Not your father's banjo-pickin'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    WARWICK-When Steve Lutke plays one of his banjos, the sounds he creates are like no banjo music you ever heard. Lutke's virtuosity and phrasing recalls guitarist Django Reinhardt or supreme banjo artists Béla Fleck or Earl Scruggs. On July 23 Lutke and his band will be performing at Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery as part of the winery's ongoing music series "Uncorked and Unplugged." Accompanying Lutke are master fiddle player Travis Wetzel, flat-picking guitarist Bob Harris, Randy Bailey and Ken Neill on bass and Noah Segal on the African Djembe drums. Lutke's style defies classification: He starts with a lyrical banjo arrangement of Beethoven's "Für Elise," then segues to a version of "Bonnie Scotland" beautiful enough to break your heart, finishing with a bluegrass tune that makes you want to stand up and cheer. The songs on Lutke's new CD "Appalachian Uprising," range from the ballad, "The Sky is Falling," composed when Lutke learned of the horrifying events of Sept. 11, 2001, to the true bluegrass "Spinner" and "Moon Dog." Appalachian Uprising was released on the Ampersand Label. "When my band starts setting up to play, people see the banjo and think, ‘Oh no, more "Hee-Haw" music,'" Lutke said. "But when we start to play, everyone is stunned into silence. I've seen grown men sit on the floor in front of us listening with tears in their eyes." The show starts at 8 p.m. Door open at 7 for those that are interested in eating at the winery bakery and café. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the winery at (845) 258-4858.