Luke Spehar Debuts Music from The Pilgrim
VENUE: BRYANT LAKE BOWL THEATER
APRIL 5, 2018
All content by: Patrick Dunn
There are so many big-name concerts happening in the Twin Cities that people can easily find out about, but I encourage you to dig a little deeper and discover the wealth of talent performing on smaller venue stages all around our fine city.
One place to keep an eye on is Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater where local singer-songwriter and accomplished guitarist, Luke Spehar performed a CD release show on April 5th in support of “The Pilgrim”. Spehar is not new to this endeavor having previously released 2 albums independently with a 3rd Ben Harper produced effort that also included an opening spot on his tour across the U.S. and Canada.
You could sense anticipation among friends and fans in attendance as Spehar began, “This whole album has been such a celebration of the different journeys and milestones I’ve crossed over the last couple years.” He then used the toe tapping “America and Me” as an upbeat starting point engaging his full band for big sound yet maintaining an unplugged feel with violin, standup bass, spoons and Spehar on banjo.
I like when artists at a CD release show explain how songs came to be, which Spehar did before almost every selection. He offered up sweet moments with a reflection on being away at a military conference and missing his wife as he eased into “Time With You”. A playful, funny side came out as he spoke his way through a song about being left behind at a Texas truck-stop that also sparked audience participation with a sing-a-long during each chorus. A stand-out moment came for me during “Which Road” due to its great lyrics and tender melody, which was accompanied by a pedal steel guitar giving it a dreamlike quality.
Spehar used a quote to setup title track “The Pilgrim” - not all those who wander are lost. He described it as a song that took time to developed over years including a period of spiritual growth when he did a walk across Spain called the
Camino de Santiago. The song includes a steady drum pattern with the kick and snare that creates a sense of walking, which I found to be clever. He also referenced the journey concept when comparing his musical path to planting a seed and watching it grow, the inspiration behind “The Farmer”, which closed out the set. Spehar did return for an encore with full band for the albums bonus track “Joshua”.
There will be another chance to experience this CD release show as they will be doing it one more time on April 20th at the O’Shaughnessy on the University of St. Thomas campus.