Al Lukas, In My Soul
After Al Lukas released his 2009 sophomore Fall & Flight, he did not want to book a tour; as a result, he set out on the Canadian tundra with just his van, some arctic sleeping gear and his guitar. Booking shows along the way he had a few ground rules for what he calls, The Good Faith Tour.
As he states in his bio, “I couldn’t rent a hotel room, it had to be bartered. If I was playing music, I couldn’t ask for a price. All I could say was what I could offer, and by saying that it was then ‘give me what you think it is worth”. It takes a lot of guts to accomplish what Lukas has done, sure confidence and luck have something to do with it, but I guarantee you that it was Lukas’ music that saved his ass on the road more than once.
From the very beginning, In My Soul has a very familiar Canadian rock sound; both “The Answer” and “Wild Child” reminded me of Chris Colepaugh and The Cosmic Crew and are funkier, bar-band grooves. Third track “Didn’t Get Lost in Losing You” is a mellow pop number that could have been featured on The Watchmen’s McLaren Furnace Room. He quickly changes gears on the Tom Waits inspired “It’s Not Hard (It’s Simple)” and “Wolf like Me” where Lukas’ powerful voice takes centre stage, with his distinct growl.
Really solid stuff, however, the bottom half of this record is easily Lukas’ strongest material. Starting off with the title track Lukas manifests a sound that is wholly his own; the track features some amazing production with passionate guitar and piano interplay and a dark string arrangement. While acoustic based tracks “Sara Jane” and “One True Friend” bring a live, intimate feeling to the record before ending with the rocker “Restless Flame”, where you really appreciate how intricate Lukas’ guitar playing is.
All of his hardships and achievements on the road are chronicled on In My Soul and his cross-country experience has enriched and honed his craft readying him to become a major player on the Canadian scene. (Independent)
Rating: 4/5 Stars