Monday, August 13, 2007

Luke Powers: Picture Book

“Not only was it recorded in a train-car, but it features a song in tribute to John Hartford.” That’s how Luke Powers introduced me to his new, semi-autobiographical CD, appropriately entitled Picture Book.

With Picture Book, Luke Powers offers glimpses into coming of age and living in the South. As a songwriter, Luke Powers has that rare ability to draw the listener into the story, whether it’s a song of adolescent first kisses in the graveyard, lifelong friendships, or the yearning to return to a childhood home.

During the day, Luke Powers is an English Professor at Tennessee State University with a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt and a M.A. in folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. When not shaping young minds Luke writes. He writes fiction and poetry, and he writes songs, strong, concise, and sometimes haunting songs, full of vivid imagery and a touch of whimsy.

A few years ago he teamed up with the well known producer and multi-instrumentalist session musician, Tommy Spurlock and began the journey that would lead to Picture Book. Along the way the two collaborated on the protest CD Kakistocracy, which should be required listening for all Americans, whatever your political affiliations.

Picture Book was indeed recorded in a train car, as Luke claims. The tracks (no pun intended) were laid down at Spurlock’s “The Train” studio in Nashville, which is housed in antique Pullman rail cars. While Spurlock and Powers assembled an impressive group of musicians to work on Picture Book, tragedy and change were to prove part of the recording process. First, drummer Randy Hardison was killed by a mysterious blow to the head as he was checking mail at his apartment. While most of the drum tracks had been recorded, out of respect for Hardison, all remaining songs were recorded without drums.

Then, due to business and partnership problems, Tommy Spurlock lost “The Train” and relocated to the Austin area, where he built a new studio, Chiva Recording. It was at Chiva that the final mix was completed for Picture Book.

Picture Book is a solid release from a very talented songwriter, accompanied by great session musicians. Highly Recommended.

Luke Powers - Wishing On A Starry Night.mp3

Luke Powers - Ghost Of The Cherokee.mp3

Buy your copy of Picture Book at CD Baby or iTunes.

Check out the videos from Picture Book at YouTube.


Blogger Ed said...

Well, it looks as if you folks have cleaned out CD Baby's supply of Picture Book!

Check the box to have CD Baby email you when they get some more. They should have some more real soon. It's well worth the wait.

August 17, 2007 6:41 AM  

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