LUKE CONCANNON is one of those rare performers who not only writes and sings great songs, but can rightly claim to be a real inspiration to other musicians.
His latest album ECSTATIC BIRD IN THE BURNING charted as a new entry at No. 12 in the Official Album Folk Charts within days of its release, and both the album and current single have received rave reviews. It’s also had public endorsement from both Ed Sheeran and ‘Wolverine’ actor Hugh Jackman, with both going public to urge fans to listen to the album:
Not only is Luke Ed’s hero, he is also one half of cult underground folk hip hop act Nizlopi. Upon meeting double-bassist John Parker in school, the two formed the folk duo (best known for the “JCB Song”), selling a million records in their twenties and deeply influencing a young Ed Sheeran.
Luke is a man full of hope and triumph but is often consumed by loss, self-doubt, anxiety and anger. It’s fair to say his story is a complex one, but that’s what delivers such great songs and emotional performances.
After experiencing the highs of fame and success as a songwriter in his 20’s, the subsequent heartbreak of losing his band and community was tough. He hitchhiked to Palestine, volunteering as a peace worker in the West Bank. After meeting the American classical singer Stephanie Hollenberg on holiday, he followed her back to the USA where they married in 2018. His struggle back to a place of belonging has resulted in a deep understanding that it is the interplay of light and dark that make us whole.
There is a bit of a Welsh backdrop to the album, especially the single DOING NOTHING. Luke told us…….
“I wrote ‘Doing Nothing’ in a off grid shepherds cottage near Machynlleth.
A friend uses it for youth work and let me write there for a week. It was such a tonic to be somewhere without internet phone signal or electricity. Just quiet time to listen write read and walk… My duo Nizlopi used to write at a friend’s remote Welsh cottage; there’s something healing and renewing about these quite places where you can hear the wind and running water and tune in to the deep music… Doing Nothing is about internet addiction; ironic I couldn’t write it till I was away from youtube!
This seems like the perfect time to get to our interview with Luke. We put a Zoom call in to his home in Vermont in New England. We chatted about the album, writing in Machynlleth, touring (or the lack of it right now), and his plans for the rest of the year. But, as he is thousands of miles away from Wales, we got him to tell us what he could see out of his window.
The opening song is the current single ‘Doing Nothing’.
As Luke said he is thrilled the album has done so well……
“I’m so happy that the album has charted. It’s about the addictions that keep me from flourishing, taking the easy route of consuming media and other distractions, rather than bravely showing up with my heart on my sleeve. The effort has now shown to have paid off and I couldn’t be happier.”
As for his famous fans. Ed Sheeran said……
“Ecstatic Bird in the Burning is a fantastic record. Luke’s one of the reasons I make music. He’s a fantastic performer and a fantastic songwriter. Go check out the album.”
And Hugh Jackman said…….
“I love Luke Concannon songs, I love his singing, I love who he is, a man, as a person. He’s amazing. Ecstatic Bird in the Burning – check it out. You’ll love Luke.
The album is out now, take a look at the Spotify Official Album Chart and you’ll see Luke there at number 12. You can also check out the tracks below and keep in touch with Luke at the following.