By Matt Wickstrom
NASHVILLE, Tn. (Nov. 8, 2017) – Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Paul Luc took a gamble with his new record, “Bad Seed.” For his third record, releasing Feb. 9, Luc decided to work with musicians he had never met before — an attempt to simulate the great recording sessions of the past. Luc will bring his new tunes to Lexington and Willie’s Locally Known on Feb. 13.
Recorded at Welcome to 1979 Studios in Nashville, the 10-track album was produced by Dave Hidek — the same producer Luc worked with for 2014’s “Tried & True.” The album features drummer Paul Griffith (John Prine, Jason Isbell, k.d. lang), backing vocals from Sandy Hook, Ky.’s Leah Blevins, bassist Cameron Carrus, as well as pianist Jefferson Crow and pedal steel/guitar player Laur “Lil’ Joe” Joamets, both part of Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson’s band from the iconic 2016 Grammy-winning album “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.” They recorded without rehearsing, and decided to record to tape — a process Luc said forced them to make decisions quickly.
“I had this sort of romantic idea. I’d see photos of songwriters and musicians on a studio floor together, no computers, just doing things in that moment, which is probably what made a lot of the records that a lot of us idolize so great,” Luc said. “So I got this idea that I wanted to get acquaintances or strangers together and just do that.”
Luc is known for his ability to combine brutally-honest lyrics and relatable themes with upbeat rhythms, and Bad Seed continues to do so. Stemming from different times in Luc’s life and a varied set of inspirations, the songs on “Bad Seed” continue his evolution from “Tried & True.” Inspired by a party he attended during his stint in corporate America, Luc wrote “Lone Wolves” after seeing a stranger who seemingly felt the same way he did about the display: “we’re both lone wolves; always been on our own, even when we’re not alone.” Luc recruited Blevins to sing the stranger’s part on the song. “Slow Dancing” chronicles a relationship where the scale isn’t quite set to even; when it’s time to say goodbye but just not quite yet. Anxiety-ridden “Restless Mind” narrates the all-too-familiar feeling of unwelcome worry and distraction, while the driving title track discusses wanting to do the right thing, but often choosing the other option.
Luc’s love for music dates back to early childhood, when he found his parent’s record collection at age five. Early influences including Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; John Lennon, The Band, and Elton John are uniquely weaved throughout his melodies. By elementary school, he explored a new love of jazz music, and in high school, toured regionally with a rock band. He eventually entered the corporate workforce, playing local shows on the weekend and releasing his first album — but after years of working a grueling 9-5, Luc woke up one day, tired, bored, and unhappy with his situation, and without a plan, quit his job. Since then, he’s harnessed his full energy toward making music.
Luc has toured throughout the country, catching the ear of the Americana world in the process. As he gears up to release his third album, his story has rapidly grown into one with an authentic sound and relatable message for the masses.
“I try to write about personal experience, and people usually relate in their own unexpected ways. There’s something beautiful about music and the unpredictable ways it connects people,” he said.
And if anything, that’s what “Bad Seed” is — proof that even out of the unknown, something beautiful can surface.
- Feb. 13 – Lexington, Ky. – Willie’s Locally Known
- Feb. 14 – Nashville, Tn. – The 5 Spot
- Feb. 15 – Kansas, City, Mo. – Folk Alliance
- Feb. 16 – Kansas, City, Mo. – Folk Alliance
- Feb. 20 – Chicago, Il. – The Elbo Room
- Feb. 24 – Washington, D.C.– Gypsy Sally’s
- Feb. 26 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
- March 10 – Millvale, Pa. – Mr. Smalls Theatre