INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS LUQUETTE
(Guitar Player for Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen) by Sandi Millar
SANDI: How did you get started playing the guitar?
CHRIS: Around the age of 10, I started noticing how often my Dad would put on the radio. Mostly the local classic rock station. While I loved all of the music, I took great notice of The Beatles and immediately had the desire to play the music myself. I asked my parents for a guitar and they happily obliged with a student grade nylon string guitar. At my first guitar lesson I learned some basic classical techniques and a few simple chords to start playing my favorite Beatles songs.
SANDI: What other instruments do you play?
CHRIS: Mandolin, Banjo, Bass, Octave Mandolin, and drums formally. Though i love to tinker on all kinds of stringed instruments.
SANDI: Who was your Inspiration?
CHRIS: Once I dug into music, and realized how much great music and art there was in the world. I decided to take influences from as many places as possible. Though I do keep coming back to musicians like the Beatles, and the Allman Brothers, and Pink Floyd. Plus all of the great jazz artists, and almost any genre I can think of artists. Including bluegrass.
SANDI: Who were your musical heroes?
CHRIS: Too many. Duane Allman, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Bill Keith, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs...this list is endless really.
SANDI: Have you played with other bands?
CHRIS: I had a bluegrass band that had some success on the west coast called Northern Departure. At the same time I played in a folk band called Folk Voice Band that would play ethnic folk music from all over the world for different folk dances and festivals.
SANDI: Are you a full time musician?
SANDI: What is the one thing or series of events that led you to playing bluegrass? full time?
CHRIS: Around 15 I was way into the Grateful Dead. While reading about their history as bluegrass and folk musicians, and digging all of the that music, I discovered Bill Monroe’s name. Whom Jerry Garcia and the rest of the band really looked up to. I went to a library and found a Monroe live album. The Bluegrass Boys at the time of this recording had Bill Keith and Del McCoury in the band. I was hooked after hearing the band rip through Rawhide. I knew I wanted to try and play this music.
SANDI: If you could do anything but music what would you have done?
CHRIS: I might have pursued a career as a national park ranger. I love the outdoors.
SANDI: Favorite stage you have played? Why?
CHRIS: I enjoy almost every stage I’ve played on. Though Telluride, and the La Roche Bluegrass festival in France stand out in my mind.
SANDI: What instruments, picks, strings, pickups, etc do you use?
CHRIS: I play acoustic guitars these days made by Preston Thompson Guitars. A company based in Sisters, Oregon. I met them through a mutual friend. When I played their guitars I knew they had the sound I was looking for. Plus made in the Pacific Northwest, where I’m from. It just felt right.
On live performances I’ve been using Blue Chip Picks, and Elixir Strings.
SANDI: Any mentoring workshops, instructional camps, etc that you give and/or do you teach private or group lessons?
CHRIS: I teach a fair amount of private lessons across the country. Since I’ve been in the band Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen I’d say I’ve done on average of 3 music camps a year. I enjoy those a lot.
SANDI: What would you say to someone just starting their music career?
CHRIS: Follow your heart and passions. Don’t submit to others wills or visions for you. Take advice, sure. But at the end of the day, play the music you were meant to play and sing the songs you want to sing. Be you. No one else is.
SANDI: Favorite thing about The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Music Association Festival?
CHRIS: Good vibes. All around. Excellent hospitality and the bluegrass fans were very kind.
SANDI: How long have you been with Frank Solivan?
CHRIS: At the time of this interview, roughly 6 years. I did my first tour with the band in January of 2012
SANDI: Do you know how Frank came up with the band name? What does it mean?
CHRIS: Frank loves to cook. Most importantly, we all love to eat! Frank wanted to capture the essence of what it means to be together with your friends and family around the kitchen table. We like to take that vibe with us onto the stages we play.
SANDI: How is it working with your band mates? Dig deep on this one. Give us a little dirt on these guys. lol
CHRIS: We’ve got a great crew, Frank and I, plus Mike Munford and Jeremy Middleton. Best dudes I’ve known. On the musical front, I get inspired every day playing with these guys. On the personal level we have great hangouts and good times.
Dirt? Hardly any….well, maybe once of us has a hankering for too much salty fried chicken. But what are you going to do?!
SANDI: Have you ever been interested in fronting a band?
CHRIS: Yep. Haven’t had the time or resources yet. But it’s not far off.
SANDI: Do you have a solo record out or have you thought about doing one?
CHRIS: I have one recorded and in the can. Hoping for a 2018 release.
SANDI: Are you a songwriter? How long? Favorite song you have written? Do you belong to any great songwriting organizations?
CHRIS: I’ve dabbled in songwriting. I wrote a song with my friend Jim Faddis called Home To You, it’ll be on my record and I hope FSDK can start performing it soon.
SANDI: Who is your favorite songwriter?
CHRIS: Another long list. Roger Waters, Townes Van Zant, Bob Dylan, Kathy Kallick...many many.
SANDI: Favorite thing about being on the road?
CHRIS: I’ve always loved traveling. Visiting the entire country, plus Canada and Europe, has been a highlight. An Australia trip is planned for November of 2017, that’ll be fun.
SANDI: Least favorite thing about being on the road?
CHRIS: 3am wakeups to get to an airport aren’t fun. Neither is not having a salad accessible after a late night gig isn’t fun either.
SANDI: Have you ever or do you belong to any music associations? Could you tell us about them?
CHRIS: I’m an avid member of IBMA(www.ibma.org). I love what they are doing for bluegrass music. Anyone who reads this should become a member.
Also I’m a member of the Recording Academy which is the organization that hosts the Grammy Awards.
SANDI: What is your favorite thing about being a musician?
CHRIS: It’s an expression of yourself through sound. I’ve always enjoyed that.
SANDI: What is your least favorite thing about being a musician?
CHRIS: Sometimes there is no substitute for time spent practicing. Which I never seem to get enough of.
SANDI: I am sure all the ladies would like to know, are you married?
SANDI: Your favorite candy bar?
CHRIS: I eat far too many peanut butter cups.
SANDI: Your favorite food?
CHRIS: Ethnic and spicy.
SANDI: What are your future plans as a musician?
CHRIS: Time will tell. This is always a hard question to answer. With my influences being so diverse, it’s hard to pin down where I will head musically.
SANDI: Any great road trip stories you can tell us about?
We are preserving history right here right now Lol 🙂
CHRIS: Gosh, another hard one. Before I was in Dirty Kitchen, a band I was in played a festival a few days after the famous Captain Phillips rescue from the pirates. My friend and I stopped for grub and saw a picture of us playing on stage on the front of the local paper at the cash register. My friend exclaimed, “Hey we are on the front page!”, when the waitress heard that, she looked at the paper, and seeing the story about the ship captain instead of our band, looked at us in awe and said: “you were on that ship??!” We didn’t know what to say! We busted out laughing. Then told her and she laughed with us. Good times.
SANDI: Is there anything else that you would like our members to know about you and/or the band?
CHRIS: I’m quite a fan of vintage film. Think Hitchcock, or anything Gregory Peck is in. I haven’t really seen many films made after 1990.
For more information on Chris Luquette visit (If applicable)
For more information on Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen visit:
Bookings: Quicksilver Productions