" music and film project. He also performed at Shakespeare and Company, the legendary Paris bookstore.
Lucas returned to NYC to play with the Les Paul Trio and singer Jann Klose in NYC's Iridium Jazz Club, with high-profile solo appearances at Le Poisson Rouge and Joe's Pub with M'Lumbo as well as on their new release Popular Science, and headlining a tribute to avant-garde legends The Shaggs at The Bellhouse in Brooklyn, where he performed with his longtime supergroup, Gods and Monsters. The year wrapped with a trip to Havana—Lucas' fifth appearance there—where he performed three nights at the Gaia Arts Center in a tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni on the occasion of his 100th anniversary; performed live on national Radio Havana and Radio Taino; and was and interviewed and filmed performing live by national Austrian television ORF for a program which aired 2013.
Throughout 2013, Lucas extensively toured his live film accompaniments. His long-running live score to George Melford's Dracula was performed at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood, the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City, the United Palace Theatre in Harlem, Kino Aero in Prague, and Kino Siska in Slovenia. Lucas's live score to José Mojica Marins' "Esta Noite Encarnerei no teu Cadaver" saw its European debut at the Melkweg in Amsterdam in May 2013.
Additional touring in 2013 included special performances focused on well-known collaborators Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart. Lucas performed a tribute concert to Buckley at the Barezzi Festival in Parma, Italy, with Vinicio Caposella and Alessio Franchini, where he was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Lucas performed with the Metropole Orkest at the Paradiso in Amsterdam as part of "The World of Captain Beefheart", a tribute to Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), that also featured Nona Hendryx, Jolene Grunberg, and Tom Trapp.
2013 saw the publishing of Lucas's book Touched by Grace: My Time with Jeff Buckley published in English by Jawbone Press. In support of this, Lucas performed a string of shows in the United Kingdom, as well as two performances and signings at Shakespeare and Company in Paris.
In October 2013, Lucas performed with his 1930s Chinese pop project, The Edge of Heaven, in a sold-out show at the Fishman Space at BAM with vocalists Sally Kwok and Mo Hai Jing and his group Gods and Monsters. The project was also performed as a trio featuring Lucas, Sally Kwok, and Mo Hai Jing at the 1930 Club in Shanghai. October also say Lucas performing in Federico García Lorca's "La Casa de Bernarda Alba" at the Gaia Arts Center in Havana.
Lucas performed in several special collaborations in late 2013, including with Mother Falcon and Amanda Palmer, with Richard Mader and Pat Fulgoni as the Ghosts of Prague at Jazz Dock, and with Toni Deszo, deBORT's lead saxophonist, at the Budapest Jazz Club.
Gary has continued to perform his live film accompaniments, including Monsters of the Id at Monsterpalooza in Burbank, and This Night I will Possess Your Corpse at the Wexner Center for the Arts. He also premiered live accompaniment to the 1934 silent, Chinese film The Goddess in early 2014. Fall of 2014 saw the premiere of new live scores to Frankenstein and Vampyr.
Gary returned to Italy in Summer 2015, performing across the country with Italian singer/songwriter Alessio Franchini, including as part of Franchini's Touch of Grace Tribute to Jeff Buckley at the Teatro della Luna in Milan, as well as an appearance at legendary Italian singer/songwriter Vinicio Caposella's "Moon in June Festival" in Umbria.
September 2015 saw Lucas lead his longtime supergroup, Gods and Monsters, as Music Director of A State of Grace, a multi-artist tribute to both Tim and Jeff Buckley. The tribute saw Gary perform with singer/songwriter Martha Wainwright, Steve Kilbey (of The Church (band)), and other vocalists over 6 nights in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and at the Brisbane Festival.
Lucas was named Artist in Residence at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool England in December, 2015. During this residency, Lucas performed numerous solo works and presented his new Jeff Buckley Symposium.
Arcana Books (Italy) published Gary Lucas' book, Touched by Grace—La Mia Musica con Jeff Buckley, in September 2012. The book received excellent reviews in the Italian press. Publication was supported with several Italian in store appearances and concerts by Lucas, including Feltrinelli in Trieste, the Fnac Megastore in Milan, and the Madame Guitar Festival in Tricesimo (Lucas' third appearance there). Touched by Grace was published in English by Jawbone Press in October 2013. Mojo gave the book four stars. Roy Trakin of Hits (magazine) named the book among his top 10 of 2014.
Lucas has completed recording with the female UK-based DJ Cosmo on a dance-oriented project called Wild Rumpus, previewed on the BBC. Gary has performed DJ improv sets with Cosmo in a variety of far-flung locales, including high-profile gigs in Romania and India, and recently produced a 12" vinyl single, "Cloudhopping".
In Fall 2009, Gary Lucas debuted his new live program of solo guitar arrangements of famous film music at the 5th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival in South Korea. He was also invited by the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamerica to preview his score for the Spanish version of Dracula (1931) at the 31st Havana Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. Lucas performs the European premiere of his Spanish "Dracula" project at the 9th Transylvania International Film Festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on May 30, 2010, in the open-air outside the Banfi Botzida Castle.
