Release Date: Jun 17, 2016
Record label: Bill Hill
Genre(s): Country, Contemporary Country, Neo-Traditionalist Country, Honky Tonk
Country throwback Luke Bell has a couple of independent records kicking around, but this excellent self-titled release will likely serve as his introduction to most. The Wyoming native crisscrossed the country a handful of times before settling in Nashville, where his old-school honky tonk charm won him a deal with the Thirty Tigers agency. Made up of cuts from his second LP, 2014's Don't Mind If I Do, and a handful of newly recorded songs, the album presents Bell as a classic country drifter with the spirit of Buck Owens and the wit of Roger Miller.
One came out of modern bluegrass before delivering one of PopMatter’s top albums of 2015 and the other has sought to innovative his scene with a respective nod towards the alternative soundscape, but no matter how you look at it, the country scene is being led into the latter half of the 2010s by Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson—arguably salvaging what respectable bits and pieces are still in working order for the genre as far as radio representation goes. Pair this with some femme fatales like Kacey Musgraves and Margo Price, and you have a solid quartet of individual heroes and heroines set to revive country into something more than listenable, but also something beyond telling more than just the American everyman’s story about cool beer and big pickups. Immediately, Luke Bell rings in on his self-titled album with opener “Sometimes”, singing with a gentle delivery that comes across as instantly infectious as he croons with a sweltering verve: “Sometimes, I’m alright / and sometimes I get you off of my mind / but other times, all I do is cry.