Luke Bell Re-Emerges in Live Event with Matt Kinman
As an addendum to The Search for Luke Bell, the elusive country music singer and songwriter originally from Wyoming re-emerged Sunday afternoon (7-27) after a long period of being out of the public eye. The occasion was a live stream event with close friend and common collaborator Matt Kinman.
“You say, ‘Where has he been?’ Well he’s been everywhere. But he’s here right now,” Matt Kinman said at the beginning of the presentation broadcasting on Facebook Live from outside of Boone, North Carolina. The two spent just over an hour swapping songs, with Matt Kinman running through many of the bygone early country standards that he’s known for revitalizing as an artist for Smithsonian Folkways.
Along with playing some of his best known songs like “Sometimes” and “Where Ya Been,” Luke Bell played a couple of new songs, including one called “Traveling Mercies” he said was named by his mom, and another called “Rooster Jim.” He also played numerous classics including “Another Day, Another Dollar,” The Jimmie Rodgers song “Waiting for a Train,” and Boxcar Willie’s “Lonesome Joe,” which seemed appropriate for the way the conversation went between Luke and Matt Kinman.
“I’ll tell you the truth, I picked him up beside the railroad tracks and he was pouring sweat,” said Kinman. “I don’t know if he was trying to outrun a train or what.”
“I did catch a few trains and missed a few,” Luke Bell responded. “I rode around Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, and had a big time everywhere I went.”
“But he’s back now to do things bigger and better, ain’t that right? So stay tuned,” said Kinman. “You don’t know what’s coming around the bend.”
The whole presentation can be seen below.
Luke Bell caught national attention when he was singed with WME and Thirty Tigers, and began opening shows for names like Willie Nelson, Hank Jr., and Dwight Yoakam. Bell released his debut, self-titled record later in 2016 to much positive reception as one of the most authentic voices in country music.
But a tour set to occur after the release never happened, and aside from some spotty shows here and there—including a performance at Pickathon outside of Portland in 2017 where Matt Kinman also appeared—Luke Bell has been mostly out of the spotlight, leading to much speculation and some concern about his whereabouts.
Well he’s round about North Carolina at the moment. Stay tuned.
Robert's Country Blog
July 27, 2020 @ 10:37 am
The only time I ever saw them was at Ameripolitan 2018. Interesting update.
July 27, 2020 @ 10:42 am
That was a real treat…………..
July 27, 2020 @ 11:50 am
Damn, I imagine if I just happened or be watching that live and seen Luke just appear, I’d probably just about shit my pants. Glad he’s been having himself a “big time.”
July 27, 2020 @ 12:32 pm
Interested if Taylor’s new album will get any coverage… I guess it’s a folk pop album, and she’s far removed from traditional country sounds, but folklore is rootsier than ever, and he writing chops on this album are handily better than 80% of the artists you cover in my opinion—a key characteristic to the kind of confessional, emotional country you seem to praise.
July 27, 2020 @ 12:40 pm
Not until we finally get that Boomswagglers coverage.
July 27, 2020 @ 1:21 pm
I went to their website and now I know why the Boomswagglers request is constantly repeated.
As for myself, I am waiting for Michael Jackson Montgomery to return. That guy was a legend!
July 27, 2020 @ 1:34 pm
I see where you like your ice cold beer.
July 27, 2020 @ 1:11 pm
No one wants Taylor Swift coverage or Taylor Swift fan boys here.
Go back to Tumblr.
July 28, 2020 @ 4:46 am
July 28, 2020 @ 7:03 am
In my 20s, Swiftie.
Grow up and find a clever insult.
July 27, 2020 @ 1:24 pm
No, it is highly unlikely that Tay Tay’s Lorde/Billie Eilish album, complete with a few edgy F words to “really shake up the narrative” will get coverage from SCM.
Might try entertainment weekly or pitchfork?
July 27, 2020 @ 1:58 pm
Taylor Swift doesn’t need my help, and though I still need to listen to the album a bit more, I question just how much “folk” this album actually contains, which if I do choose to feature it, would probably be my primary objective at resolving, and the reason I choose to broach the subject at all. I gained access to the album when everyone else did, and since I still need to listen to it some more and with other important releases also coming out last Friday, it’s going to waterfall below other records on my priority list.
July 27, 2020 @ 4:16 pm
Why would that be a question that needs resolving? It’s not being marketed as a folk record. The title folklore refers to the album’s focus on storytelling, not necessarily its sound.
July 27, 2020 @ 6:17 pm
It’s technically labeled as alternative but a large chunk of her fans on Twitter are entirely convinced it’s folk. Regardless of what it’s labeled, I was zoning out while listening.
July 28, 2020 @ 4:46 am
Keep in mind folk is rapidly changing. While this isn’t traditional folk by any means, and that label may be misleading, there is a folk revival that seems to be going (as it has in the past) hand in hand with the psychedelic renaissance we are experiencing. Artists like Father John Misty and Bon Iver are taking folk tropes in magical new directions. If you like hearing the same thing over and over again it might not be your cup of tea, but folk is taking new forms. Unfamiliar isn’t bad boss man. But I appreciate the folk of yesteryear too.
July 28, 2020 @ 4:53 am
She certainly doesn’t need your help, but I respect your opinion and just was interested what you thought Trig. I personally think it is her best album yet, and her stories are rich and evocative. It really is just a pop album, but comes from a girl that once held a lot of sway in ‘country’. Understand that there are higher priorities to cover
July 28, 2020 @ 7:58 am
Ok, this is just getting weird.
July 27, 2020 @ 3:35 pm
You’re kidding, right. I mean, you are kidding…I’m sure you’re kidding.
July 27, 2020 @ 7:02 pm
This is a Luke Bell article. I couldn’t give a frenchman’s fuck what Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner, Elizabeth Taylor, Chuck Taylor, Taylor Hicks, Taylor Townsend or Jonathan Taylor Thomas are doing. It’s LUKE FUCKING BELL.
July 28, 2020 @ 4:48 am
July 27, 2020 @ 1:27 pm
Wild appearance. Glad he’s still around and playing, but the acoustics of an open field and unfamiliarity between the two made it kind of a chore to listen to.
July 27, 2020 @ 1:58 pm
Loved it. Thank you Matt and Luke
July 27, 2020 @ 2:20 pm
I know one night I’m going to yell, “Loretta” or “The Bullfighter,” at a Pat Reedy show.
July 27, 2020 @ 2:45 pm
I’d sure like to watch the video- but all I see is a blank space
July 27, 2020 @ 3:17 pm
This is great news. I hope he is well. Selfishly, I hope he makes more music. His last album came out the year I got married and my first job out of college. They were good times…his voice, and particularly that last album, will always remind me of good times. He is one of my favorites, despite only releasing three albums. I have each one and they never get old.
July 27, 2020 @ 4:34 pm
Was listening to Luke Bell with my wife the other night and talking about how that last album just doesn’t get old and how good it is…know the words to every song good. Wondered what he was up to
July 28, 2020 @ 2:21 am
Last I heard him he was playing WB Walker’s anniversary show a couple springs ago. If I recall correctly Kinman was with him there as well.
July 28, 2020 @ 6:42 am
When I hear the term Traveling Mercies I just think of Emily Scott Robinson. This is good news though.
July 28, 2020 @ 7:45 am
Thanks Luke and Matt. I hope there’s more to come.
July 28, 2020 @ 9:33 am
I love “Travelin’ Mercies.” Good work guys. Lotsa fans here in Wyoming
July 31, 2020 @ 1:13 pm
First and foremost… one can NEVER get enough Luke Bell
With that being said, I hope that he is inching closer to getting ahold of his demons
August 2, 2020 @ 5:02 pm
Come see Matt & Luke Live at The Station at 19e August 22nd in Roan Mountain TN
August 3, 2020 @ 12:14 am
Well, that’s great news. Luke Bell is one of my favourites among the artists I have discovered on SCM.
Hopefully soon some more studio time is on the cards for Luke.
December 30, 2020 @ 1:03 am
Someone posted awhile back on Matt Kinman’s Facebook page “praying for Luke”. Wonder if anybody heard anything. Is he sick? Did he get COVID? Any info would be appreciated..
January 29, 2021 @ 7:14 am
Just FYI, New Luke Bell song just hit the world like a brick
September 20, 2022 @ 4:19 pm
We love you guys. Luke, dang it buddy ya left too damn soon. Matt you keep on keepin’ on.
March 24, 2023 @ 4:22 pm
We loved Luke.,I never had any children but loved Luke like a son. We tried and did what we could. GOD rest his soul. Happy Trails (Cowboy) Until We Meet Again. Mike n Melissa…