We are already in February, and I trust your 2020 has begun well! Aside from a few aches and pains here and there, my New Year hasn’t been too bad, and I do have great expectations from it, especially in November!

Musically, lots will be happening in my life this year, and I’d like to share with you a taste of what’s coming. My friend Bobby Pennock and I have just four more songs to record for our debut CD, which has been happening live in the studio of Dan Hazlett, our friend, producer, sound engineer, songwriter and recording artist himself. We are hoping that 1) the CD will be released sometime in the early fall, and 2) you will love it. Bobby and I have agreed to keep the project simple – just our two voices and guitars — for sometimes beauty is in simplicity. The CD’s working title is “On the Edge of Reality.”

I am continuing my multipronged collaboration with Dan Hazlett! Last year, we had a couple of well received appearances together, and we will do so again this year. One of the many things I have learned from Dan is a number of new chords (!) that I have been transcribing into corresponding ones in open D tuning on the guitar. A challenging, but fun and rewarding process, indeed.

More musically adventurous forays will be happening in 2020 with Eastward Bound (see the photo). Our trio (John Finan, Scott Williams and myself) is adding a few new tunes to our repertoire, and Scott has built a brand new combo drum kit for smaller venues to keep the volume of his percussion at the perfect level . If you happen to miss the first show — at Crazy Wisdom Tea Room on March 7 – make sure to catch us at the other two shows (in May and September). Man, do we always have a blast playing together!

Finally, let me say that I can hardly wait to have The Whistleblowers assembled again in full glory (a seven-piece band) for at least three shows this year! For now, please, mark your calendars for April 18 and November 20. The first of the two concerts will take place at MAMA’s Coffeehouse in Birmingham, one of the premier folk music venues in the Metro Detroit area, run and hosted by Jim Bizer. The second of the two will be our return to Livonia’s Trinity House Theatre, birthplace of The Whistleblowers. To remind you, besides myself The Whistleblowers are (in alphabetical order) John Finan, Dan Hazlett, Tracy Kash, Bobby Pennock, Sharon Tse, and Scott Williams. I am incredibly grateful and honored to be able to create music with these talented people, dear to my heart. One change we have implemented in our repertoire is that no longer will we be exclusively performing Luti’s music. Instead, songs by all other songwriters in the band will be represented. This way, you– the audiences — will be able to appreciate the real artistic caliber of the entire band.