At the intersection of Harry Smith’s Old Weird America – the songs of heartworn highways – and the tumult of today you can find the music of Luke Callen. The songs – equal parts tragic comedy and hopeless reverie – paint a picture of the places and people that make up his earthly home. A poet – a player – a folk singer – Luke has traversed his country unraveling tall tales – short tunes and all that’s hidden underneath.
Originally from the river town of La Crosse, Wisconsin – the heart of the Driftless Region on the Mississippi River – and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota by way of Colorado Luke brings his humble sense of humor and humanity wherever he may go. His last two solo albums – I’ll Take it With Me (2017) and below your knows (2019) – reach from the ethereal to the eternally real – whimsical walks in the out of doors to hopelessness and heartache and all the in betweens.
Luke has played hundreds of shows spanning both coasts, the American west, south and heartland. He has had the opportunity to provide support for Dom Flemons, Dead Horses, The Dustbowl Revival, Kacy & Clayton, James McMurtry, Whiskey Shivers, Charlie Parr, The Lowest Pair, The Last Revel, Lilly Hiatt, Chicago Farmer, and Robbie Fulks among others – You can follow his travels on Facebook – Instagram or in real actual life.
“No dog ever eats Luke Callen’s homework. He does it all. He turns it in ahead of time. Not for a grade. Not for extra credit. It’s his work and he’s good at it. Poet. Singer. Player. Just listen. First he captures your attention. You want to make comparisons with the giants whose shoulders he stood on. But don’t. He’s plenty tall enough in his own bare feet and his shoulders are wide enough to hold up the next batch of poets, singers, players. Keep listening. Now he captures your imagination. Luke is the hitch-hiker who picks you up. Get in. Toss your bindle in the back. Have you got a couple bucks for gas? No matter. He’s going take you all around the world. Pay attention. He’s going to show you everything that’s in it. And it’s right Below Your Knows.”
“Take heed, take heed, Luke Callen has a great new song “a walk out of doors” from his upcoming album, Below Your Knows. An album built out of the roots that once was American folk music. It’s simple, earthy, and raw. “A walk out of doors” is the first track off the album and it is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s beautiful and gritty. I don’t know if it’s the tonal quality of the resonator, or Callen’s vocals, but I could listen to this song ten thousand times and never grow tired. The lyrics paint a beautiful picture, the resonator places you within the picture, and Callen’s voice makes it so you never want to leave. I feel like I’m sitting down around a campfire listening to Callen as if he’s right there in front of me. It’s incredibly intimate and I want nothing more than to witness him performing the song live.”