Austin’s Walker Lukens is a big fan of folk music, but with the recent success of bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers, he felt like the sound had become over-saturated. So he decided to experiment with the form: Lukens bought a looping pedal and started created his songs from the ground up, sampling his voice and guitar in interesting ways while keeping the inherent melody intact. He also hired a band (the Side Arms) to flesh out these experimentations in the live setting. These two directions–folk and electronic, acoustic and rock-and-roll–came together on Lukens’s 2013 breakout, Devoted. There’s a reason why he’s capturing attention not just in Austin but nationwide, from NPR to American Songwriter and Billboard.
Lukens is definitely one to watch for SXSW 2014, and he recently stopped by KUTX’s Studio 1A for a live session. He left the Side Arms at home and instead bared down on his looping pedal, showing how he can transform a simple song like “Lover” into a towering ballad.
Catch Walker Lukens at SXSW 2014:
Tuesday, Mar 11: Empire Control Room, 3pm
Tuesday, Mar 11: Empire Control Room, 9:00-9:40pm (official showcase)