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People in Minnesota: Luke Sawtell

Executive Chef & Master Pan Slinger

Minnesota native, master pan slinger, and walking encyclopedia of all things Dave Matthews, Luke Sawtell is this week’s “People in Minnesota” focus:

Place of business:
San Pedro Cafe, Barker’s Bar and Grill, and Pedro’s del Este

Occupation:
Executive Chef

Residence:
Stillwater, MN

What are you currently listening to?

Gary Clark Jr., Greta Van Fleet, Pearl Jam, Lord Huron and random early 90’s grunge (Mad Season, Temple of the Dog, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, etc.)

How does music help you get through your day?

To me, music is everything. Whether it’s at home, work, the car, outdoors, there’s always music playing. A good song, at the perfect time, has the power to set the stage for the day. It provides an outlet for stress, and a sense of internal security whether we know it or not because it provides comfort in a way that only music can.

And just like cooking, there are always avenues to venture off what you already know. There’s always something to learn, something to experience that you didn’t know existed before. Music has an incredible ability to connect you to a certain time, place, or feeling. I absolutely love that

First concert attended?

I’m sure I went to concerts before this, but my first memorable concert was in ’04 for the Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge Amphitheater in Eastern Washington. Not only are they my favorite band, but its almost a right of passage for any DMB fan to see them at the Gorge. I was able to go with a good group of friends and was absolutely blown away by the scenery, atmosphere, and energy the band brought. I’ve been back to the Gorge five times since my first show

Favorite Concert?

I was able to see Pearl Jam in St. Paul in ’14. It was not only my first time seeing Pearl Jam, but it was my first time going to a show alone. The show was sold out, so I was able to snag any ticket I could which happened to be the second row, directly behind the stage.

Initially, I just wanted to get in the building regardless of where the seats were. It turned out to be a ridiculously good show but an even better experience. I’ve always viewed music as ‘my religion,’ and this show solidified that for me. It was electric, emotional, powerful, and everything in between. Being behind the stage, I was able to see a vantage point for a concert I had never seen before and was an experience I’ll never forget.

During McCready’s solo on Black, I remember having the music take me somewhere else at the moment. My eyes were closed, just taking it in, once the song was over I ‘snapped’ back into it. Such an incredible feeling. That’s what music can do

Most over-rated musician/band?

Not sure of any specific groups, but the current rap music that the high school kids listen to is complete and utter shit. That counts, right?

What do you think?

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