The Lurkers rock Sundown with bluesy Southern style

April 29, 2010

by Robert Wilson

Ruston-based trio the Lurkers played a mix of blues-rock classics and original work Friday night at the Sundown Tavern, bringing audience members to their feet.

Seth Hightower, vocalist and guitarist, said the group, with Ruston residents Hightower and drummer Jeffery Dumas and Shreveport-native Mike Fertita on bass, formed about seven years ago.

“Originally we were called I-20 Takes Over the World, but we changed it after a while,” Hightower said. “We’ve played all around, from here to Mississippi and Florida.”

Hightower said the Lurkers is a jam band, influenced by Southern greats such as the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule, while also incorporating blues, psychedelic and funk elements.
The band began with a down-tempo bluesy jam, Hightower’s guitar emitting an echoing, snaking melody drenched in wah-wah pedal effects before flying into Van Morrison’s “I’ve Been Working.”

Richard Sisson, a Tech alumnus, said the band was at a peak Friday night.

“I know Hightower; he’s a very talented musician and good on guitar,” he said. “They’re really sharp.”

Dumas’ and Fertita’s solid rhythms inspired some to get up and dance while Hightower’s fretwork had others standing before the stage, playing air-guitar along with him.

Along with flawless performances of Pink Floyd’s “Time” and Bill Wither’s “Use Me,” the Lurkers also performed some original, albeit instrumental, material, such as their song “Egyptian Sunset.”

“Everyone speaks the music language,” Hightower said. “We play instrumentals partly because the songs are missing lyrics or because they just sound better.”

Hightower also said the lack of lyrics helps evoke the audience’s imagination.

“We don’t like to write lyrics and tell a story, which can be good or bad,” he said. “We like to let the audience fill in the spaces and tell their own story.”

The set ended with a rendition of Neil Young’s “Rocking in the Free World,” with calls for an encore.
Hightower said despite the small turnout, the crowd was appreciative.

“The Sundown is the best place to play because there’s always a good response,” he said. “Everyone loves music here no matter what.”

Paco Rosenblath, a Sundown patron, said he first saw the band three years ago before moving out of town, but, after returning, he jumped at the chance to come when he heard they were playing.

“They’re an awesome band because they bring something different,” he said. “Most places in town have new rock or country, but [at Sundown] it’s not the same. They have great music and I came to see a great band in a bad ass bar.”