Considered one of the most innovative guitarists in the world today, Gary Lucas offers up a brilliant and illuminating 20-year rarities retrospective "Improve the Shining Hour," which encompasses the length and breadth of this legendary musician and Grammy-nominated songwriter's startlingly diverse career.
Establishing himself as a featured guitar soloist in the early 80's with rock visionary Captain Beefheart, in 1988 Gary Lucas launched his solo career with scorching live performances at New York's Knitting Factory club. Since then, Gary has forged his own distinctive musical identity over the course of 6 brilliant solo albums that have garnered the kind of critical praise of which most musicians would dream.
"Improve the Shining Hour" features the finest moments from Gary's solo career as one man band/singer/songwriter. From "Coming Clean" and "In a Forest," which are two tracks with his longtime band Gods and Monsters (from which group emerged the late Jeff Buckley), to "Breath of Bones," which is a glimpse of what Rolling Stone's David Fricke describes as "a 21st century Cream." Also featured are rare and unreleased tracks with rock luminaries Nick Cave (a dramatic reading from Nick's novel "And the Ass Saw the Angel" with accompaniment by Gary); David Johansen (hear Gary and David's unplugged version of "Spider Web", which Gary co-wrote and played with Joan Osborne originally -- and was nominated for a Grammy); Captain Beefheart (2 twisted solo pieces and a full band performance); a psychedelic improv with turntablist/futurist DJ Spooky (the haunting "Golgotha"); French pop star Elli Medeiros (listen to Gary and Elli's lilting Latin "Dulce"), former Bongo, Richard Barone (hear Gary and Richard's incredibly beautiful "Follow"), Mary Margaret O'Hara (named one of the top 100 cult artists, Mojo Magazine), Holy Modal Rounder, Peter Stampfel (a giddy whirl through the theme from "Astro Boy") and Eric Mingus (a storming duo version of the gospel classic "Judgement").
Featuring liner notes by Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke and a lavishly illustrated 20-page booklet, Knitting Factory Works is proud to present this comprehensive career overview of an extraordinarily gifted artist who transcends musical boundaries and categories. By showcasing Lucas' scorching instrumental prowess, his chameolonic collaborations with an A-list of unusual and diverse peformers, and his writing for TV and film soundtracks (check out "Judgement at Midnight", which Gary composed for the ABC News documentary), "Improve the Shining Hour" stands as Gary Lucas' finest hour to date.
For more info about the man who's played with everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Lou Reed to Future Sound of London, a guitar god and monster who is adroit at writing beautiful songs instead of mere riffing -- check out Gary's award winning website at www.garylucas.com.
Coming this fall -- a long-awaited new album from Gary Lucas' Gods and Monsters on Knitting Factory Works.