Scott Lucas & the Married Men with Hotel Love and Western Residents
9 p.m. Sunday
8911 N. Western
Most people know Scott Lucas as the fiery, guitar-slinging belter fronting hard-rock outfit Local H, which just wrapped a tour where, each night, the duo played a different disc from its catalog in its entirety.
A bunch of down-tempo, lovelorn folk ballads is the last thing you'd expect from Lucas, which is pretty much the impetus for Scott Lucas & the Married Men's debut album, "George Lassos the Moon."
"There are a lot of things on this record that, maybe they're not harder to do, they're just outside of my comfort zone," he said.
Lucas assembled a band from a crew of area musician friends. They rehearsed for a few months, then went into the studio to get the best take they could, imbuing the album with a vibrant, organic feel. Lucas cited Cowboy Junkies' 1988 album, "The Trinity Session," as a model.
"I've always wanted to make a record like this record where we were able to set up in a room and record everything live," he said. "A lot of the songs are a lot quieter than I'm used to. I'm singing a lot lower and quieter than I normally would, and instrumentation-wise, giving up control to the other people in the band."
The result is an effortless, charming album, in many ways similar to Local H's breakup disc, "12 Angry Months," but turned on its flipside. Rather than a bitterly personal record, the Married Men's debut is a heartfelt plea for redemption and forgiveness.
Lucas didn't pen this album for public consumption. It was first conceived song-by-song as an appeal to his girlfriend. For more than a week, he wrote songs and e-mailed them nightly, begging for her return.
"There wasn't a lot of thought that went into it. There was a song, then the next day, there was another one, and it just kept happening. A bunch of songs that really just fell out," he said. "They just kept coming."
Before he knew it, he had 10 songs that obviously weren't Local H material. Unlike "12 Angry Months," which was framed and constructed around a concept, "George Lassos the Moon" bares Lucas' soul like nothing before. Obviously, anger and bitterness is a lot easier to showcase than shame and vulnerability.
While the band's origin was unplanned, the same doesn't hold true for its future. He and his Married Men are supporting a new EP, "Absolute Beginners," featuring the titular David Bowie cover, reworked arrangements of solo acoustic tracks from "George," and a Local H cover.
The group already has written a half-dozen tracks for its next album, and Lucas seems enthused about the new direction, although he cautioned that hardly means mothballs for Local H, which he expects to keep touring and recording, too.
And as for the girlfriend? Well, she's back in the fold, although the songs by themselves weren't enough to sway her.
"She didn't totally fall for it, which is to her credit. There's a lot of other things that had to go into play," Lucas said. "I'm not that good of a songwriter." "Chris Parker