Jason Luckett (History)

(An old bio for MMIX, but if you’d like to use part of it for your story, feel free.)

Jason Luckett is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles.  His organic sound is a vibrant mixture of passion and peace.  His primary influences include Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, and the Smiths.

“I used to call it ‘sweaty soul folk’, ‘organic pop’ then ‘groovyacousticsoul,’ but what it really is a mixture of rock and folk with a spiritual connection to jazz protest artists like Nina Simone and Oscar Brown, Jr. I loved Gil Scott-Heron and the Smiths in college, then I read a lot of Bukowski, Rilke and Orwell while busking around Europe after graduation.  I’d listen to Bob Dylan and Astrud Gilberto in my walkman traveling by train to museums in search of paintings by Vermeer, Klimt, and Egon Schiele.   That kind of shaped me into a kind of artist attracted to activist political poetry, romance, melancholy and frank sensuality.  I also developed a penchant for direct and loud acoustic music to capture the attention of passing tourists and earn enough for a hotel that night.”

A Southern Californian, Jason was born in Hawaii, with roots in Mississippi and Maine, USA.  If that seems a navigational conundrum, the music clarifies.  He brings stories from all stops with residual suburban angst… and a healthy dose of urban consciousness.

Jason spent most of his childhood in Irvine, CA. He picked up a degree in Communication Studies at UCLA. He also did time at Warner Bros. Records in the Black Music Dept. and at original LA punk label, Slash Records, scouting talent, before being swept up as an artist for EMI Music publishing. Somehow in there he shared management with the likes of Michael Jackson, Roseanne, and the “Sweet Caroline” singer, Neil Diamond…. Yeah, he thinks it’s bizarre, too.

After those brushes with the “superstar” makers, he split to England and wrote his first album as the outgrowth of a planned stage play called J Masala Griot, (“Masala” being a mixture of colors and spices; “Griot,” a family storyteller/musician/historian; “J” just for vanity.)

Going further underground back in the States he put out a cassette tape called Suicide or Celebration? and began a life as a traveling musician.

mMix is Jason’s seventh disc. It asks if transcendence is possible when nakedly requested. (“In a song called mystery and wonder / can there be any of either?”) Perhaps it’s an outgrowth of his previous release arrogance procrastination fear humility (APFH). That disc ends up with him understanding that he needs to ask. In this one, he knows what he’s asking for.  The questions may be huge, but as he says in the hook of APFH’s, Lovesjoy, “you can’t win if you don’t try.”

Once again Jason mixes passions of politics and love, with humor, insight and left field pop references in a quest for truth and grounding in this mad time we share now.  This one sounds less like Joni meets Marvin and more like Shuggie Otis hanging out with Travis, listening to Wilco, the Smiths and Burt Bacharach. A purely solo recording, Jason plays a bunch of instruments on it, yet still tours as a solo acoustic guitar act.

In that regard, the past few years Jason’s toured the US several times and performed in Europe.  He’s also performed consistently at poetry venues in Los Angeles as a featured artist and musician.  Off the road, he works with youth programs through the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), mentoring teenagers in music as well as creating original music for NCCJ Presents, a theatrical outreach program.  And, to come clean, he’s also scored a couple independent films and TV commercials.