Album Reviews

Luke Bell

Luke Bell

Artist:     Luke Bell

Album:     Luke Bell

Label:     Bill Hill Records

Release Date:     06/17/2016


At only 26 years old, Luke Bell sings with a rich baritone that belies his youth and brings to mind the classic country of Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, as well as the rockabilly stylings of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. That’s some mighty fine company, and Mr. Bell fits right in.

His self titled release kicks things off with the up-tempo rocker, “Sometimes,” while “All Blue” shuffles along with a mid-tempo train beat and honking harmonica. “Where Ya Been” is the standout track of the album and lures you in with gorgeous, dreamy pedal steel guitars. This is a hit waiting to be discovered, the kind today’s country radio so desperately needs. “Loretta” is a sweet ballad that features lovely harmony vocals, and “Glory And The Grace” brings to mind the Las Vegas era gospel sounds of The King. The “Bullfighter” has Tex-Mex accordions and showcases Mr.Bell’s lyrical prowess.

Mr. Bell grew up in Wyoming, worked as a ranch hand on his family farm, spent time observing street performers in New Orleans, and now resides in Nashville. These experiences along with his rural upbringing and exposure to old school Americana give his songs a well lived authenticity.

“I grew up with country radio… but I didn’t become influenced by classic country until I found a record player and Merle Haggard’s Live From Muskogee in my grandparents’ basement. Then I found some other stuff, like Waylon. And my grandfather was always a huge fan of Hank Snow and Ian Tyson, cowboy music and poetry, so I grew up around a lot of that stuff by default.”

With a crackin’ band featuring upright bass, pedal steel guitars, fiddle, honky-tonk piano and drums, recorded at the Bomb Shelter in Nashville, Tennessee, and produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), these ten tunes come to life in a way that is at once fresh and familiar. Rolling Stone magazine has taken note and recently placed him at the top of their list “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know.”

If you’ve got a hankering for classic country with all the fixin’s, then look no further. Luke Bell is your man. Highly recommended!

-Mike Cobb

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