New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
On June 17, the ranch hand turned troubadour Luke Bell will release a self-titled album on Bill Hill Records, distributed by Thirty Tigers. Today, NPR Music
premiered the video for his single "Sometimes," the first track to be released off the forthcoming LP.
Lars Gotrich of NPR Music
said, "Luke Bell has a classic, brassy country voice that conjures images of both dimples and tears in a beer. His songs exist somewhere in the same arena, because just as easy as it to be charmed by Bell's clever turns of phrase, he'll hit you upside the head."
Watch the video here:
"I had my friend Josh Shoemaker shoot 'Sometimes' at our favorite bar with all our friends in Nashville," explains Bell. "We just captured folks havin' some genuine fun and goofin' off. The song is about heartbreak, and I think laughing with good friends is the best cure I know of for that."
The Fader recently premiered "Sometimes
" and said, "...his music sounds like you could have heard it in the same honky tonk Hank Williams used to play (with the exception of a little profanity)."
"I wrote this song a few years ago about the mixed feelings a person has when they leave something behind before they've decided whether it's the right thing to do or not," says Bell about the song. "At the time I was living down in Texas
and havin a ball of a time with good friends at places like The Hole in the Wall, The Broken Spoke and The White Horse, but grew restless and hit the road. I had it half written and sang it in the studio just foolin around- the band thought it was a blast to jam on so I finished it and we cut it in just a few takes if I remember right. It's a straight forward Bakersfield style Honky-Tonk-punk-rock-two-steppin-long-legged thoroughbred; nothin fancy, just fun."
Prior to moving to Nashville-via-Austin, TX, Bell, a fifth-generation descendent of Wyoming homesteaders, studied agroecology at the University of Wyoming and playing music in front of crowds of folkies at the Buckhorn Bar by night. When the music started crowding out the classwork on crop science, he dropped out right after turning 21 and headed to the bright lights of Austin.
“My life was kinda like a scene from Urban Cowboy at that point,” Bell recalls. “I was workin’ construction, sellin’ pizza coupons, shoein’ horses—whatever work I could find to pay the minimum bills of the apartment I was livin’ in. Other than that, I was just screwin’ around and playin’ shows; I had a rock ’n’ roll band for a while. Monday nights at the Hole in the Wall was a residency with Ramsey Midwood, Mike and the Moonpies and Leo Rondeau. I was enamored of that honky-tonk scene; they had dollar-fifty High Lifes—that didn’t hurt, either.”
Luke Bell is a collection of 10 songs produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Benjamin
Booker, Hurray For The Riff Raff) at The Bomb Shelter studio in East Nashville, TN. The album is rounded out by a steller lineup of musicians including bassists Dave Roe and Dave Spiker, guitarist Steve Daly, fiddle player Casey Driscoll, and percussionist Jimmy Lester.
On the panoramic “The Glory and the Grace,” Bell comes off as a latter-day, honky-tonkin’ Woody Guthrie, while a weeping pedal steel deepens the sense of regret in “Loretta,” with its following line, “I can’t see it getting’ better”; it’s a barroom ballad worthy of George
Jones. You’ll catch a whiff of the Crescent City on “Ragtime Troubles,” with its whiskey drinking, cigarette smoking, poker playing protagonist, who’s reveling in the process of “overcoming certain feelings you have in your youth and learning how to enjoy yourself,” as Bell puts it.
Last year, Rolling Stone Country named Luke a "Must-See Act" at CMA Fest and said "he plays classic honky-tonk with a wink and a yodel that summons the sleeping ghosts of country better than any voodoo spell ever could."
Paste Magazine reviewed Luke's performance at the inaugural Daytrotter Downs festival and said "I’d believe it if you said he was a hologram of one of the country heroes of the past. Then again, no hologram could’ve gotten a whole room honky-tonking like every single one of us had been raised in cowboy boots. In a word? Authentic."
4/20: Franklin, TN - Music
4/30: Indio, CA - Stagecoach Festival
5/1: Los Angeles, CA - The Echo - "The Grand Ole Echo" - (Early Show - 3:00 pm Doors/6:00 pm Set)*
6/9: Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music
and Arts Festival
*with The Cactus Blossoms
Luke Bell Online: