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Judge for Luke Sayers & The Last to Know

Evanston, IL
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Portrait of Luke Sayers & The Last to Know
Luke Sayers’ life is his music. The love, loss, laughter, fear, and hope each of us experiences every day find their way into Luke’s songs, regardless of whether they happen to be semi autobiographical or completely made up. As an acoustic American roots artist, Luke begins with the blues, draws on the story telling tradition of country and folk, then brings his lyrics to life through soaring melodies set against the backdrop of energetic grooves derived from pop rock. Though Luke has been writing, recording, and performing his original songs since 2005, he spent the first 18 years of this musical journey playing upright acoustic and electric bass in rock, blues, jazz, AfroCuban, and Americana groups. During Luke's 3 years with the successful acoustic Americana band Tangerine Trousers the group received 3 Detroit Music Awards including Outstanding Acoustic Recording for "Dressed for Success", which also got strong reviews from national magazines such as Performing Songwriter ("…damn cool!") and No Depression ("An unassuming powerhouse"). As a member of the Trousers, Luke grew from his traditional role as upright bassist into a songwriter, singer, and acoustic guitarist. In 2005 Luke released his debut solo CD ‘Songbook; the introduction’ and reunited with his fellow former Tangerine Trousers band mate Mark Iannace. This duo is the nucleus of The Last to Know band.

Luke's last EP ‘Long Way Back’ (2007) was described as "flavorful folk that weaves together blues, rock, country, jazz, and bluegrass, with bang-up harmonies at times recalling Barenaked Ladies" (John Sinkevics - Grand Rapids Press), and received praise such as "Luke Sayers has a powerful, passionate voice, and it's put to good use on the heartfelt, beautifully written tunes on his new CD" (Martin Bandyke - 107.1 FM Ann Arbor, MI). Other accolades came in the form of nominations by WYCE's “Jammie” Awards for Best Local Folk Album of the Year, as well as the Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Recording.

2008 has brought about a soulful collection of 11 new original songs for people who like honest, melodious, & deep grooving music on Luke's third release as a solo artist, and his first full length recording ‘Radio Flower‘. This new CD is full of the sound that Christian Czerwinski of the Lansing State Journal NOISE called "easy to listen to even for the hardest of rockers and the most casual of pop fans". The Illinois Entertainer said ‘Radio Flower’ has "a laid-back, easing-going vibe and an unmistakable heartfelt sincerity". John Sinkevics of the Grand Rapids Press said “Luke Sayers has been one of the best-kept secrets on the folk-rock scene. That may change with his latest album, ‘Radio Flower‘.” The online based Mlive.com added "Sonorous acoustic folk-rock doesn't get much better then what is generated on ‘Radio Flower‘.”

This year also adds another dimension to the recognition Luke has received from his peers via the Detroit Music Awards as he was nominated in the Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Instrumentalist (acoustic guitar) category, which will go along side the nominations from previous years as an Acoustic/Folk Songwriter & Acoustic/Folk Artist.

The truth is in Luke's passionate and uninhibited live performances in which a pound of flesh, blood, sweat, and tears are always given freely for appreciative audiences. Bill Keith, head of the Trinity House Theatre, says "you have to get out and see Luke Sayers and The Last to Know. He’s a wonderfully talented songwriter, but it is in the live performance that the music takes on wings." Concert halls, house concerts, festivals, clubs, coffeehouses, & live radio broadcasts all feel like home to this seasoned performer. Luke has toured internationally, recorded on several original CDs and has shared the stage with Martin Sexton, Ani Difranco, Old Crow Medicine Show, Donna the Buffalo, Jackie Green, Railroad Earth, Brave Combo, The Clumsy Lovers, Ruthie Foster, and Bluehouse. Luke has performed his original songs on the stages of The Ark, the Bluebird Café for the Sunday Showcase Spotlight, the Legion Arts-CSPS hall, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, the Detroit Festival of the Arts, the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Blissfest, and the White River Folk Festival.
 
 
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