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  • Bryon Harris

Luke Stamenkovich - 'Live In Concert'

Updated: Jan 19

Review by Abby Kenna & Staff


Luke Stamenkovich’s recent 13-track album "Live in Concert" is a true up-front experience of musicality. To give readers a real taste of everything this album has to offer, I've taken a deep dive into 6 fantastic songs.


“Crossroads” is an encapsulation of determination. It traverses rough terrain with layers of persistent instrumentals – guitars cycle through tireless motives, and the bass remains rooted through song's ride. Stamenkovich paints a picture of hardship and growth by establishing a centric motif within the guitars, and then drastically straying from it in halftime sections or call-and-response breakdowns. This depicts the tense moments in life sandwiched between the day-to-day grind. Steadfast and strong, “Crossroads” is an undeniably motivational track.


Luke Stamenkovich and his band also cover Fleetwood Mac’s iconic, “Rhiannon”. One standout aspect of this track is the guitar breakdown after the final chorus, an addition to the original that allows for Stamenkovich to incorporate his personal style into the song making it his own. He moves through driving melodies into quiet, atmospheric space that builds apprehension. The guitarist is a master of the buildup, always knowing how to work with the ebb and flow of emotion within a track.


“Alfred’s Coffee Jam” is another one of Stamenkovich’s originals included on this album. It kicks off with a vivid shot of energy, featuring a fast-paced, rhythmic guitar motif that sets the tone for the tune. There’s no doubting that caffeine was coursing through Stamenkovich’s musical mind when crafting this piece, as it sprints through rapid, yet focused ideas. The bass guitar has a standout moment in this track, offering a countermelody to the electric guitar’s solo, plucking out a bold progression beneath the lead.

A cover of “Careless Whisper” is a moment of sensuality amongst the high energy of Stamenkovich’s live album. The band leans heavily into the groove, letting the saxophonist have colorful and free autonomy throughout the song. Tight vocal harmonies especially pop in this cover, shining overtop of the synth keys and effect-laden guitars.


With a slick, James Bond-esque sense of urgency, “Isolation” is a particularly gripping piece on this album. Luke Stamenkovich incorporates a horn ensemble into his usual rock band lineup, adding a sultry edge to the arrangement. Bright-toned and silky in execution, a saxophone serves as the counterpart to the usual guitar lead. They work in tandem, building the intensity of the “Isolation” as they trade solos. This track embodies isolation in a non-traditional way, focusing on the stir-crazy side of the emotion, rather than the lonelier aspects.


Stamenkovich closes the album with an epic take on Prince’s “Purple Rain”, adapting the arrangement for his style. With subtle cymbal flourishes and added guitar effects, this version embraces a more modern, yet still dynamic sense of emotion. They additionally play with the melody, building on the song’s intensity while still honoring the beauty of the original.


Taking listeners through iconic classics in rock music history and introducing us to new earworms in his original compositions, Luke Stamenkovich’s "Live in Concert" is a rare gift, capturing live music magic at it's best.

 

About Luke Stamenkovich

Luke Stamenkovich is an Australian born guitarist and composer. He has worked nationally and internationally both in studio and live. Luke has become one of Perth’s most hired guitar players. Luke began playing guitar at the age of 6. He quickly developed a deep dedication to the guitar which shortly thereafter saw him playing shows in the local Perth Scene. At just 15, Luke was regularly playing for local bands as he started to establish his career as a musician. Luke’s professionalism has built him a strong reputation of reliability and his work ethic has declared him to besought after to perform at clubs, stadiums, corporate events and most recently overseas in the USA at venues such as the “Viper Room” in Hollywood, California. Luke has studied both in Perth and in the United States, studying Guitar Performance at Hollywood’s Musicians Institute and is currently completing his ‘Professional Jazz Guitar Certificate’ at Berklee College of Music (Online). This has led Luke to record guitar for LA-Based musician Rivita on her single “Lonely With Someone”, which was mentioned in Rolling Stone Magazine. He also recorded guitar for country artist Claudia Tripp on her three latest singles "Phantom", "Attention" and "Too Far Gone”. In 2020, Luke started to work on his debut Instrumental EP and released his first single "Chasing Dreams" in December of the same year. His second leadup single "Alfred’s Coffee Jam" released in October 2021 features LA guitaristJoshua Ray Gooch (Shania Twain).In November 2021, Luke released his Debut Instrumental EP ‘Chasing Dreams’featuring a plethora of USA’s top session musicians from artists such as GwenStefani , Pink, Shania Twain and more. To celebrate the release of his EP, Luke headlined his first show on the 28th of November at The Milk Bar in Perth. This show featured an all-star line up of Perth musicians and special guests that joined Luke on stage for a huge 2-hour show.2022 Luke won the bronze price for best instrumental song in the 2022 BWH music group W.A.M awards showcasing independent music from around the world. Currently, Luke continues to work full time as a session and touring musician and will be releasing a ‘Live Album' on the 28th of November which was recorded from his EP Launch back in 2021.

 

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