NYCS First Impression: Luke Laird ‘Music Row’
Luke Laird has built a reputation for himself as a country music songwriter and producer. He has penned over 24 number one hits which have earned him Grammys, ACM’s, CMA’s, BMI Songwriter of the Year, and many other accolades throughout the duration of his songwriting career. He has written songs such as “So Small,” “Temporary Home” and “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood, “Pontoon” by Little Big Town, “Head Over Boots” by Jon Pardi, and a plethora of other chart-topping hits.
Music Row is Luke Laird’s debut album under his name. It chronicles the story of a child born and raised in Hartstown, Pennsylvania, and the journey of making it to music city. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Laird recorded the project himself, while Bill Bottrell, the producer behind Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club, produced the record. Music Row is eclectic, an astonishingly authentic assemblage of personal diary entries not made to charm the top of country music charts. The low-fi energy speaks to the persona of Laird.
The title track and album starter “Music Row” hosts an island-like aura, dedicating its lyrical content to Laird’s appreciation for country music. “Good Friends” trails off of the happy-go-lucky vibe of the title track and spreads this low-fi energy throughout the duration of the record. “Hangin’ Out” depicts his relationship with his wife Beth and the story they have created. “Jake and Mack” extends that story to include their two sons.
“That’s Why I Don’t Drink Anymore” arrests Laird’s vulnerability as he softly tells his story of his downfall. Guitar caresses Laird’s vocals and lyrical captivity of addition which he premiered at the Bluebird Cafe years back. Shortly before the release of the record, Laird shared a little insight behind the emotional track. At 27, the singer + songwriter finally understood that he had a problem with alcohol. He sings: “By the grace of God / I’m waking up at home ‘stead of passing out in a parking lot … Don’t matter how hard some days can be / I am found and I am free / What else do I need?”
“Leaves On The Ground” depicts Laird’s best friend from high school. “Branch From a Tree” is the only song on the collection written with co-writers, which he wrote with Lori McKenna and Barry Dean.
The album was inspired by Laird’s wife, Beth Mason Laird, who mentioned that he should release an album of his own stories since he had a bunch of songs that he wrote for himself piled around. In 2011, Luke and Beth founded the publishing and management company Creative Nation that represents Laird, Barry Dean, Lori McKenna, Steve Moakler, Kassi Ashton, and more.
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Music Row is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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