Artist You Should Know: Luke Brindley

I love discovering new bands and if I could go to a concert every night of the week I’d be content. So, when I received an email a few weeks ago from singer-songwriter Luke Brindley and found out he’d be playing the Canal Room last night for their “Artist You Should Know” showcase, of course I went.

Luke Brindley’s nearly hour-long set was a solid mix of solo acoustic performances as well as band accompaniment on bass guitar, keyboards and backup vocals. While his voice is somewhat reminiscent to that of Jacob Dylan, what is strikingly different about Brindley is his versatility. He can easily adapt from a more up-tempo band set to taking the stage solo. Whether he’s playing a song entirely instrumentally on guitar or alternating between singing and harmonica, he had the audience intrigued.

Brindley is no newcomer to the music scene. His self-titled solo album has been called “One of the best roots-rock records of the year” by The Washington Post while previous releases have received equally favorable reviews. In fact, his 2004 release Playing With the Light, as part of band, Brindley Brothers was named “Top 12 Debut Records of the Year” by Paste Magazine while Rolling Stone said “Fans of Wilco and Gin Blossoms will swoon.”

Last night Brindley featured many songs off his latest EP, Five Songs. Ballads “Loving Arms” and “On Your Side” showcased Brindley’s compelling storytelling and finger picking skills while “Know Your Love” had strong bass accompaniment and impeccable harmonies.

The former New Jersey native displayed his deeper vocals on “The Hudson River,” a song originally written while residing in the Garden State. In fact, many songs were inspired from living in Jersey, another specifically called “Dervish.”

“When I lived up here I used to play guitar with a friend and he turned me onto Turkish music,” Brindley told the audience before segueing into this instrumental number. “Dervish” showcased Brindley’s talented guitar playing as he speeded up the song with intricate guitar picking, improvising as he went along. As he picked up speed screams could be heard throughout the room before he slowed down and ended the song to thunderous applause.

Closing the night with obvious crowd favorite, “Wrecking Ball,” Luke Brindley shows much promise. And, I’m pretty sure, in time he will no longer be an artist you should know, but an artist everyone knows.

Watch Luke playing “Dervish” below for more of a feel of the song.


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Be sure to check out Luke on MySpace if you haven’t yet or his Web site for more info.