by Ross CAT

By. Ross Cat.

    COOL HAND LUKE….To the powers that be within the music industry today all too often one’s standard of success is measured only by the almighty dollar. That could not be farther from the truth within the Rock ‘N Roll ranks, to a man respect and recognition amongst your peers is the ultimate prize. One on the most sought after world class musicians over the last quarter century is Steve Lukather. While known to most as the skilled guitarist behind the Grammy award winning band TOTO, his dynamism and diversification have afforded him to work in a cross-section of musical dimensions like no other artist. His website reads more like an encyclopedia of music as opposed to just biography. Luke has appeared on hundreds of recordings, his signature tone and vocal prowess keep him in high demand today. In addition to selling millions of records with TOTO,  Luke has worked with some of music’s greatest performers.  “I’ve been very fortunate to work with just about all the hero’s I’ve ever had, in a live setting or a recording studio.  I’ve worked with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Elton John, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Don Henley”, says Luke.
    This summer finds Luke away from the studio and on the road with his band TOTO  in support of a brand new disc titled “Falling in Between”.Luke along with longtime collaborators Bobby Kimball and David Paich have created an atmospheric journey with this new collection of songs. Listeners will be “Hooked” from the get go as the complex title track finds Luke unleashing in the midst of a jazzed up jam session as Kimball’s vocals rise to the occasion. Another standout track on the disc includes the epic cut “Bottom Of Your Soul”, which highlights the bands trademark harmonies. Also contributing to the album are former members Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams, as well as a guest appearance by Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull).
    NIGHTLIFE had the great privilege to speak with hired gun Steve Lukather as he and TOTO ( are heading to the Northeast for a series of shows through July.

  R.Cat.- Thanks so much for taking some time out to speak to us. Congratulations on the success of the new disc I especially like the title track it highlights the bands strengths.

  LUKE- Thanks man, we are really proud of this record. “Falling In Between” was actually the first song that we had written for the record. We are really looking forward to making the trip back to the States it’s been a while since we’ve been their and we look forward to getting our feet wet again.

  R.Cat.- There is no question as to the talent of this band, do you think the early commercial success with hits like “Hold The Line” ,“Rosanna” and “Africa” may have clouded critics as to what this band is really all about. It seems that maybe some of your music was a casualty of being categorized as a pop band?

  LUKE- We’ve most definitely taken on the chin over the years from some critics who try and put our music into a little box. That’s not really what this band is about. We’ve been working for over thirty years together so there must be somebody out their listening to us. The shows in Europe earlier this year were a blast, watching fans both young and old enjoy what we are doing up their. So really we are proud of what we put out there and we have our passionate fans who inspire us.

  R.Cat.- Honestly I was amazed when I started to research for this interview at the impressive resume of sessions work both yourself and the members of TOTO have been involved in.

  LUKE- The interesting thing is that it used to be considered a negative in the industry. For me I wear that badge rather proudly. What other bands can you think of that has the sessions pedigree that we have, working with such stylistically diverse artists who are Rock ‘N Roll legends with Grammy’s hanging all over the studio. I look at it as a plus; I’ve had the most amazing experiences working with some of the most famous artists of the last forty years. It’s really been a great run, I’ve gotten to jam BEATLES songs with both Paul and George, I’ve been in the studio with Elton John when he says let’s give “Levon” a run through. What really opened my eyes to what I was experiencing was when Jimmy Page told me, “don’t take any shit about being a session’s musician that’s how I got started”.

  R.Cat.- How do you think that all the session’s work as molded yourself and TOTO, do you find that working within other bands has helped with the longevity of the group?

  LUKE- That’s a good question. I can’t really put my finger on it. Really we all went to high school together so I think that is a big factor. From my start in working with Boz Scaggs to TOTO being signed to a record deal and developing a reputation as great sessions guys it been a great ride. I really love all the guys in the band both past and present as not only musicians but as human beings as well.

  R.Cat.- I picked up the “Live In Amsterdam” DVD it’s quite evident that the band is in a zone on stage, more importantly everyone on seems to be enjoying themselves, is it difficult to invoke the desire to tour after all these years?

  LUKE- That’s the beauty of playing with awesome musicians that we have in our band. You get up on stage and you’re playing at a really high level. It challenges you as an artist when you jam with such talented people. There is always a lot of room for improvisation which keeps everything fresh and vibrant. So come on out and see us, our shows are always full of surprises.

    NIGHTLIFE would like to thank Luke for his valuable time as well as Aaron Meza and Jonathan Wolfson of Wolfson Public Relations for putting this together.

