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As songwriting and performing duo Suga Lu, Steve Schultz and Lu Dulvarie have delivered musical storytelling and comfort for over 15 years. Coming from similar backgrounds is evident in their breathtaking harmonies that open tiny windows through which the audience witnesses heartbreak, joy, love, loss and a kaleidoscope of other painful and exquisite experiences.
Late 2014 has seen this duo expand to a trio, with the inclusion of the masterful talents of Dave Thornton on percussion(Cajón, bongo’s, shakers) for their live studio recording of their CD“ Sista”.
The trio is masterful at capturing life experiences and observations of human interactions in song. Influenced by soulful artists including Tracy Chapman, Jack Johnson, James Taylor, Natalie Merchant, Michelle Shocked and Clare Bowditch, it’s easy to see that their style is rooted in a number of genres. At times infused with R&B and blues, their songs also wear interchangeable hats of funk, reggae, folk and rock, each as comfortable as the next. Though it may seem like quite a patchwork of styles, the reception Suga Lu’s music receives from audiences is very much one of approval and appreciation.
Steve and Lu are each an interesting blend of cultures. Lu, part Malay and part Aboriginal is still exploring her heritage and is a self-confessed musical ‘late starter’, having discovered her natural gift at age 30. Steve, by comparison, is a seasoned musician. He grew up in New Zealand, learned music from his Maori sister and has a style that is natural, instinctive and effortless.
David, a drum kit player and occasional guitarist since his teenage years has more recently focussed on hand percussion. With Suga Lu, he brings an organic groove to the party using both sit-on and laptop cajons sprinkled with assorted shakers and tambourines for a bit of top-end sparkle.
By nature, songwriters are a passionate bunch who wear their hearts on their sleeves and pour their emotions out through their vocals. For Suga Lu, with Steve on lead guitar and vocal harmonies and Lu playing rhythm and providing haunting lead vocals, the songs come to life and leave audiences transfixed.
Suga Lu is relaxed, familiar and embracing; a kind of musical chicken soup for the soul, loaded with healthy ingredients that make the listener feel better, bar by beautiful bar.