SMALL TOWNS: Small town roots inspire Suring singer-songwriter

28-year-old Lane Ludtke has already written more than 100 songs and is truly a one-man band.
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 1:56 PM CST
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With Action 2 News anchor Jeff Alexander set to begin his recovery from ankle surgery, in the coming weeks we’re looking back at some of our Small Towns stories from its first year. Tonight’s encore report originally aired on March 31, 2022.

SURING, Wis. (WBAY) - He’s only 28 years old, but has already written more than 100 songs and truly is the definition of a one-man band.

This week in Small Towns, we travel to Suring to meet the singer-songwriter with an affinity for the small town he grew up in.

In the Northwoods, just outside Suring, Lane Ludtke and his mom share a connection that dates back to when Lane was just a little boy.

“Lane sang ‘Oh Holy Night’ when he was about 3 years old at church,” recalls Cindy Ludtke, Lane’s mom.

By the time Lane reached high school, his music had become his passion.

“That’s when I started writing my own music and stuff like that, and then my music teacher, Mr. Quigley, let me sign one of my originals at school and that was kind of the start of it, and then I kept progressing from there and trying to get better,” says Lane.

And did he ever.

From playing the guitar and piano, Lane, who goes by the stage name Lane Lee, which is his middle name, taught himself how to play several new instruments, including the banjo, resonator guitar and drums.

“I kind of got good enough until I can have another aspect in my music production and then I can add just a hint of those sounds as I go,” says Lane.

“He’s sort of modest about what he plays because he can almost play anything he picks up,” adds Cindy.

But of all his musical talents, Lane loves writing songs the most.

“It’s kind of a knack that you got to have, because there’s lots of times, most of my songs start when I’ll be sleeping at night and I wake up and I’m like oh, there’s just a song idea or a certain phrase and then I go from there’s sometimes it’ll take me 20 minutes and I wrote a whole song or sometimes it’ll take me hours and days and then I’ll have to put it away for a week and them come back and keep going,” explains Lane.

For most of his songs, Lane’s inspiration comes from his roots.

“I’m pretty much in country music, but I like all genres and I think that’s kind of why I incorporate that in some of my own stuff, but when I write it’s mostly, yeah, kind of about my life, so since I grew up in a small town I write stuff like that. One of my songs is Midwest Town,” says Lane.

After graduating from UW-Green Bay with a music degree, Lane followed the same career path as his mom and sister and became an elementary school music teacher.

He says inspiring and encouraging young minds is a joy.

“That’s what I tell the kids at school too, it’s like even me, I quit guitar and piano when I was little because it’s too hard, it’s too hard, and then if you actually stick with it, even though you’re bad for a while, eventually you’ll start improving and then once you know at least a little bit, then it’s more fun,” says Lane with a smile.

When he’s not in his Peshtigo classroom, Lane is writing and recording music.

Just a few months ago, he wrote and produced this song for the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation in Green Bay.

“That ws the first opportunity to write a song for someone else, definitely a cool experience,” says Lane.

“I always say a lot of his songs would be so great in movies and things like that, but you just got to hit it so somebody sees the exact song,” adds Cindy.

Lane’s songs can be found on YouTube and Spotify, simply by searching Lane Lee.

But he also knows it’s time for him to start focusing more on marketing his talent, which is not necessarily easy for a humble, small-town guy.

“It’s kind of hard to push yourself out there and stuff like that, but maybe collaborating with more people and talking with some people higher up in the music industry would probably be the next step,” says Lane.

Quite the busy year awaits Lane, this summer he’s getting married and he plans to start building a home on his parent’s property.

But in-between he’ll keep writing, recording and sharing his amazing musical talent.

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