A Short Bio:
Jason Luckett is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and essayist based in Los Angeles. Supporting six albums and three independently released EPs, Jason will regularly tour the United States and Europe. He’s performed at South by Southwest in Austin, TX and Glastonbury Festival (UK), and has shared the stage or recorded with Tracy Chapman, the Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, Jeff Buckley, jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell and members of Bauhaus and Red Hot Chili Peppers. His latest disc, The Second Half of the Bet (Hope Again), moves organically through folk, jazz, rock and world influences, while retaining the strong personality of what Jason calls “groovy acoustic soul.” His essays and poetry have been published in the anthologies The Black Body and Voices from Leimert Park. He’s also been seen quite a lot recently in Ryan Golsling’s 80s band featured in the pool party scene in the film La La Land.
“He uses his guitar as an accompaniment to his stellar, expressive voice as well as his intriguing love songs and mesmerizing essays…. He’s a little Sam Cooke, a little Lenny Kravitz, and a little Neil Young.” – Music Connection
“Luckett is a charismatic, romantic poet who wields lyrical dexterity in his heartbreaking yet inspirational narratives.” – HITS Magazine
Jason Luckett plays Voyage-Air Guitars. (Read about it here and here.)
Jason Luckett sits in a hardwood studio untouched by time, tapping rhythm on a foot stool used by Andrés Segovia, singing through vintage preamps used on a Spice Girls tour…. OK, the story’s getting weird, but it sets the scene for the recording of the singer/songwriter’s latest album, The Second Half of the Bet (Hope Again), a warm collection of songs traversing the afterglow of youthful wagers. With an eye toward hope, the sounds of jazz, samba, reggae, bluegrass, soul and folk blend seamlessly into a coherent whole.
Leading up to this recording, the Los Angeles based artist performed with classical Indian musicians in Kerala, toured the western United States to promote healthcare reform, was published in the groundbreaking literary anthology The Black Body, and read as part of the prestigious ALOUD series at the Los Angeles Public Library and Sit ‘n Spin at the Comedy Central Stage. He also contributed a solo theatrical piece to The Emmett Till Project at Highways Performance Space and twice featured at The Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival for his music and prose.
Jason recorded The Second Half of the Bet (Hope Again) in a home once owned by classical guitar pioneer Theodore Norman, layering guitars, bass, vocals and percussion in his magical wood-paneled studio, mostly solo, with a couple loving assists from vocalist Nailah Porter, bassist David Sutton and engineer Ted Blaisdell. As wide-ranging as his activities of the past couple years, SHOTB moves organically through folk, jazz, rock and world rhythm influences.
“A lot of the work I did during the past couple years dealt with the diverse cultural influence in my life and how I was able to create a coherent identity bumping through the ‘mulatto moments.’ This album takes the jazz and Brazilian sounds I heard growing up along with the classic rock and post-punk that I got in the ‘burbs and integrates them better than I ever have before.”
Another byproduct of his recent literary work is the freedom Jason felt to leave his biography behind and dig deeper into the situations and stories in these songs.
“After a couple years of seriously mining my history for different projects, I found a real freedom in searching for emotional truths within largely fictional constructs. I no longer needed to portray myself in my songs. Still, these songs represent the questions I’m still pondering. It’s called The Second Half of the Bet because I like that we make these grand wagers in youth, then we have to figure out what they all mean. Then when I considered Steven Simko’s beautiful cover image, I knew that I had to append the title to include ‘Hope Again.’ There’s beauty in retaining youthful wonder as we move ahead with a bit more wisdom. Grappling with the imperfection of where we are personally or politically after making euphoric and idealistic decisions, I consistently remind myself to choose hope.”
Jason’s played festivals all over the world from Glastonbury to South by Southwest, recorded or played with musicians as diverse as the Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, Kenny Burrell, and members of Bauhaus and Red Hot Chili Peppers, been a staff writer for EMI and is a published poet. Check jasonluckett.com for discography, publications, tours and more info on Jason, Segovia and the Spice Girls.
He’s released eight discs on his Lucky Masala Head label.
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Selected Online Mentions and Reviews
At Peace w/ Past, Present, Future
“With the kind of smile that could light up the sky …, Jason Luckett cheerfully greets me…. Perhaps his outward expression of joy is attributable to an inner serenity (zen, if you will)…. Luckett is blissfully at peace with himself, his past, present, and future.” – Save the Date Magazine, Yayoi Winfrey. (Click image for PDF)
One To Watch
“One To Watch” – Acoustic Cafe, the acclaimed radio show from Ann Arbor, MI, broadcast on air worldwide.
“In the spirit of a stripped-down Ben Harper, another passionate guitar-god rises from the steamy armpit of Southern California. …Luckett is a charismatic, romantic poet who wields lyrical dexterity in his heartbreaking yet inspirational narratives. A refreshing return to pure unadulterated tunage!” – HITS Magazine, Alexa Sharman
Breath of Fresh Air
“…He uses his guitar as an accompaniment to his stellar, expressive voice as well as his intriguing love songs and mesmerizing essays. … He’s a little Sam Cooke, a little Lenny Kravitz, and a little Neil Young. … His friendly demeanor and barefoot appearance draws you into the moment and relaxes your guard. … Jason Luckett is just the breath of fresh air that this jaded town needs”- Music Connection
A Tasty Brew
“…A tasty brew of pop, soul, and folk that’s both relaxed and infectiously danceable. They keep things interesting by shifting the tempo and instrumentation, and through it all weaves Luckett’s supple, soulful singing.”- Victory Review, Richard Middleton
Along comes a singer/songwriter who really shines. Jason Luckett could be billed as a male Tracy Chapman. His songs cast a jaundiced eye at life, love and social issues. Luckett tackles his subject matter with aplomb.”- New Times (SLO County), Glen Starkey
“Luckett is a folksinger who has learned a lot of adjectives to describe all those dysfunctional relationships that are responsible for so many good songs. Bad significant others make for good songs, and Luckett gets emotional for the usual reasons at the right places. He’s got a pleasing voice, and that never hurts.” – LA Times, Bill Locey
Video: Moment in the Sun
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