Interview: Luke Winslow-King

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“I went on a musical pilgrimage after high school and ended up in New Orleans; it was like all my interests had come together in this one place,” says bluesy roots rocker Luke Winslow-King. The Cadillac, Michigan native was inspired by the fact that music is an integral component of the Crescent City culture. “I was intrigued by the blends of folk and jazz and be-bop, my worlds collided when I came here.”

Winslow-King is preparing to release his fifth studio album, I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always, on September 30th via Bloodshot Records.  Brimming with soul-pleasing gritty swagger and sauntering blues, the album’s tracks were written on the road in Europe, and recorded at the end of last summer in Italy and New Orleans—truly a multi-continental effort. “The songs were really raw and fresh, they were rehearsed, but not over-rehearsed,” he explains. “The music is reflective of the trials I was going through in my life at the time, it’s an album about surviving heartbreak and finding forgiveness, and trying to make an offering of my troubles to help others in similar situations.”

While he says that baring his soul in writing can be a cathartic experience, but performing the songs live night after night can be a personal challenge. “Those emotions can still feel pretty raw when I’m performing the songs,” he admits.  “I think that’s a good thing, it’s a visceral connection to the music. Emotional exposure is the best way to connect with your audience, I think audiences are looking for an authentic live performance, and I can benefit form it as an artist as well.”

To celebrate I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always, Winslow-King is on an international—or rather, planetary tour, with several shows prior to the album’s release; one such performance is set for September 28th in Nashville, before he appears at the Austin City Limits Festival in early October, eventually making his way across the globe by next spring.  “I’m always on the road, and I’m living the music. Things get stagnant and sound fake when they’re just regurgitated; these songs are written on the stages and on the road, inspired by life events,” he says. “We do what we love and what comes naturally.”

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Susan Hubbard

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