[His] music seems to move effortlessly across the spectrum of American roots music idioms— American Songwriter
Steeped in the muddy Delta blues, but prickles with the raunch of a more Mid-Western take on the genre.— Consequence of Sound
...he demonstrate[s] a wide range of songwriting worthy of comparison to Jason Isbell and John Fullbright.— Austin Chronicle
Luke, with a strong knack for slide guitar, sounds authentic without coming off too dated, and he does it well.— BrooklynVegan
They’re one of the most professional, staunchly original, and true-to-their-core bands working today.— American Songwriter
Luke Winslow-King’s latest album is an example of craftsmanship at the highest level, radiating a warmth and timeless elegance. Adept at mixing country, blues, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, and folk influences intuitively and masterfully, Luke shapes a mood from many sources and shepherds it to a unifying place of acceptance and hope. Blue Mesa is both stately and approachable, manifestly proficient but deeply personal.
What sets this album above the singer and guitarist’s previous work is how he’s absorbed the offerings of a life in music. Born and raised in the Northern Michigan town of Cadillac, he moved to New Orleans at 19 and spent the next 15 years fully immersing himself in the musical waters that flow through there. Now that he’s moved on, it is the larger world, and the people and places in it, that enthralls him. From these travels and friendships comes a deeper and richer perspective on the American musical traditions he fell in love with at an early age.
From the first track, Luke effortlessly draws the listener into his genre-expansive, dynamic world. “You Got Mine,” co-written with friend and legendary local musician “Washboard” Lissa Driscoll (who passed away in September 2017), enchants with its laid back grace. Delicate touches of Paul Simon and Robert Cray color this paean to unconditional friendship and camaraderie. With crisp guitar lines evoking Mike Campbell, the gospel-tinged call-to-action “Break Down the Walls” and the easy-country amble “After the Rain” sit astride the solemn and the uplifting. The subtle Stax-inflected soul of the title track casts a disintegrating relationship against the inspirational scenery of the desert Southwest. “Farewell Blues,” a song written after he found out about his late father’s cancer diagnosis, has a resolute drifter’s wandering heart to guide it.
But no matter where he goes, the current of the Crescent City still tugs at Luke’s music. The sweaty riffs of “Thought I Heard You” are as hot as the beer is cold and the syncopated horns on “Chicken Dinner” are a big, playful flirtation. The psychedelic swamp boogie of “Leghorn Women” brims with charm, both suave and sinister, while the Tom-Petty-on-the-levee vibe of “Born to Roam” makes it a classic-in-the-making road trip anthem.
Blue Mesa was recorded across the globe in the Tuscan fortress village of Lari, Italy and features long-time collaborator and Italian blues guitar dynamo Roberto Luti, Chris Davis of King James and the Special Men, and Mike Lynch (Bob Seger, Larry McCray) on organ, among others.
Luke Winslow-King has collaborated with New Orleans legends and wunderkinds alike, including Dr. John, John Boutté, Luti, Little Freddy King, Washboard Chaz, and Meschiya Lake. In addition to holding down residencies at numerous venues and releasing four studio records over the course of nine years, he has toured extensively in North America and Europe, appearing on notable stages such as Austin City Limits, New Orleans JazzFest, Azkena Rock Festival (Spain), Paradiso (Netherlands), Maverick Festival (UK), and countless more.
Luke Winslow-King is a New Orleans-based guitarist, singer, composer, producer, and songwriter. His work is an eclectic mix that combines Mississippi delta blues, folk music, traditional jazz, and roots rock & roll. His alchemical songs blend contemporary ideas with styles from bygone eras producing a sound that is rustic and urbane, elegant and entirely his own. It is a sound that looks to the past to move to the future. This along with his burgundy voice, dapper attire and versatile guitar playing have earned him a reputation as a musician who delivers soulfully energetic and dynamic performances.
Originally from the northern Michigan town of Cadillac, LWK began studying and performing music at a young age. He started performing weekly in a local bar band at 14, formed The Winslow-King Blues Band at 16 and earned a diploma from the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy, where he majored in jazz guitar.
He first came to Louisiana at age 19 and ended up staying there almost by chance; after only a few days in town, his car – filled to the brim with a band’s worth of instruments – was stolen while parked overnight on Ursulines Street in the Tremé. During the weeks spent trying to recover his vehicle and instruments, LWK fell in love with the city that he now calls home.
After recording his first self-titled debut album in 2007, he continued paying his dues, busking on Royal Street during the day and working in the clubs on Frenchman Street at night.
In 2008, LWK recorded Old New Baby mostly live at Preservation Hall in New Orleans. He learned gospel and jazz standards accompanying John Boutté, picked up bottleneck slide guitar watching blues maestro Roberto Luti, performed in John Sinclair's Blues Scholars, and immersed himself in the trad. jazz songbook while playing with Ben Polcer and The Loose Marbles Jazz Band. During this time he was also a member Meschiya Lake's Little Big Horns and is featured on her album Lucky Devil.
This non-stop woodshedding helped Winslow-King hone his sound and become a leader among the vibrant scene of young traditionalists in New Orleans. Luke Winslow-King has collaborated with New Orleans legends and wunderkinds alike, including Dr. John, Boutté, Roberto Luti, Little Freddy King, Washboard Chaz, and Meschiya Lake. In addition to holding down residencies at numerous venues and releasing four studio records over the course of nine years, he has toured extensively in North America and Europe, appearing on notable stages such as Austin City Limits, New Orleans JazzFest, Azkena Rock Festival (Spain), Paradiso (Netherlands), Maverick Festival (UK), and countless more.
Luke was married to his longtime music partner Esther Rose King in December 2013, the couple divorced in October of 2015.
Super excellent trivia: LWK worked as an extra in Bill Murray's Groundhog Day as a child.
Official Website: Luke Winslow-King Online