Interview with Louisiana Music Hall of Famer, Lucas Spinosa: a keyboard player with a remarkable talent for songwriting.
How has the Blues and Louisiana’s music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
Being born and raised in south Louisiana, it’s music is a natural educator. I grew up being infused with blues and other styles from the south. It has helped me to embrace others and learn from diversity. Music in the south has become the foundation of my everyday life.
How started the thought of “Friends & Legends of Louisiana” project? How do you describe album’s music philosophy?
One of my closest friends and music confidants, Mike David, and I were researching new project ideas. We wanted to produce something that headlined some of the best talents in south Louisiana. Something that would really show off the melting pot of sounds that we grew up on. Luckily, between the two of us we had plenty of contacts. We were fortunate to enlist some of the best vocalists and musicians around. The album represents the diverse sounds and abilities of each performer. I wrote each song in particular for each vocalist and directed each player to enrich the south Louisiana vibe.
Which meetings have been the most important experiences?
I was lucky enough to meet Stevie Wonder when I played as a studio musician early in my career. He and I sat at the piano together and played songs from his album “The Key of Life”. I realized then through our conversations that music really was the key to life. I was able to meet a variety of artists through my sponsorship with Coors Brewery in the 1990’s. I was able to travel the country and perform openings for various artists (Tracy Lawrence, Tracy Byrd, Martina McBride, Ray Charles) which truly helped me to grow as a musician and performer.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
When I was a young man, I was told by my peers “to always try to play with other musicians that are better than you”; so, you can learn from them. To this day, I surround myself with the best of the best and it truly pushes me to write, produce and perform at the highest level.
Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
In 1996, I was fortunate to play a show for the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The show included Tracy Lawrence, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles and others. It was such a great show and gave me opportunities to observe and gain perspective as a musician.
What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
I miss the traditional sounds of Otis Redding, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Conway Twitty, BB King … These are sounds that really define musical excellence. Some of the sounds today, in my opinion, are simply not musical at all. My biggest fear is those sounds will become the new norm and the true old timers will fade.
What would you say characterizes Louisiana’s scene in comparison to other US scenes? What touched (emotionally) you?
Louisiana music is here to stay. A lot of music scenes come and go. But the sounds of Louisiana … the New Orleans jazz, the R&B, the Swamp Pop and Rock ‘n’ Roll of Louisiana … will forever be in the history books. We here in the south have an emotional bond with our music and will keep it in tradition and not be moved by progressives.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?
Stay true to yourself, don’t try to be something you are not. Do not let the outside forces try to change you to something they want you to be. Each person is unique and should always be confident in who they are. I’m built from rhythm & blues, swamp pop, traditional country and rock ‘n’ roll; that’s what I’m made of.
What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want it to affect people?
I want my music to make people smile. If through my music I can make people fell good and be happy; it’s makes me feel full in my heart.
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?
I would travel to the future … I would like go tour overseas with the “Friends & Legends of Louisiana” band. Spread the gumbo of sounds throughout the world!
Interview by Michael Limnios