From self-taught to teacher, Bozeman guitarist is a staple in local music scene
By Mira Brody EBS STAFF
BOZEMAN – Luke Flansburg’s grandmother always knew when he was home from school as a kid because the house was filled with his singing.
The Bozeman-based singer-songwriter has loved music since he can remember. A talented soloist, Flansburg is also a member of many of the region’s well-known bands, including Pinky & the Floyd, MOTH, Dead Sky and the Kelly Nicholson Band.
He names Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem as early influences and the drums as his first instrument. He later learned to play the guitar through his high school science teacher, Brad Muhlenbruck. The Tiffin, Iowa, native took the foundation Mr. Muhlenbruck provided and ran with it.
“[I] found my mom’s old acoustic guitar in a closet, pulled it out—miraculously in tune—hit the low E string and hammered out Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ in a matter of minutes,” Flansburg said. “Pretty much taught myself everything I know from that point on.”
One of his first bands, Bliss, channeled the scene of the 90s: Nirvana, Metallica, Guns n’ Roses and Green Day. After moving to Bozeman in 1997 to attend Montana State University, he started a band with fellow dorm neighbor Jeremiah Slovarp.
“He’d always be outside playing Dave Matthews on the front steps, [so] one day I joined him,” Flansburg said. “Then we started sneaking into the Haufbrau [House] to play open mic on Mondays with Joe Mann. We started a band called ‘Boulderfield Movement’ and started buying a few speakers and a mixing board.”
After Boulderfield Movement dissolved, Flansburg and Slovarp used the gear they had invested in to start a sound business and by 2002, along with Boulderfield Movement drummer Orion Bradwell, they opened Jereco Studios. Bradwell left in 2008, but Jereco continued to grow into the full-scale sound, lighting, events and installation business it is today.
Flansburg left Jereco last year, but remains on-hand for the company when needed. Now, he teaches guitar at Music Villa full time, which he has been enjoying immensely.
“They gave me the wonderful opportunity to teach on a regular basis,” Flansburg said. “I had originally come to MSU to be an elementary education major, so I’ve always been drawn to teaching.”
Though a devoted teacher, Flansburg still has time to jam in Bozeman and Big Sky, and is known for putting on some lively shows. You can catch him playing on May 20 at Tips Up in the Big Sky Town Center.