Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Garret K. Woodward
Contributing Writer 

Home is where we want to grow

Lucid goes on hiatus

 

Last updated 4/2/2016 at 5:30am | View PDF

Garret K. Woodward (center) with Lucid

It caught me off-guard.

Sitting across the table from Lowell Wurster at a dimly Lit pizza joint in Western North Carolina recently, he broke the news to me. As the percussionist for longtime North Country music act LUCID, he set his drink down and looked me square in the eye.

"I think we're going to pull the plug on the band," he said.

At that time, the legendary Plattsburgh group was in the midst of a southeast tour, one that could make or break them, only to ultimately slide towards the latter. Thirteen years together, through thick and thin, and yet it seemed they were spinning their wheels. Not in terms of onstage musicianship, whereas they had never sounded better or more in-tune, but more so in regards to their financial and professional futures.

The members of LUCID are just that - LUCID. Literally their entire lives since around 2003 have revolved around The Band, how to grow their brand, their sound, and push further into the depths of their aspirations as artists and pillars of North Country Entertainment. So, it's no wonder, that after over a decade running around every weekend and in every which-way in their psychedelic school bus "Lucy" that the boys were beginning to each (in their own time and thoughts, on and off the road) do just what their music aims to provoke - growth.

The Band is filled with a wide spectrum of personalities, all of which pour melodic and philosophical influences into their sound. They are a melting pot of purpose, tone and ideas, something that has always separated them from their peers. It also was the exact reason I found myself in their wheelhouse.

New Year's Eve 2006. I was 21 years old and home from college on Christmas Break. Drunk and meandering around downtown Plattsburgh, I found myself (once again) at the heartbeat of the city - The Monopole. Up the creaky, beer covered stairs I went, pushing through troves of joyously sweaty music freaks boogying down to LUCID on the corner stage. And though I'd seen them a few times at local festivals and gatherings, I finally was struck by the sincere power and force of LUCID.

During their set break, I went outside to where everyone was smoking and introduced myself. I told them I was a local music journalist, that I liked their band and wanted to write about them. Of course, "technically" I was a wet-behind-the-ears music journalist who only had a few things published at that point, but my heart and intent was in the right place.

So, we kept in touch for the next several years. I helped promote shows, talked them up to regional venue owners and radio people, always emphasizing, "yah gotta listen to these guys, nobody sounds like them."

And it was true. LUCID was (is) a raucous, beloved chapter of North Country and northeast music. They brought together as many different genres of music as they did groups of people and social circles. Going to a LUCID show was a town-wide event, where characters from all walks of life would emerge from the woodwork, in search of an evening to forget about their trials and tribulations, and to also be reminded of their own beautiful spirit while in the presence of other captivating souls surrounding them.

To be a fan of LUCID, to support their music and message, was to be part of a never-ending family of brothers and sisters who look out for each other, who care about their community, and if it was going in the right direction - that's the core of The Band.

During the spring of 2010, immediately following a devastating breakup, I decided to jump on the road with LUCID. They approached me to be their road manager, someone who would sell merchandise, collect the money and somewhat be a jack-of-all-trades. I was in need a fresh start, so I stepped onto the bus.

For the next year, I was out there, completely immersed in the cosmos, ready and willing to take on the world, warts and all. Sticky floor dive bars and grand ballrooms, middle-of-nowhere festivals and cosmopolitan stages - they played anywhere that was in search of something, musically and spiritually. And throughout my time with LUCID, I garnered a new sense of myself, and what was required of me to achieve my dreams, all influenced by their day-in-and-day-out work ethic, as blood, sweat and tears dripped down onto cold, hard pavement towards destinations unknown.

And though it has been stressed numerous times that The Band is not officially breaking up, this upcoming hiatus strikes a deep chord in all of us. LUCID kept the light on along the horizon, ambassadors of all of that is irresponsible enlightenment, sticking their tongues out at a normal life, for true happiness isn't black or white - it's a kaleidoscope of chance, opportunity, and collaboration. They were out there on the open road while most of us could only be so lucky.

The North Country will be a lot quieter without LUCID around. But, that only means it will be that much louder when they come roaring back into our lives somewhere down the line, this band of melodic pirates sailing along the high seas of life.

Much love, my brothers.

(Editor's Note: LUCID will be performing their last show before their hiatus at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at The Strand Center Theatre in downtown Plattsburgh. The event will also serve as an album release party for The Band's latest release, "Bonsai Zen." For more information on The Band and tickets, click on http://www.rulucid.com or http://www.facebook.com/rulucid.)

 

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