Lucas returned to Cuba in December 2010 for the 32nd Havana Film Festival, and debuted a new live score accompanying a Brazilian horror classic, Esta Noite Encarnerei no teu Cadaver ("Tonight I will Possess Your Corpse").
Gary created two signature TonePrints for TC Electronics of Denmark which will be available free for download by guitarists worldwide in spring 2013
A number of UK DJs have featured Lucas in their radio shows, including Charlie Gillett and John Peel, as well as Verity Sharp and Fiona Talkington on their BBC experimental music program, and Rob Da Bank, also on BBC. In November 27, 2012, he appeared live for three hours of interviews and performance on national Beat Radio (Czech Republic), performing in Jablonec Bohemia with his "Monsters from the Id" music and film project. Lucas' performance at the Gaia Arts Center in Havana in 2012 was broadcast live on national Radio Havana and Radio Taino.
- Television appearances:
In July 2012, Lucas performed live before an estimated viewing audience of 70 million on CNBC in a segment devoted to Gibson Guitars; later that summer the national French ARTE Channel interviewed him for the documentary "Rock Attitude". He was also interviewed and filmed performing live by National Austrian Television ORF for a program which will air in 2013.
Lectures, master classes, symposia
Lucas has spoken widely on his life and career. He also lectures widely on the mechanics of songwriting, extensive collaborations, composing for film, and the music business at the Amsterdam Music Conservatorum, Yale University (his alma mater), the University of Hawaii, New York University, and Columbia University. He has given guitar master classes since the late 1990s at such institutions as the Amsterdam Music Conservatory and in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii. He has also lectured at Rogers State University in Oklahoma, and McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
In Fall 2012, Lucas gave a masterclass and a concert in Paris with French guitarist David Konopnicki and his band at the Henri Dutilleux Music Conservatoire. In April 2014, Lucas gave a masterclass at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, with students noting that "his guitar playing and compositions were unlike anything else I have heard before" and that "he has some great ideas about life and music."
While touring Mexico in 2014, Lucas was invited by the United States Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne to perform a concert at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico City as part of the ambassador's outreach program for disadvantaged youth. Following the performance, Lucas received an official letter of endorsement and appreciation from Ambassador Wayne. Lucas returned to perform again in December of 2015, at the invitation of the ambassador.
Captain Beefheart symposium
Lucas has continually conducted a popular symposium on his former mentor and collaborator, Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), both in the U.S. and in Europe. The symposium focuses not only on Van Vliet's music, but also his work as a visual artist. Lucas discusses the history of Vliet's band, collaborations, personality, and techniques in addition to sharing archival footage and unreleased music. His two symposia in Liverpool in January 2012 were sold out. He presented at the Zappanale in Bad Doberan, Germany in August 2012, followed by a reunion of jazz-rock Beefheart tribute ensemble Fast 'N' Bulbous co-led by Phillip Johnston.
The symposium has been given at numerous venues, including the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, the Independent in San Francisco, Echoplex (venue) in Los Angeles, and Casa Del Lago in Mexico City, and often features notable guests, which have previously included Matt Groening, Robert Williams, Terry Van Vliet, Francis McCarthy, Gary Marker, Kristine McKenna, Bill Moseley, and many others.
Film and television composition
Scores and accompaniment for live performance
Lucas has composed and performed live accompaniment for several films throughout his career, the first having been a score to the 1920 silent film The Golem: How He Came into the World, composed with Walter Horn and debuted in 1989 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival. Since that premiere, a solo, guitar version of the accompaniment to The Golem has been performed at numerous venues and festivals around the world. He has gone on to compose live guitar accompaniments for several films, sometimes in collaboration with other artists.
- The Golem: How He Came into the World with Walter Horn.
- The Unholy Three, commissioned by Film Society of Lincoln Center).
- J'accuse with Dutch-Iranian composer Reza Namavar, commissioned by the Netherlands Holland Festival.
- The Exterminating Angel
- Dracula, the score Lucas has toured most frequently, having been performed at several film and music festivals.
- This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse
- The Goddess debuted at Fundación Botín in January 2014 as part of the "Golden Age of Chinese Cinema" series curated by Film Society of Lincoln Center Director Emeritus Richard Pena.
- Vampyr was premiered at AFI Silver in fall of 2014.
- Frankenstein premiered at United Palace on Halloween 2014.
Soundtracks and scores
- Cinefantastique (solo guitar arrangements of famous film music), named one of the Top 10 Roots Albums of 2013 by the Philadelphia City Paper and Best Guitar Album of the year by Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog.
- American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi an award-winning documentary on Condoleezza Rice, directed by Sebastian Doggart, additional scoring
- Trust Me (a Showtime documentary, original score)
- Bed and Breakfast 9/11 (an award-winning documentary shown on PBS)
- The Legacy of Jedwabne (documentary by Slawomir Grunberg)
- LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton (an Oscar-nominated Maysles Films documentary for HBO, screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of their Maysles Films 50 Year Retrospective; Variety wrote: "Gary Lucas' Delta blues guitar music adds vivid color to this report from America's forgotten underbelly")
- Dragon Boys (Canadian "movie of the week") 2007.
