Poor Old Lu
|Poor Old Lu|
|Origin||Vashon Island, Washington, US|
|Genres||Alternative, Christian rock, pop punk|
|Years active||1990–1996, 2002|
|Labels||Alarma, KMG, Tooth & Nail|
Poor Old Lu was a pioneering alternative Christian band based in the American Northwest. The band experimented with a variety of sounds and genres, particularly grunge, funk and psychedelic rock. The band consisted of Scott Hunter (vocals), Jesse Sprinkle (drums), Aaron Sprinkle (guitar), and Nick Barber (bass). Hunter was the lyricist who wrote on philosophical, metaphorical, and spiritually oriented topics. Common themes in the lyrics include introspective struggles with identity and spirituality, struggles with a superficial, secular, and modern society, and hope for life abundant. The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music calls the band "One of the most accomplished and creative Christian bands of the '90s".
The name refers to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Lucy ('Lu'), returns from Narnia and tells her brother, Peter. Peter doesn't believe her story, however, and responds patronizingly, "Poor old Lu, hiding and nobody noticed."
While sophomores in high school, Barber, Aaron Sprinkle, and Hunter started a band called "Bellbangvilla," composed an album named 'In Love with the Greenery,' and performed shows around the Seattle, WA area. A few months later, Jesse Sprinkle joined the group, and the band changed its name to Poor Old Lu, and recorded its first album under the new band name, entitled Three Song Demo.
In the spring of 1992, they recorded their first full-length release, Star-Studded-Super-Step in three days in an empty classroom in their church. The Sprinkle's father gave the recording to Randy Stonehill, who in turn passed it on to Terry Taylor, who approached Frontline/Alarma Records. In the summer in 1993, the band recorded Mindsize. This album, produced by Terry Taylor and Derri Daugherty, turned out to be their breakthrough.
The following summer, the band recruited engineer/producer John Goodmanson, and Sin was recorded and released in 1994.
In late spring of 1995, Poor Old Lu recorded the Straight Six EP (which featured Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate on one track). In early spring of 1996, Poor Old Lu recorded A Picture of the Eighth Wonder. In late 1996 the band broke up, playing their farewell concert in Seattle, Washington in November 1996. This concert was recorded and in 1998 was released as In Their Final Performance.
In 2002 the band reunited and recorded The Waiting Room for Tooth and Nail Records. In support of this release the band reunited for a number of shows in 2002, playing at select venues in Seattle as well as a few select Christian music festivals that included Cornerstone, TomFest and Purple Door.
After Poor Old Lu
After the group's initial break-up, band members moved on to independent projects. In 1997 Nick Barber joined with Aaron Sprinkle in the group Rose Blossom Punch. Nick Barber played in the bands Meekin Pop and Blue Collar Love. By the time Rose Blossom Punch split up, Aaron Sprinkle had started a solo career,. He has release 7 albums since 1999. In 2005 Aaron Sprinkle formed the band Fair with Joey Sanchez, Nick Barber and Erik Newbill.
Jesse Sprinkle moved to New York. He ran the recording studio the Illuminata in Dansville, New York until early 2006, when the studio closed. He opened a new studio, Bluebrick Recordings, in 2007. He has played drums in a number of bands, including Morella's Forest, Demon Hunter and Dead Poetic. He has also recorded a number of solo albums.
In a December 2006 update on the Poor Old Lu website Hunter announced he had started a new band, This Diminishing West. While the band promised a debut sometime in early 2007, the band broke up after releasing an EP online.
In 2013 the group gathered to record one song, "The Great Unwound". It was written and released in support of "Paradise Uganda", a ministry of Jesse Sprinkle. No statements about future releases were made.
In 2014 the group recorded a Christmas song with Vekora: "The Brightest Star".
