At the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 129 in Haliburton June 3, there’s an opportunity to glean some insight into song writing from award-winning singer-songwriter Rob Lutes from 1-2:30 p.m.

Then, at 7:30 p.m., the artist takes to the stage for a concert with long-time friend, and collaborator, Ron MacDonald.

“I have only played solo in Haliburton, but this time I’m bringing my guitar player with me. I have played with him for more than 25 years. He is a phenomenal player, and it is interesting what we do together, so I am bringing something slightly new this time,” Lutes said.

When asked about playing smaller places, such as Haliburton, Lutes added, “when I am invited back to a place like Haliburton it’s a no-brainer. It’s a beautiful town, I know people there, and it is always very receptive and fun.”

Getting into the music business was anything but planned, according to Lutes. He said he heard a lot of acoustic music growing up and, “it was more organic then planned.” The next logical step was to start writing songs, which he did well. “They were popular, people liked them around the province (Quebec) and I had the kind of boost of ‘ok you can do this,’ and then I just kept doing it.”

The term “roots” is how he describes his music because, “…we are drawing from the same well, blues, country, singer-songwriter, folk, Americana. You are picking little bits of different styles, and they are so similar. You have a lot of choices.”

Lutes has eight albums, numerous nominations and two awards from the CFMA (Canadian Folk Music Awards) for contemporary singer of the year in 2018 and 2022. He is noted for his style of guitar picking, and his unique songwriting ability. La Presse, a French-language digital newspaper in Montreal, said, “Rob Lutes confirms his place among the most important songwriters of his generation.”

The most recent album, Come Around, was recorded during COVID and came together using the internet and other digital technology. Lutes explained how he laid down his tracks and hired people across the country: a singer from Toronto, a bassist in Edmonton, a couple of people in Montreal, who all recorded in their own studio.

“I played my guitar and sang, then sent the song to one person, they put what they did down on it, then back to us, we mixed it and sent it to the next person. It was like getting out the crayons and colouring in the picture with everyone’s different work.”

The future of contemporary folk/blues music is good, according to Lutes. “There are new people doing it, and they are doing it well. As part of this multi-segmented music, folk has endured and continues to produce really good things. There is pop-infused folk, it is kind of pop, but it’s got a folk influence and brings more people to the genre. There is an interest in the authenticity of folk, and blues. The blues is durable, there is something about that music, it is culturally relevant, always.”

For more information and tickets for the workshop and concert go to