- For Love and Honor (Erik Greenberg Anjou's documentary about American Ivy League collegiate football).
- American Faust: From Condi to Neo-Condi (score, 2010)
- In the early 2000s, Lucas performed a guitar rendition of the theme music to BBC1 soap opera EastEnders.
- Consultant for Greetings from Tim Buckley about Jeff Buckley's early days working in NYC, directed by Dan Algrant and starring Penn Badgley ("Gossip Girl") as Jeff. Character of Gary Lucas played by Tony Award winning actor Frank Wood. Lucas plays his own guitar parts for the film. The film was released worldwide in cinemas in 2013.
In the last few years Lucas has been profiled in the International Herald Tribune, Libération, and featured on the cover of The Forward as well as the national Dutch newspaper Het Parool. According to the Beefheart website: "Since the end of the Magic Band, he has been very prolific in his own right, solo and within a band, releasing almost an album a year since 1991. His virtuoso solo live shows are awesome in the sounds he extracts from his guitar."
In 2009, Classic Rock named Lucas one of the "100 Greatest Living Guitarists". In October 2013, Lucas received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Barezzi Festival in Parma, Italy. Lucas was given an Acker Award for Achievement in Avant Garde Music in June 2014.
The U.S. Consul General of Milan, Philip T. Reeker, presented Lucas with the Consul General's Award for Cultural Diplomacy on March 21, 2015, following a special performance and reception at U.S. Consulate in Milan.
Lucas received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Premio Ciampi Festival in Tuscany, named for legendary Italian songwriter Piero Ciampi, in December 2015.
The Edge of Heaven
The Edge of Heaven, is an album of Lucas's lush arrangements of classic Chinese pop tunes from the 1930s, with a distinctly bluesy feel. It received positive international reviews from Rolling Stone to The Wall Street Journal to the Hong Kong Music Weekly. It was #1 on the World Music Charts in Canada and garnered international attention, England's Q magazine awarding it 4 stars, and Mojo writing: "It is simply gorgeous". The album was chosen as one of the best discs of the year in France's Libération newspaper. There was a lengthy profile for the album in The Wall Street Journal, as well as an NPR interview. Lucas recently released an expanded concert version of The Edge of Heaven with his band, Gods and Monsters, and vocalists Sally Kwok and Mo Hai Jin, both from Shanghai. The group received standing ovations at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam in June 2011.
Gary Lucas has written, recorded, and released a large number of recordings throughout his career, both alone and in collaboration with other artists.
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He was the best live artist I saw when I first came to London in '73. He really made an impression on me
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- Gary Lucas. "Touched By Grace : My Time With Jeff Buckley". Garylucas.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
- "Roy Trakin's Best of 2014 - Exiled Off Main Street - International Roots Music - Exiled Off Main Street – International Roots Music". Addictedtonoise.com.au. 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Gary Lucas Under the Skin of Dracula" (English trans. of article in Spanish, "Lucas bajo la piel de Dracula" in the Havana newspaper Granma Culturales, 12/14/09.)" (PDF). Granma (newspaper). Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- "Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano" (in Spanish). Habanafilmfestival.com. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "masterclass". Gary Lucas. 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "Official Website". Gary Lucas. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Letter from Embassy of the United States of America, Mexico" (PDF). Garylucas.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "captain beefheart symposium". Gary Lucas. 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- Lucas, Gary. "Captain Beefheart Symposium Page". Gary Lucas. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
- "live music and film projects". Gary Lucas. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "the golem". Gary Lucas. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "spanish-language "dracula"". Gary Lucas. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "The Goddess". Gary Lucas. 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- "Vampyr". Gary Lucas. 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Frankenstein". Gary Lucas. 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Top 10 roots albums of 2013 :: Cover :: Philadelphia City Paper". Citypaper.net. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- Dickey, Josh L. (2011-08-22). "Frank Wood Aboard 'Buckley'". Variety. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
- Classic Rock magazine, August 2009.
- "Articol: Gary Lucas in Paris, Bristol, London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Cork, Dublin, Mexico City, Prague, Budapest and Beyond - Revista De Muzica Online: ClickZoomBytes". czb.ro. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
-  Archived June 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Official Website". Gary Lucas. 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "Letter from Consulate General of the United States of America" (JPG). Garylucas.com. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- Lucas, Gary. "Edge of Heaven Webpage". Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- "Official Website". Gary Lucas. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- Larry Richter. "Songwriter With a Global Guitar". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-07-11.
- Official website
- Lucas' biography and discography, on Captain Beefheart's "band members" section
- "Songwriter with a Global Guitar" NY Times Review
- "Gods, Monsters, and Guitars" Wall Street Journal
- Gary Lucas discography
- on YouTube
- Gods, Monsters, & Guitars (Wall Street Journal)
- "Audio Apocalypse": a review of Gary Lucas' Captain Beefheart Symposium, Liverpool, January 2012.