About Paul Lucas
Welcome to the ‘all about me’ section of the site - not my favourite kettle of fish, but I will try to pull it off with some sort of grace.
I was lucky to be born into a musical family. My father played stride piano. He played the standards, and his feel and time were fantastic. The sound of that piano filled the house every day of my childhood, and it became part of my musical DNA.
In my mid teens, I was seduced by the guitar, playing first in a Ventures group then in various Rhythm and Blues bands. Then I heard Howard Roberts, Wes Montgomery and Herbie Hancock and that was that.
In the early days, Vancouver was an R+B/Jazz town and I ended up playing everywhere there was to play. One of my gigs during that period was staff guitarist for the Egress - one of the best Blues and Jazz clubs on the west coast. There I found myself playing with the likes of Bo Diddley and Sugarcane Harris, along with the then current king of Texas blues - Albert Collins, who invited me on the road - a musical education you can get nowhere else.
In a peculiar twist of fate, I got a chance to work with one of my early heroes, Howard Roberts, after he offered to publish my first guitar book. That, along with a second book was eventually published by Studio/PR publications and CP Belwin.
Offers to teach and write followed and I did some adjunct teaching for Western Washington University along with various community colleges, so I took on a little of that, although playing and composing was, and continues to be, my primary interest.
This was a good period. I was on my way. But I had a problem: I had a second life that I also wanted to lead.
For as long as I could remember, I’d dreamed of staking a piece of land in the north and building a cabin, and this really wasn’t a very good match with a career as a jazz guitarist!
But I am a naive and simple man, as most of my pals will tell you, so it never occurred to me for a minute that I couldn’t do both. So off I went to the Yukon border, where I took over a 5 acre stake, and started building my cabin. And when it was done, I moved on in.
As it turned out, I ended up playing, recording and writing all the live long day in the North. The music scene in the Yukon was alive and well. The capper, though, was my gig at the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway AK.
The cruise ships had just discovered Alaska, and Skagway was the northern terminus for most of them. Every ship had a show band, and most of the players were jazz musicians. Those guys would stream into the R.O., rabid to blow after their show room captivity. The result was the Jazz Jams at the Red Onion Saloon. They ran for many years and became known all over the globe.
My life in the North during this period was a full moon experience, and I figured it was worth writing about. I am posting chapters on the site as they appear if you care for a preview. Big fun!
My re-entry into the mainstream took place in Phoenix AZ where I moved with my wife and daughter. There I managed to balance a playing and recording career with plenty of time in the high desert. During that period, I rediscovered my love of Afro/Brazilian music, in particular the music of Baden Powell, and ended up recording ‘Melting Pot’ and ‘Piccoli Fiori’ (a collection of original solo pieces for guitar that had coalesced over the years) - albums that join the rest of my recordings gradually being added to the site.
I never gave up my relationship with the north, though, and continue to spend several months each year in my cabin. I recently moved back to Canada.
Thanks for joining me on this romp. Poke around and read my blog if you have a mind.