Luke Winslow-King traded New Orleans for Michigan, but his music retains some southern charm | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Music » Concert Preview

Luke Winslow-King traded New Orleans for Michigan, but his music retains some southern charm


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


The influence of gospel music on singer-songwriter Luke Winslow-King is obvious, even when he’s playing an up-tempo song with a title such as "Swing That Thing." Though King doesn’t approach it in a superficial, frantic, tambourine-banging way, if you're familiar at all with southern gospel you can easily identify its hallmarks in his use of chord changes and repetition—it often vamps on a groove. And if it's possible to be reflective while delivering songs with a hard backbeat, then Winslow-King fills the bill. A Michigan native who relocated to New Orleans in 2001, Winslow-King got his start playing with a diverse set of musicians, including soul singer John Boutte and trad-jazz group the Loose Marbles Jam Band, while spending his days busking. His debut album for Bloodshot, 2013's The Coming Tide, reflected his NOLA experience, with second-line rhythms all over the place. Winslow-King moved back to his home state in 2017, and while his most recent album, last year’s Blue Mesa, brings a bluesier influence to the forefront, it still has a touch of southern soul every now and then. The record is dominated by slide guitar, and on "Born to Roam" he affects an up-tempo country-rock sound that still retains the air of mystery heard throughout his repertoire.   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment