5 Questions for Luke Winslow King


We’re gonna keep doing plenty of podcasts here at Blue Collar Songwriting. But written interviews can  be just as fascinating. The “5 Questions”posts will feature just that: five questions that we sent to an artist or band that we love and their respective answers. This week, we feature New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Luke Winslow King. Luke has also gifted us with a free live track to enjoy, and some information about an exciting musical architecture project Luke is currently working on. We’ll start by featuring a music video, with the interview to follow:

1. We hear a lot about music scenes these days. But New Orleans, where you currently live, is more than just a scene. It represents a whole bedrock of history, especially when it comes to music. Tell us a little bit about your experience living in New Orleans. How has living in that culture shaped your own music, and what are some completely new things you’ve learned about that culture?

LWK: I feel like I’m still learning a lot about the culture here, although I’ve been here for over 10 years now. It’s a very colorful and inspiring place. There’s live music happening everywhere, so there is a lot to draw from. I feel lucky to have so much support from the community here.

2. As a touring musician, how have you and the musicians you’ve worked with approached songwriting/composing? Do you set aside blocks of time while on the road to work on songs, or do you do most of your writing when you are not touring? Just share a bit about how you approach the songwriting craft. 

LWK: We usually take advantage of days of in the country to flesh out songs as a band. I come up with most of my ideas driving, or picking at home, and then gather arrangement ideas as we rehearse them. It really helps to record demos along the way, and then build from there. We have songs we’ve demoed 3 or 4 times before we finally released them.

3. Your own artist bio says “Winslow-King’s work consists of an eclectic mix, taking in delta-folk music, classical composition, ragtime, and rock and roll; juxtaposing original songs with those from a bygone era.” What are some artists/songs from this bygone era that have been especially influential to you and your work. If possible, share some artists that our readers and your listeners may not have heard of on their own?

LWK: Some of my favorites are:

Mance Lipscomb, Joseph Spence, Fred MacDowell, and Bukka White, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Aaron Copland, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and of course Check Berry and Elmore James.

4. You’re a tremendous slide guitar player, and player in general. One thing I’ve even wondered is how full time artists/musicians approach practicing. Does there come a point when you don’t necessarily practice your own skills individually but are able to hone them through group practice and/or performance? Or do you continue to practice often on an individual basis?

LWK: I’m always practicing different things when I’m home off the road. I warm up before gigs, but don’t really practice my when I’m on tour. I work certain passages over and over on slide guitar until I get them right, or just improvise until I come up with something I like, and then repeat, repeat, repeat, until it’s second nature. I also like to run scale and melodies with piano and clarinet to try to see things from another perspective.

5.What are some upcoming events/projects you are working on that you’d like to share with your readers?

LWK: We are currently working on our follow up to ‘The Coming Tide’ which should be out on Bloodshot Records next spring. Also, there is this incredible musical architecture project happening here in New Orleans called Dithyrambalina . I performed and conducted some music there last year. I’m excited to take part in it.

Here’s the recoding of our performance there:

and a Kickstarter video explaining The Dithyrambalina.

Support this artist! Check out his site to find out how you can. It’s just:  www.lukewinslowking.net

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