Luke Winslow-King: ‘Everlasting Arms’

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The last time Vinyl Mag talked to Luke Winslow-King was during South by Southwest back in March.  At the time, Winslow-King was performing songs from his 2013 album, The Coming Tide, which features a more bluesy, alternative sound.

In the interview, he briefly mentioned his then-upcoming album, which dropped yesterday.  Everlasting Arms embodies the typical New Orleans style with a rock and roll twist. Having attended the University of New Orleans for the classical music program, Winslow-King really highlights the blues and jazz sound of the Louisiana heritage. He refers to the genres as “really the only original American forms that were created in America.”

Everlasting Arms opens the album with female vocals to harmonize with Winslow-King’s smooth, southern voice. The sweet and simple song transitions into “Swing That Thing,” a track that really shows off Winslow-King’s southern rock and roll sound and reminds me of Eric Clapton’s From the Cradle.

“Levee Man” is the definition of New Orleans sound. The track opens with a trumpet and a banjo that, with the help of a piano and some brass, transports the listener to different time.

“Graveyard Blues” exhibits a slower sound with the female harmonization to put a modern twist on a classic blues piece.  Going back to the genre-specific sound, “Cadillac Slim” follows with an upbeat sound and female back up singers that give the track a Louisiana-style doo-wop feel. The Louisianna sound continues with “La Bega’s Carousel,” which is reminiscent of New Orleans classic, “Iko Iko.”

Trumpets are unique instruments (not that I’ve ever had any personal experience with them), but one basically must vibrate his/her lips to create sound.  If you’ve ever seen a trumpet solo live, you’ve seen how red the player’s face gets.  I’m sure it takes serious lung power and a lot of Chapstick, and I commend anyone who can pull it off as well as this player does in “La Bega’s Carousel.”

“Wanton Way of Loving” features female dominant vocals and a more “country” sound with a violins and banjos; Winslow-King makes a subtle appearance. The album comes to an end with “Home Blues,” a somewhat slower track that’s maybe a tiny bit ominous, but true Blues nonetheless.  Winslow-King sings, “Blues’ll make you do things you would never do. They’ll make you mean; they will make you cruel…”

Finally, “Travelling Myself” ends with a southern sound that makes me think of O Brother Where Art Thou.

The album takes listeners to a different place and a different time. Winslow-King’s music education and sheer skill are prevalent throughout the album and create an embodiment of Louisiana blues and jazz. If Everlasting Arms doesn’t make you want to pack up and head to New Orleans, I don’t know what will.

Nikki grew up in an imitation German town in Georgia by the name of Helen. It wasn’t until middle school that she started to get interested in the arts: painting, music, and writing. She wrote in her diary, sketched in art class and listened to regretful music. By high school, her tastes became a little more refined. She found Fiona Apple, Lou Reed and Giant Drag, and they remain her favorites in college. She was accepted to the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently majoring in English. Upon moving to Athens from a town with more trees than people, Nikki was a bit overwhelmed. However, there is certainly no lack of inspiration in Athens, and she appreciates its love for the arts and its service as a platform.

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