A story of perseverance reminiscent of Markita Andrews, Jared Lutes’ musical career is a testament to the old adage, “and if I can do it, anyone can—as long as you believe in yourself!” Coming from humble beginnings as an oldest son in Moncton, New Brunswick and proving his steadfastness through such challenges as vocal chord surgery and muscle tension dysphoria, Lutes has come out on top with a string of awards culminating in his recent win of ‘2015 Solo Record of the Year’ at the MusicNB Awards. All of this has led to his fifth and most recent release aptly named ‘The Rest Of Your Life’.
A clean, well-balanced roots rock and country smoothie, ‘The Rest of Your Life’ pairs John Hiatt’s lyrical sensibility with a down east rendering of Mumford and Sons’ tight-knit harmonies and foot stomps with a dab of The Faces’ “Ooh La La”. The catchy chorus of the title track, and the subtle mandolin on ‘Make It Up To You’ particularly stand out.
“I was at a crossroad six years ago: do I continue on the path of academia and start a PhD or do I finally commit to my passion for and business of songwriting and recording? It was a tough decision, and one that I still reconsider from time to time. But ‘success’ is all a point of view. Becoming rich and famous is typically unobtainable — and not really under your control anyway. I got my head out of the clouds, set the goal of making a sustainable living as a musician, then got to work doing it. I’m not rich or famous, but my successes are adding up, and my reputation as a songwriter and musician are opening doors and keeping me busy.”
Since 2014, Lutes has been taking artistic control of his releases by recording and producing in his own home studio with the help of some of the best of the Moncton area’s musicians. ‘The Rest of Your Life’ was recorded with the help of Mike Lemieux, Mike Bourgeois, Jacques Belanger, and Jock Downs, as well as his wife, Marie-Josée Poitras and their six-year-old son, Isaiah.
“I can’t imagine not having my family so involved in my music. My wife, Marie-Josée, and I got together through music, and gigged extensively for almost ten years. Then our first little one arrived, she finished training as a teacher, and priorities changed. But even now, she does join us/me as much as possible – especially in the summer when she is not working. Our son Isaiah is now seven years old and of course loves music, and takes lessons in ukulele and piano. He is also a very objective critic, and he has even begun to sing in the background on my latest work. And our second child, Ophelia, is also crazy about music, and loves to sing the words to my songs. And of course she wants to be just like her older brother!”
A busy stay-at-home father of two, it’s hard to imagine how Lutes finds the time to continue expanding his roots rock reign, but there is always another project in the works.
“I always assume that my latest album is my best, and up to know that’s been true. So since I don’t really want to relocate to a large musical centre, I need to keep finding ways to make my music visible to the international market. With this new release I’ll try to do that by adding to my string of awards, TV placements, music videos, and tour dates.”
The result is a glossy production – there’s a lot of contentment behind ‘The Rest Of Your Life’. Atypical from its genre, no dogs died in the production of this album, and no trucks broke down. It has an air of hindsight. Even when looking forward, it’s from a position of security. The angst of the moment has been left well behind, and Lutes is looking far into the horizon.
Find out more about Jared Lutes including upcoming tour dates at jaredlutes.com.