with David Luning
with David Luning
|Age:||Ages 21+ Only|
With a career spanning over fifty years, this blues musician has founded the band John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with some members including Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood, Buddy Whittington, and many others blues legends as well.Buy Tickets
Ticket Price: $30 advanced / $32 day of show / $53 reserved seating
Often referred to as “The Godfather of British Blues,” John Mayall has an impressive musical career that spans over 50 years. The English blues singer, pianist, harmonica player, guitarist, and songwriter founded the band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in the 1960’s—a band whose members included many celebrated blues and blues rock guitarists, such as: Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Buddy Whittington.
Attracted by the West Coast climate and culture, Mayall then made his permanent move from England to Los Angeles in 1969 and began forming bands with American musicians. Throughout the next three decades, Mayall became further revered for his many jazz/rock/blues innovations featuring such notable performers as Blue Mitchell, Red Holloway, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel. Mayall’s popularity continued with a succession of dynamic albums including the Grammy-nominated “Wake Up Call” that featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and Mick Taylor.
In 2008 Mayall made the decision to permanently retire the Bluesbreakers name and in 2009 started a new era of touring with band members Rocky Athas on guitar, Jay Davenport on drums and Greg Rzab on bass. They toured together for over seven years, averaging about 100 shows a year, and are featured players on John’s last four albums including his latest “Talk About That.” John has also recently released a couple of never before heard live albums from 1967 featuring Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, which along with the new studio albums have been enthusiastically received by critics and fans alike.
In August 2016 there was another big shift when thunderstorms prevented Rocky Athas from attending a festival, compelling John, Greg and Jay to perform as a trio. The sound they came up with lent an amazing new slant to John’s music and he made the bold decision to permanently move to the trio format. They have toured the US and now Europe in this format and are having a great time, and getting very enthusiastic responses from audiences as they go! The road continues.
John Prine forced David Luning to drop out of college. Not at gunpoint or anything— the two had never even met—but the effect of hearing the songwriting legend's music for the first time had an equally compelling effect on Luning, who was studying film scoring at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at the time. Now an accomplished artist in his own right, Luning is preparing to release his most dynamic and gripping collection to date, 'Restless,' and he can trace it all back to one fateful night that changed everything.
"A couple of friends invited me over to share some songs at their apartment, and that was the first time I'd ever really listened to Americana music or folk or country or whatever you want to call it," remembers Luning. "They showed me John Prine, and it just resonated with me so much. I was like, 'Oh my god, this is what I have to do with my life.' I just figured it out in that moment."
Luning dropped out of school almost immediately, moved back to his native California, and devoted himself to songwriting and performing. He worked his way up through open mics to large festival performances, piecing together a band to flesh out his songs along the way and hitting the road to tour with a fierce determination. His self- released debut album, 'Just Drop On By,' garnered acclaim from both critics and fellow musicians alike, with country megastar Keith Urban hailing Luning's "staunch originality." Songs from the album landed numerous film and TV placements, most recently on NBC's 'Grimm,' and Luning's reputation for exhilarating live performances earned him dates with luminaries like Jackie Greene, Dave and Phil Alvin, and Elvin Bishop, along with a slew of festival performances up and down the West Coast.
If 'Just Drop On by' announced the arrival of a promising new talent, 'Restless' delivers on that potential and then some. Recorded under the guidance of engineer/producer Karl Derfler (Tom Waits, Dave Matthews) and with Luning's longtime live bandmates— Ben Dubin (bass & harmonica), Linden Reed (drums), and Dave Sampson (guitar & mandolin)—the album marks a major step forward, both sonically and emotionally.
"With the first record, I produced and engineered everything myself," explains Luning. "I'd never worked with an outside producer before, so it was nerve-racking going into the studio with Karl for the first time, but it was just a perfect fit. It was like he knew what I wanted in my music before I even did, and he could push my performances where they needed to go and really take my music to another level."
Luning and his band set up shop at the stunning Panoramic Studios in Stinson, California, crafting a darker, grittier vibe for the music and exploring a wider palette than ever before. While many of Luning's songs are inspired by the lives and stories of the men and women he's grown up with in California or met on the road, the lyrics are all filtered through his own unique perspective and reflect his remarkable personal journey. Perhaps no track fits that bill more directly than "Driftin,'" an infectious road warrior's anthem that find's Luning singing, "I wanna keep on drifting like a rambling man."
"I had so much fun on tour going from place to place and playing to new people all the time and I got into the rhythm of it all, so when it ended and we came home I wasn't
ready to stop," he explains. "We pulled into Ben's house to unload our gear and I said, 'Ben, we're packing up and we're gonna go somewhere tomorrow right? We're gonna keep on going right?'"
Much of the album is uptempo and exuberant—"Almost Sounds Like Laughing" is a foot- stomping folk tune with the energy of a runaway train—but Luning shows off his remarkable depth and range on some of the record's more restrained tracks, like the slow-burning "Brother In Chains" and delicate "Gonna Forget About You," which finds him pulling his vocals back to an intimate near-whisper that conveys a world of heartache and regret. "In Hell I Am" started life as an acoustic blues on a resonator guitar before morphing into a fiery, electric rocker, while "Bet It All On Black" takes on a harder, Southern edge, with Luning repeating the mantra, "Ain't no use in holding back."
"It's essentially about a person who's kind of carefree," he says, "and they know that something might not be the best thing to do, but they're going all in with it anyway. They're just going for it, regardless of the outcome and any repercussions they might face."
If that sounds familiar, perhaps like the attitude of a man who might risk everything to drop out of school and move across the country to pursue a dream, it's no coincidence. With songs this good, it's a safe bet that a restless soul like David Luning is going to keep on traveling for a long time to come.