It was a hot autumn day for the undeterred crowd who gathered under the shade of the vines of Chittering’s Nesci Estate Wine Farm in awe of musician Luke Gallagher.
His presence on the stage cut through the heat like a breath of cool fresh air as the 27-year-old world class professional entertainer rocked, soothed and charmed the audience with his deep baritone voice and exceptional guitar skills.
With a repertoire of modern and vintage hits, the set list ranged from his roots in rock, pop, grunge and heavy genres with Violent Femmes, Ed Sheeran, Green Day and even Metallica through to his personal favourite genre, country, and songs by legendary crooners and songwriters such as Neil Young and Johnny Cash.
Prior to 2020, Luke had spent a quarter of each of the past 3 years living and performing in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has plenty of work and contacts with some of music’s greats. Nashville is renowned as the ‘biggest music hotspot in the world’, however, Luke has been unable to return as it’s currently the US State with the largest number of COVID cases.
Making the most of other opportunities at home, he is, “Chilling here in Muchea and making money to support that dream and still loving it here.” Luke has continued posting guitar videos to his large social media fan base, including a significant American following where country music is extremely popular across all age groups. He shares his skills by teaching guitar on Skype and is performing solo, duo and trio acoustic hits around Perth and regional areas with his own act under his name ‘Luke Gallagher Music’.
The online world helped open the doors of his musical journey in Nashville leading to meetings with numerous legends. “Meeting Dann Huff in Nash was one of the highlights of my life,” said Luke. Dann has been a producer of rock and country bands and artists such as Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Megadeth and Taylor Swift as well as session guitarist on albums for the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitesnake, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand and Kenny Rogers.
Another truly memorable moment was an evening at the home of highly awarded Vince Gill, a member of the Eagles since 2017 and his wife, country singer Amy Grant. “Hanging in a bar in Nashville also led me to being invited backstage in Melbourne for country pop stars Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett.”
Luke describes Nashville as an exhilarating yet intimidating place. “Everyone is there for the same reason as you. It’s petrifying when you first find yourself on stage playing for 4 hours with a band you’ve never met and who don’t work off a set list. You need to find your feet quickly and not make a mistake. It helps you become a stronger musician that’s for sure.
“Nashville has a vibe like Vegas with bars 3 to 4 stories high on each side of Broadway Street. All the windows are open and there is an absolute train wreck of noise bleeding out onto the streets. The music plays nearly 24 hrs a day, tourists are everywhere, the crosswalks even play tunes and the skyscrapers are home to the likes of Sony Music and CMA Music. Everyone is dancing non-stop and partying… it’s a madhouse and I love it!”
Since last year, he has also been playing with Aussie icon Adam Brand. Luke is sponsored by The Guitar Strap Company who recommended Adam ask Luke to bring together a band for his WA gigs due to COVID interstate travel restrictions. He handpicked a 5-piece band of the best musicians in town who accompanied Adam on the WA leg of his tour. His next upcoming gig with Adam is on April 24 in Queensland where he will stay for a short stint playing gigs interstate as part of Adam’s band.
Luke said the number one thing he has learned from Adam so far is to, “Just let things go. He’s so nice to everybody and he makes his gigs about the audience. It goes beyond playing well and is about the way you treat people, talk to the band and support and connect with the crowd.”
Check out Luke’s upcoming WA gigs with his own show and also his traditional country music party band Honky Tonk Heroes, watch him play with the likes of Brad Paisley online and join his growing league of global followers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @lukegallaghermusic or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.