Born in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, keyboardist and singer/songwriter, Luke Johnson has dreamed of being a musician since he was old enough to reach the piano keys. Like most musicians, Luke began as a fan, growing up in a house that was always filled with music.
His first instrument was his voice and he sang more than he spoke. Then destiny seemed to take a hand providing him with his first guitar and piano. His first guitar was actually salvaged from the trash by his father. Luke was fortunate enough to apprentice under local bluegrass legend; Murphy Henry at age eleven. His piano skill evolved through sheer force of will, he discovered an upright piano at a friend’s house and spent hours teaching himself to play. As Luke’s musical style developed his main focus shifted to the piano. While he enjoys recording and composing, his first love is live performances, an opportunity to connect with and impart a message to a room full of both friends and strangers.
Luke’s influences are as widespread as his own compositions, he has been inspired from everyone from Fat’s Domino to Bernie Worrell (P-Funk) and Thelonious Monk. The range of musical acts with whom Luke has played and recorded during the last fifteen years serves as evidence of just how versatile his talent is. From the funky jams of Earthbound Shakedown to the folksy rock of Freewheelin, and the dance grooves of Bob Jecktive, Luke always adds another unexpected dimension of sound with his soulful keys and unique vocals. Currently, Luke is booking and touring with his eclectic act, Luke Johnson Band (link to performance calendar) as well as playing Latin-infused rock with After Destiny. (http://www.myspace.com/afterdestiny) Luke also has been known to sit in with various acts and play solo shows from time to time.
The opportunities to travel and perform have led Luke to many festivals and venues such as 8X10 in Baltimore, MD, Alley Katz in Richmond, VA, CULM in Pittsburg, PA and The Spot in Newark, NJ. He has had the privilege of opening the stage for acts like Melvin Seals and Jerry Garcia Band, Rusted Root, Parliament/Funkadelic, Toubab Krewe, ekoostik hookah, The Recipe, The Hackensaw Boys, Donna the Buffalo, Project Object, The Bridge, Funk Ark, Vince Herman, Papa Mali, Vince Welnick, Tom Constanten, and many more.
Luke’s latest labor of love is his debut album Light Bringer, it takes an introspective journey through the genres of rock, funk, jazz and bluegrass. Brimming with diverse original compositions and funky grooves, every cut on Light Bringer is unique. Tracks from Light Bringer are currently in rotation on radio stations such as 89.9 WNRS Charlottesville, 89.1 KSCC New Orleans, 89.7 WSHC Shepherdstown and 96.5 WCTG Chincoteague. “Love Like Yours” is also featured in the July 2010 Bonnaroo issue of Relix magazine. To download Luke’s album check out cd baby and itunes. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lukejohnson3
Luke and his wife Kendra live in West Virginia, when he is not writing or playing music, Luke is exploring the great outdoors. He is serious about having fun while hiking and canoeing in “the wilds” of WV. Luke continues to perform live at venues (http://www.lukejohnsonband.com) all over the east coast.
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