Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Music · The Lucas Paul Band
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The Lucas Paul Band

Kristi Kates - May 16th, 2011
The Lucas Paul Band: Michigan Made
By Kristi Kates
The Lucas Paul Band are Ann Arborites at heart, but often make Traverse City their temporary home away from home, at least on stage.
“We have and always will have plans to come up to Traverse City frequently because we get the best love up here of anywhere,” says the band’s namesake Lucas Paul, “hands down.”
The band is comprised of Pete Birchler on lead guitar, Bobby Streng on sax, Mark Damian on drums, Matt Henninger on bass, and Paul on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, 
In early 2006, Paul explains, he was a “lost soul” - freshly out of college, but with no job prospects and no band.
“I would frequent Goodnite Gracie’s in downtown Ann Arbor every Wednesday and Thursday to watch local blues prodigy Laith Al Saadi,” he explains, “and every night found myself staying until last call because his band was that good.”
After months of persistent begging to Gracie’s manager, Terry Martin, Paul got a shot to perform before one of Al Saadi’s shows.
“Eventually, Laith handed me a few gigs of his own that he couldn’t take,” Paul says, “so I put a band together. After getting our foot in the door, other nightclubs became interested in what we had to offer.”
Paul’s band quickly became a popular draw - as a cover band, playing other musicians’ songs. But, as he says, it soon became apparent that “something was missing.”
   
HELLO AGAIN
“I had done some songwriting slowly but surely over the years,” Paul says, “so I approached my guitar player, Pete (Birchler), about the tunes. He committed to the production aspect of the album, and I was in charge of songwriting.”
Recorded and mixed at Birchler’s own home in Detroit, that delegation resulted in the band’s first album, Hello Again, which was released in December of last year. Paul describes it as a “mash up of Paul Simon, The Beatles, Maroon 5, and maybe a touch of Stevie Wonder.” A quick listen confirms most of Paul’s take on his band’s sound, although perhaps more leaning toward the Maroon 5/Paul Simon side of things, with Paul’s vocals being most reminiscent of Aussie musician Ben Lee. It’s quite a pop sound for a musician who says his own skills were honed via one of country music’s best-known artists.
“I have to admit that I learned to play the guitar by playing along with Garth Brooks’ music back in grade school,” Paul chuckles, “but I am also hugely influenced by the Nirvanas and Pearl Jams of the world. In college I was on the Dave Matthews Band wagon, and as of late have been listening to anything from Mumford and Sons to bluegrass and folk.”

TOUR ENERGY
Currently promoting Hello Again with a small lineup of original shows - including a stop at TC’s Union Street Station - The Lucas Paul Band may venture out of state to play a few shows one of these days, but don’t count on that being any time soon. They’re perfectly happy in Michigan.
“Home base is and always will be Ann Arbor for us,” he says, “three out of the five of us went to school here and live here, and all of us have roots here. It is such a diverse, vibrant town with great food, entertainment, and art. We have not made a big push to tour - yet - as we are all very busy. It’s a tough thing to do, and I praise all musicians that go on the road to get their music out there; I’m hoping someday we’ll be able to do this.”
Now that they have the record finished, Paul continues, they need to actually do something with it, hence the live shows. While he jokingly fears what he calls the “train wreck” on stage - that familiar band-mistake phenomenon that happens occasionally during a live performance - Paul still looks forward to showcasing the band’s new music in front of the band’s fans, old and new.
“I think we’re all still in shock that it actually got done,” he laughs, “but nothing makes me happier on stage than when the crowd reacts with the same or greater energy than we are giving them through music.”

The Lucas Paul Band will be performing at Union Street Station in TC this weekend, May 20 and 21 at 10 p.m.. For more info on the band, visit www.lucaspaulband.com.
 
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