Luke Wallin recorded one of these songs, "Boston Train," with the great piano player John Parrott in NYC in 1979. Three others were recorded with the amazing guitarist Denis Colby in Nashville in 1980: "This Good Life," "The Redneck Poacher's Son," and "Red Dog Moon." "When you try to Steal the Blues," "Waiting for your Love," "Yellow Dog Line," "Where Love can still Grow," were recorded in the period 2000-2001 in Luke's Swamp Studio; he plays acoustic guitar and a little piano, and Chris Souza adds his soulful violin. "Inventin Somebody Else," Luke's great a capela song, was recorded all the way back in 1978 in NYC, with Steve Fox harmonizing. In short, this CD is a kind of archive of some of Luke's best songs, taken from great moments spread over time. The old tapes survived heat and cold and dust until the digital age arrived, and they came back to life. What this record lacks in polish it more than delivers in spirit, warmth, love, fine playing and songwriting.
Luke has been writing and singing since he composed "Speed Out a Runner" while swinging at age 3 (according to his Mom). In May 04 he played a show in Atlanta at the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum, along with broadway star Jim Wann and storyteller Budd Harbis, backed by the Pat Patrick Band from N'ville. In July 04 he and guitarist Mike Stehney played in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, at a family folk concert to benefit the library. His songs have appeared in film ("Temples of Time" by the Canadian Broadcasting Network), television ("The Enchanted Swamp," his series on Alabama ETV) and radio (a national campaign which ran three years, but which shall remain nameless). His songs have been performed in concert by The Forester Sisters and Annie Freeman (who sang in the Atlanta show with Luke).
Luke dreamed one night last year of living in a world where the word "possum" had become politically incorrect. He woke up laughing and made a note, "possum not pc," and when he found it the next morning he wrote the song "Don't Say Possum," which is song #3 on the Love & Possums album.
Sometimes one of Luke's songs will inspire him to write a book. "The Redneck Poacher's Son" (#9 on L&P) brought forth the award-winning novel of the same name. This novel for young adults and adults was a selected a Best Book by the American Library Association, and is available from iUniverse.com. Luke's song "Back to Mississippi" inspired his story "Collecting Butterfish," about an old bluesman and the young white men who want to "collect" him in different ways. This story was first pubished in The Louisville Review, and will be reprinted in the anthology High Horse, from Fleur de Lis press, in the fall of 04, a collection of creative writing by the faculty of the Spalding University Master of Fine Arts in Writing (one of Luke's two teaching gigs). Luke sings the song when he reads the story, and he has performed it at the Eudora Welty Conference at Mississippi University for Women, and in a number of other venues (especially including his students - a captive audience).
Luke is happiest when he's playing music with his friends in the Crawfish Band: Mike Stehney on guitar and harmony vocals, Dave Yager on drums, and Matt Allen on bass.
Luke earned an MFA in fiction writing from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, as well as graduate degrees in philosophy and regional planning. He is
Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he teaches in the MA in Professional Writing program, the Honors Program, and the undergraduate Writing Option Program. In Spalding University's MFA in Writing Program, Luke teaches fiction, creative nonfiction and writing for children.
Luke's award-winning young adult novels include Ceremony of the Panther (recorded for the blind by the Library of Congress), In the Shadow of the Wind (recommended by the Committee on U.S. History Standards, for the period 1800-1850, and chosen a Best Book by the New York Public Library), The Redneck Poacher's Son, (an American Library Association Best Book), The Slavery Ghosts, and Blue Wings. His science fiction, The Bestiary Trilogy (1985-88), under the pseudonym of John Forrester, was translated into Danish. In 1999 Kluwer published a nonfiction anthology, Nature and Identity in Cross-cultural Perspective, co-edited with Irish geographer Ann Buttimer. In 1997, Luke won a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at University College Dublin. Recently completed projects include a novel, The Soul Tree, and two short story collections, The Philosopher's Feast and Tapalyla Stories. Luke's most recent musical CD is Love and Possums, and for children he has completed Swamp Doc Presents: The Alabunny, Stories and Songs. He has just completed a spoken word CD of tales from his boyhood in Mississippi, entitled Confessions of a Teenage Bobcat Trapper.
Visit Luke Wallin at http://www.lukewallin.com.
Check out the artist's website:
1. When you try to Steal the Blues
2. This Good Life
3. Boston Train
4. The Redneck Poacher's Son
5. Inventin Somebody Else
6. Waiting for your Love
7. Red Dog Moon
8. Half of Life is Dreams
9. Yellow Dog Line
10. Where Love can still Grow
11. Water Base Love