Luke Pruitt Coming To Arnold’s Bar and Grill On 4/2 In Support Of Latest Album, Songs of Home, Pt.2

Luke Pruitt

Luke Pruitt

Luke Pruitt
4/2/16
Arnolds Bar and Grill, 210 E 8th St, Cincinnati, OH
Free, 5-7pm

Luke Pruitts second studio album, ‘Songs of Home, Pt. 2’ is out now.  This is the follow up to his compelling debut ‘Songs of Home, Pt. 1.,’ a look at life through the prism of Pruitt’s hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“I wanted to write a record that told a complete story,” Pruitt says of his second studio album, recorded over four days at The Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN with Producer Calvin Turner (Marc Broussard).  “I guess, thematically, you could compare it to some of the concept albums that Willie Nelson made in the 70’s, but I approached it more like I was writing a Novella.  It takes place before and after 9/11 and has two main storylines, the first one about a Millennial kid who is graduating high school and leaving for college the summer after 9/11, and the second is about some friends of mine who are immigrants from Mexico.  I did some personal interviews with them, and they took great pride in telling me about their journey to America and setting roots down in a new home.”

Those interviews inspired the romantic marimbas and mariachi trumpets of “Coyotaje”, the story of immigrants leaving their family in Guadalajara to seek a better life in America.  After an intimate chamber group introduction, “Winter, 2001.” poses a familiar question-  “Where were you the day that JFK died?”- and transforms the answer into a conversation between our young millennial and his father, just months after 9/11.  The woodwinds and English horns are then interrupted by a road-trip blues shuffle on “Born in the Wrong Time” as the young kid leaves home “seeking the great education expected in the millennial age,”  and gets “lost in the binary wreckage of the digital age.”  The howling chorus and slide guitars sing as an anthem to the unrest that loomed over the nation during a time when war was certain and our security was shaken, and then unexpectedly dissolve into a gorgeous orchestral rendering of “America the Beautiful.”

“Calvin takes a lot of influence from Stevie Wonder and a lot of the 70’s L.A. folk pop scene (Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman),” Pruitt says, “but one of his biggest strengths is arranging for big groups.  There’s not much demand in the modern songwriter scene for orchestral stuff, so he took a lot of pride in the arrangements and hired David Davidson (Jason Mraz, Neil Young) as concert master. It was an eye opening experience to see such a great team of professionals work to make music.  The strings add so much, not just to the music, but the story as a whole.”

The story, which Pruitt wrote in Fort Smith continues through thirteen tracks as Pruitt’s characters seek that thing we call the American Dream and ultimately, a place to call “home.”

“‘Home’ is a big concept, I guess, but I like the idea of looking at an American town through two very different perspectives.  When I sat down to interview the immigrant family, one of them said to me ‘You know, I see how immigrants are portrayed in the American media.  I see how angry people are.  I just hope that through these songs you can show our roots.’  So hearing that really gave me some purpose in telling their stories.  There’s a lot of heated debate over immigration, and we live in such strange and divided times.  As a storyteller it became a sort of obligation to look through all the societal issues that divide  us and show the humanity beneath it.”

Pruitt further emphasizes this point in the album’s final track, “Two Kinds of People”, as he satirizes the breakdown of our national dialogue into polarized, incommunicative monologues, singing “Get mad!  Get scared!  It’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Pruitt plans to hit the road this spring and will play throughout the Southeast and Northeast.  For tour updates and more info on Luke Pruitt, please visit: http://www.lukepruitt.com/

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