Mark Gamsjager and The Lustre Kings can do it all! This American roots rock ‘n’ roll band from Albany, N.Y. performs at all different sizes of venues and has even been known to perform at weddings or social gatherings. If you’re looking for something to do on April 23, 2014, come on down to Rock N’ Roll Land in Green Bay, where the band will be rocking it out with their unique style of music. The concert starts at 7 p.m.
Mark Gamsjager, the leader of The Lustre Kings, started the band in 1995. Their first record “Once a King, Always a King” was released in the early 2000. Since then, the band has produced two more records and is currently on their way to introducing their fourth, titled “Way Out There.”
Gamsjager grew up on the Long Island, so the local band the Stray Cats had a big influence on his music style. He also loved the ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll as well as a band called Rockaphilly. He started out mainly playing bluegrass music since that was his background. Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley were just a couple of the people Gamsjager idolized while growing up before being later introduced to the songs of Robert Gordon and Link Wray. He really enjoyed what they were doing with their music, and how it spoke to the crowd. Straight up Rock and Roll was certainly something that Gamsjager really enjoyed as well.
In the late ‘80s Gamsjager began to “change his roots up” and play rockabilly-style. Charlie Feathers, Johnny Barnett Trio, Elvis songs of the ‘50s led him to his later style of music. Gamsjager felt that music in general had lost its luster for a while, but Robert Gordon and The Stray Cats brought it back to life in the ‘80s.
After forming the band, Gamsjager and company played mostly locally, but eventually began performing all over the United States and in places like Germany and Spain. With 150 performances a year, the band is still able to balance their personal life as well as their music life. Not all of their tours are “on the road but more regionally” so that helps too.
In the early 2000s, Phil Doran and Todd Magnuson, owners of Rock N’ Roll Land hosted music in the Green Bay area. Gamsjager noted that Phil single handedly introduced Mark Gamsjager and The Lustre Kings to Rock N’ Roll Land. Prior to performing at Rock N’ Roll Land, the band had played in Wisconsin at the Oneida Casino as well as in Madison. This will be the bands fourth time playing at Rock N’ Roll Land.
The current line up for Mark Gamsjager and The Lustre Kings will be on bass; Mike “Chops” LaConte and Liam Hogg on drums, and of course Mark Gamsjager on vocals and guitar. “Chops” and Liam were introduced to the band in 2009.
The band loves playing in the smaller venues such as Green Bay but doesn’t have a preference when it comes to deciding whether to play in front of small or large crowds. Gamsjager said, “We really enjoy the whole idea of playing for people that really wanna hear our music, and have a love for our music.” He added, ”It doesn’t matter if there are five people or five hundred people just as long as there are people that are there because of the music.” With smaller venues they can “get more personal” with the crowd, but either way, the size of the venue doesn’t matter to the band.
Over the few short years playing at Rock N’ Roll Land, the band has begun to see a lot of the same faces, allowing the band to tailor their set to the crowd and even form some relationships with the audience. “We’ve had fans that have taken us to the Green Bay Stadium and the parks,” said Gamsjager.
Elvis Presley, Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), Bill Haley, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry are some of the artists Gamsjager and The Lustre Kings would love to play with if they had the chance.
Mark Gamsjager and The Lustre Kings will definitely get folks dancing. Their music sends a positive message, and is a lot of fun. Gamsjager said, “Bring the kids, it’s good for the family no matter the age!”