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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A musical jack of all trades: Guitarist and singer-songwriter Lucas Brookbank Brown is a local music scene fixture

By Julien A. Luebbers For The Spokesman-Review

Lucas Brookbank Brown is a musical jack of all trades. Raised in Spokane, Brown has been involved in everything from local open mics to bands in a vast set of genres.

With the number of local projects he’s been involved in (including hip-hop fusion collective Kung Fu Vinyl), his guitar is a fixture of the local scene. But just last year, he took a step in a new direction, releasing his first solo work, the EP “Everything Means Something Out Here.”

It’s filled with country-tinged folk-rock in the spirit of contemporary greats like Jason Isbell and the Lumineers. Brown’s voice is very well-suited to the slightly twangy guitars and clean-cut drums. He composes pieces with a punctual and dynamic rock sound accompanied by real and sometimes witty lyrics.

On “Blow (The Wolf Song),” he sings, “One penny for your thoughts / ’cause I heard you were selling out” before breaking into a chorus that sonically recalls moments of Bob Dylan’s iconic “Like a Rolling Stone.” It’s a ’70s sound – but just one moment of a diverse and eclectic album.

It comes as a surprise that solo work is only a recent focus for Brown because listening to his EP, he seems totally comfortable in his sound. That comes to a certain extent from his chameleon-like role on the guitar.

“I’ve played in a lot of different bands and filled a lot of different roles as a guitar player in this scene,” he said. From an eight-piece soul combo to R&B and more, his guitar-playing CV is lengthy, to say the least. “But I was always writing songs on the back-burner,” Brown said.

“I didn’t really start playing any of my solo stuff until about three or four years ago.” But he’s made the most of that time, in recording the EP and taking to the road (pre-pandemic) to gather influence and experience across the West.

“I think those scenes definitely influenced me,” he said of his time in cities including Portland, Seattle and Bozeman. “The bluegrass-jam kind of folk scene out of Portland” was a particular influence. But most of the credit goes to his raising up locally and developing his craft here in Spokane.

“The Bartlett,” which is no longer around, “was a pretty formative place for me for doing my solo stuff,” Brown said. He found there “what I would call a kind of Spokane indie sound. That gravitated a lot around that place.”

Of the tracks released on “Everything Means Something Out Here,” “Loneliness” is one of his favorites. “That’s the song that I found really resonates with a lot of my listeners,” and “it was written in the matter of just a few minutes.”

He recorded the demo tape on his own at home, playing each part over the top of the next. “My idea was to write something simple,” he said. When he brought it to the studio, though, the recording process was starkly different from the solo-home setup.

They recorded it live on an analog tape. As a result, the sound blends exceedingly well, the piano and guitars finding a perfect synergy. The lyrics are as he says: simple, with the chorus going, “you’re not the only one lonely now.”

The last track on the EP is my favorite, a softer, more intimate song that swells gently throughout. It sounds almost cathartic. Brown’s vocals are a little more distant and the guitars a little restrained until each reaches their climax. It ends the EP with energy and emotion.

With so much experience on the music scene, as a bandmember and an individual, releasing the EP gave Brown the tools to release records and the knowledge to do it again. He decided – seeing a need in the local community – to take his own EP as an opportunity to found a record label, Basaltic Records, with a friend, Brian McClatchey.

“It’s something that he’s just been interested in and passionate about for a long time,” he said of McClatchey. “He has more of a legal background and understands those inner workings better than I do. Whereas my side is more creative and networking.”

The pair released his EP and are now turning their focus to local talents in need of support in releasing their music.

In his time running open mics in town, Brown said “there’s a lot of good songs floating around in this town. There’s a lot of really good artists.” And with an established system for releasing records, “Why not help try and help some other people, as well?”

“There’s definitely an element of city pride, pride in our scene,” he said. “You don’t have to move to Seattle or Portland or L.A. or Nashville to have a healthy and happy music career.”

His label hopes to help support Spokane musicians locally, and they’ve even got a new artist joining the team in the coming months.

With “Everything Means Something Out Here” under his belt, Brown is set up for success in all kinds of fields, from his label to future music. The process taught him a lot, even though it didn’t all go to plan.

Particularly, things fell short in terms of promotion because of the pandemic. But rather than lament that loss, Brown added that this “is all the more motivation to put another one out.”

For more about Brown and Basaltic Records, go to and

Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at