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Hendrickson releases Kickstarter-supplemented first full album

Luke Hendrickson

You don’t have to listen to know that the music on "One Night at the Crystal Lounge" is going to be authentic, honest, and sturdy. The album, recorded locally at Carpet Booth Studios, is Luke Hendrickson’s newest country music project -- and you’re guaranteed to have a ball while listening to it. The record takes its name from a joint in Billings, Montana. Hendrickson claims that if he elaborated on the night in question the paper "wouldn't be able to print half of it." But you can get a taste of what happened by listening to the album.

Hendrickson’s been a staple of the area country music scene since 2010, when he started performing as part of "Luke n Bob Texas." He’s been taking his solo music around the country and even internationally in the last few years, since the release of his "Comfort Food" EP.

This latest full-length effort will be celebrated at a release party this Saturday. The show will also feature sets of music from guests Becky Schlegel and Tate McLane. Dust off those cowboy boots and get ready to boogie.

Luke Hendrickson took a minute to answer a few questions for 507 Magazine readers.

What first got you interested in country music?

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The entire Hank Williams dynasty. I didn't like country music as a kid, but I also didn't give it a chance. Around the time I turned 21, I specifically remember hearing "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr., and something happened that I can't pinpoint. A switch flipped. I went on Napster on my mom's computer and proceeded to download everything with Hank Williams in the title. I think it was nearly right away that I played a file that said, "Hank Williams 3," but it wasn't country music. It was heavy, distorted, down-tuned guitars. After a bit of research, I learned that Hank Jr.'s son did a bit of country, a bit of metal, and a bit of whatever lies between. I was, and am, a huge heavy metal fan, and that juxtaposition appealed to me quite a bit.

How has your sound changed from when you were fronting Luke n Bob Texas to your "Comfort Food" EP, and now your full-length album?

Luke n Bob Texas was 99 percent cover(s), which I had a ton of fun with. It helped me delve into the history of the music by learning old songs all the time. The "Comfort Food" EP happened pretty quickly. I had started booking a bunch of out-of-state shows, with nothing more than a couple songs on burned CDs. I needed something with a slight bit of "professionalism." I'm happy with the songs, and it's a decent snapshot of where I was two years ago. This new album is much more mature. My voice is better, my songs feel sturdier. I'm really proud of where I'm at.

How did you fund the new record, and how long did it take?

I went to Kickstarter to help with the cost of this album. It ended up being about 50-50 Kickstarter (vs.) self-funding. Recording started in June and resumed/finished in October. Zach Zurn from Carpet Booth Studios finished up the mixing and mastering early in January.

Who performs on the record?

John Nietz handled all electric guitar sounds. We met last February, and I've been dragging him all over the Midwest ever since. We've developed a really good musical relationship. Ryan Knudson is on bass. He also played with me in the Luke n Bob Texas days. I borrowed Nate Warner from the local band Absolute Brightness, and he plays the occasional live show with me as well. Heck of a drummer. Local country/bluegrass musician Becky Schlegel provided harmony vocals to a handful of tracks. It was through Becky that I was able to recruit Ken Wilson to play pedal steel on the album. He is a longtime member of Sherwin Linton's band. Also, I was fortunate to get fiddler Liz Sloan for a tune. She is a founding member of the Texas-based group Urban Pioneers.

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What: Luke Hendrickson’s album release with Tate McLane and Becky Schlegel

When: 7-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15

Where: The Castle, 121 Broadway Ave. N, Rochester

Cost: $12 in advance, $15 day of; castlecommunity.org

Related Topics: MUSIC
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