TOWNBALL ROOM 6/1/06…. While the Hurricanes may have swept away this cities “Yearning” to drink from Lord Stanley, another force was stirring from the north as THE TREWS stormed the stage inside the Town Ballroom. The native Canadians put on a free feverish performance following game seven sponsored by Buffalo’s hottest new concert club.  The rock and roll road warriors are in the midst of a full-scale U.S Tour in support of their standout sophomore release “Den of Thieves”. Track for track this disc is ‘trewly’ a stellar collection of genre-blending sounds, full of the influences of all that is good in Rock ‘N  Roll over the last thirty years. From the opening song “Fire up Ahead” , this disc is blazing with the potency of ZEPPELIN, the raunchy blues of the CROWES, all tied together with the alluring harmonies and melodies of the FOO FIGHTERS. This is a group that is “Tired of Waiting” and is a band to be reckoned with behind the support of their new label RSM/Sony BMG. “For the past three years, we’ve enjoyed the success that we’ve earned at home. Not only have we learned a lot about the business but we’ve also matured both personally and musically. I think “Den of Thieves” reflects this and that we are ready for the U.S.,” said vocalist Colin MacDonald.
    The Brothers MacDonald; Colin on vocals, John- Angus on his gripping guitar, along with Jack Syperek (bass) and Sean Dalton (drums), have developed a ‘trewly’ panoramic sound linking their musical montage of inspired influences. This comes as no surprise as THE TREWS got it done the old fashioned way playing night after night throughout Canada since their debut album “House of Ill Fame” in 2003. They have opened for THE ROLLING STONES, ROBERT PLANT, and NICKELBACK, not to mention garnering two Gold records and six “Top 10” singles including two #1’s on the first two discs.
    While “Den of Thieves’  is worth a straight through listen THE TREWS strength lies within their legendary live performances, playing 400 plus shows over the past two and a half years.  “Playing that many shows is hard work but it is paying off for us. We’ve emerged as a stronger band, both as friends and musicians,” says guitarist John-Angus MacDonald.
    Good news for those of you who ran home to “Cry” following the Game 7 loss by the Sabres, THE TREWS will be “Makin Sunshine” on Thursday June 29th at Lafayette Square as they will open the evening’s festivities for Canadian greats 54*40. NIGHTLIFE would like to thank THE TREWS, Matt Finkelstein of Bumstead Productions in Toronto, and Bridget Moyer of Chipster Entertrainment.

6/4/06- BLOSSOM MUSIC CENTER…..The rumor that began to circle the track earlier this year has now crossed the finish line as the NEW CARS are on the road and fully loaded.  NIGHTLIFE took the rock and roll roady to see the refueled band that jammed the airwaves with Top 40 hits throughout the late seventies and eighties. Former lead singer Ric Ocasek passed on the reunion tour and handed the keys to the musical mastermind Todd Rundgren.   The multifaceted artist and his unique persona have done a bang up job revving the engine to the NEW CARS.
    It’s been seventeen years since founding member Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes took the CARS out for a spin and judging by their high octane performance it’s going to be one hell of a joyride. “We’ve tried approaching it in several different ways over the years, at the end of the day Ric and drummer David Robinson didn’t want to do it, and Greg and I did”, says Easton.
    The “Road Rage Tour” setlist opened with the hybrid NEW CARS saying “Hello Again” to the many fans who’ve waited seventeen summers to “Let the Good Times Roll” again with the Boston born band. Although they’ve had to “Shake it Up” a little as far as the line-up goes their success remains due to the sum of the parts. South paw guitarist Elliott Easton was swinging for the fences on the classic CARS catalog as he and Rundgren lit it up trading licks and riffs. Greg Hawkes keyboard wizardry and soaring harmonies kept the show  “Moving in Stereo”, which by the way was still as mesmerizing as Phoebe Cates slow motion saunter across the screen in “Fast Time s at Ridgemont High”. Also joining in on the CARavan is sessions sensation and former Utopia member bassist Kasim Sultan, he took on the daunting task of steering the NEW CARS through an impassioned version of “Drive”, originally sung by the late CARS bassist Benjamin Orr. Bringing up the tail is drummer extraordinaire Prairie Prince who spent most of the last thirty years with the TUBES, his pounding precision helped keep the pedal to the metal. This is by no means a nostalgia reunion tour and may have well never happened if not for the participation of Todd Rundgren. He was a musical pioneer when all he wanted to do was “Bang the Drum” way back when. Now with his artistic contributions to numerous to count his desire to stay true to himself and his accomplishments while striving to reach uncharted musical waters is unparalleled today.
    Check out the bands brand new website for in depth bios and tour dates ( Ironically enough following the Blossom gig the band’s tour bus was involved in an accident in which Easton suffered a broken collar-bone. The underrated guitarist played with pain through the next four nights until it was determined surgery was necessary. For now the caution flag is out on the ROAD RAGE TOUR as Easton is in for repairs. Even with the brief pit stop the NEW CARS show no signs of depreciation. To hold you over until the band hits the road again pick up the NEW CARS disc “IT’S ALIVE”, a performance recorded earlier this year featuring three brand new songs including the new summer hit “Not Tonight”. The status on show at the Molson Amphitheatre scheduled for June 21st will be updated on the bands website.
    NIGHTLIFE would like to thank Katie McNeil and Chris Kelly form 10th Street Entertainment for their help.
    STRUMMER TIME…..While the music world is still stinging from the untimely death of punk pioneer JOE STRUMMER, a new Rockumentary DVD due out on June 27th by renowned filmmaker Dick Rude my heal some of that pain. Titled “Let’s Rock Again” the DVD is an intimate look at STRUMMER as he embarks on his final tour with his band The Mescaleros prior to his death in 2002. The disc is loaded with candid interviews, fan interaction and more importantly some passionate live performances by the band. If nothing else the rockumentary shows that STRUMMER worked as hard at the end for the love of his music; as he did when the CLASH defied critics and took the world by storm. The DVD is most certainly well worth a look and listen, so kick back relax and “dig, drift and groove”, not just for CLASH fans. Check out his new website @ Thanks to Libby Henry at MSO.
    See ya in the July 3rd issue when we feature all things Sammy Hagar as we prepare for the tour stop at the Darien Lake PAC on July 7th.

Back to Main


Buffalo Web site hosting by
Professional Media and Web Site Services