- Scott Hunter: Lead Vocals, Lyrics
- Jesse Sprinkle: Drums, Percussion, Vocals
- Aaron Sprinkle: Guitar, Keys, Vocals
- Nick Barber: Bass, Vocals
- In Love With The Greenery [as BellBangVilla] (1990) Cassette-only
- Three Song Demo (1991) Cassette-only
- Star-Studded-Super-Step (1992) Cassette-only
- Mindsize (1993, Alarma Records, Review: Jesus Freak Hideout)
- Split 7" with Mortal (1993, Intense Records)
- Sin (1994, Alarma Records, Reviews: Jesus Freak Hideout, Cross Rhythms)
- Sin LP w/ bonus track (1994, Alarma Records)
- Straight Six (1995, Alarma Records, Review: Cross Rhythms)
- Star-Studded-Super-Step (1995, independent, Reviews: The Phantom Tollbooth)
- Sit and Stare VHS (1995, Alarma Records)
- A Picture of the Eighth Wonder (1996, Alarma Records, Reviews: Jesus Freak Hideout, Cross Rhythms)
- In Their Final Performance (1998, KMG Records, Reviews: HM Magazine)
- Chrono [1993-1998] (1998, KMG Records, Reviews: The Phantom Tollbooth, HM Magazine)
- Star-Studded-Super-Step CD re-release (1998, KMG Records)
- Mindsize/Sin [minus "Peapod", "Sickly", and "Come to Me"] ( 2000, KMG Records - "Classic Archives")
- Poor Old Lu & Serene (promo 2002, Tooth and Nail Records)
- The Waiting Room (2002, Tooth and Nail Records)
- The Great Unwound (song, 2013)
- Browbeat: Unplugged Alternative – "Drenched Decent" (1995, Alarma Records)
- CHR Sampler 95 - Spring Tunes – "Ring True" (promo 1995, Frontline Records)
- Persuading You Near – "Thoughtless (Concept Version)" (1996, Working Man Records)
- Noises From the Top of the Alarma Hotel – "Receive", "Chance for the Chancers" (promo 1996, Alarma Records)
- Sparkler vol. 1 – "It's Simple to Me" (1997, Spark Recordings)
- Happy Christmas vol. 3 – "What Child Is This?" (2001, BEC Recordings)
- Here & Now – "Revolve" (2003, BEC Recordings)
A few of Poor old Lu's more notable songs include:
- Chance for the Chancers, a very hopeful, encouraging song;
- Where were all of you?, addressing the futility of civilization grounded in secular humanism;
- Sickly, addressing the struggle of a man against his inner demons.
- Receive, addressing the importance of recognizing and admitting one's struggles, and seeking to transcend them and Receive.
- Drenched Decent, describing the joys and challenges of salvation.
- Torreano, Bradley. "Poor Old Lu". AllMusic. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Powell, Mark Allan (2002). "Poor Old Lu". Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 721–722. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
- Myatt, Wayne. "Poor Old Lu Mindsize". Jesus Freak Hideout.
- Cummings, Tony (December 1995). "Poor Old Lu - Sin". Cross Rhythms. No. 30.
- Roberts, Tim (June 1997). "Poor Old Lu - A Picture Of The Eighth Wonder". Cross Rhythms. No. 40.
- MacIntosh, Chris (January 11, 2003). "The Waiting Room".
- Hunter, Scott (September 5, 2007). "External website: This Diminishing West".
- "poor old lu reunion acoustic setting 2011". YouTube. July 10, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "New Poor Old Lu Recording? | News". Indie Vision Music. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- "The Brightest Star". Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- Bate, Peter (June 1996). "Poor Old Lu - Straight Six". Cross Rhythms. No. 33.
- McGovern, Brian Vincent (November–December 1998). "POOR OLD LU In Their Final Performance". HM Magazine. No. 74. ISSN 1066-6923.
- McGovern, Brian Vincent (March–April 1999). "Album Reviews: POOR OLD LU chrono (1993–1998)". HM Magazine. No. 76. ISSN 1066-6923.
- "Poor Old Lu". 7ball. No. 6. May–June 1996.