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A Dirty Dozen with ERINN PEET LUKES – March 2022

| 5 March 2022 | Reply

Photo credit: Natia Cinco

According to a recent press release: “Nashville-based Americana/indie-pop singer-songwriter Erinn Peet Lukes is set to release her new EP, EPL, on March 4, 2022. The EP was recorded in Nashville in March of 2021 and produced by songwriter and musician Rachel Baiman, who assembled a dream team of musicians and Grammy-winning engineer Sean Sullivan to bring out the best in the seven songs. A vocal surgery sidelined Lukes in late 2019. She recovered and gained her full vocal range back, just in time for the world to shut down due to the pandemic in March 2020. For two months, Lukes sat alone with a healed voice and a healed heart and started to write again. “I had my voice back for the first time in months, and I was completely alone,” she said. “The only thing I wanted to do was write songs.” These songs would eventually become her EP entitled EPL. When Thunder and Rain went on indefinite hiatus during the pandemic, Lukes decided it was time to expand her musical horizons, so in January 2021, she sold everything, packed the remaining items and her rescue dog, Nellie Kane, into her car, and moved to Nashville where she recorded EPL not long after she arrived.” We get Erinn to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This EP is pretty upbeat for the most part, which is different for me. As a songwriter, it seems natural and easy to write the heartbreak ballads. On this EP, I experimented with upbeat pop, punk rock, and Irish vibes. I wrote five of the seven songs in the beginning of the pandemic. I was feeling really creative in my boredom, and songs would pop out mid-living room workout. Songwise, it was a really fun time. Pieces of my story are in each song. The first song, “Stung,” references my time as a busker in NYC subway stations. “Queen” references being a kid and watching Britney Spears perform on TV. “Dime a Dozen” is a short song that has a little piece of many different relationships in the lyrics.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

When I was in middle school, my friends started learning guitar. I was already playing flute in the band and became interested in learning the “cool” instrument. I didn’t really think of myself as a musician until I started practicing bluegrass flatpick guitar in my early 20s. That hard work with technique, the metronome, and playing with others really made me realize that I was not just a singer and a songwriter (which came easily to me), but an instrumentalist, too.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

A documentary called Down from the Mountain really sent me down the rabbit hole of acoustic music. Watching Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Alison Krauss sing together was really a lightbulb moment for me. I didn’t know much about the history of bluegrass music. All I knew was I wanted to sing like those ladies.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

It’s hard to choose, but I would love to write a song with Diane Warren. It would be incredible to co-write with someone who has been so successfully prolific as a songwriter in many different situations. Would love to see what we could come up with!

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I have been getting back into yoga! I did it consistently for 10 years but got out of the habit with COVID. I am not competitive, but I love to be limber and strong. Yoga is perfect for me! I also love listening to podcasts and cleaning my house. It’s the simple things. I am very much a homebody, and touring can be a lot sometimes.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe it as a bluegrass/country voice singing catchy pop melodies with stories embedded in the lyrics. I haven’t cringed yet from a fan or reviewer. I think my biggest pet peeve is folks asking me to sing “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” My old band got a lot of views for our cover of that, but I do not like singing the song anymore.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

My band, at the moment, is more of a collective of friends who come on board when I need them and who also have their own projects. So the answer to this is me….I am cooking, making drinks, and singing around the campfire.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Nashville makes you pretty numb to being star struck — musicians you admire are everywhere! When I saw Rachael Price backstage at Folks Fest in Colorado, I was too scared to say hi to her even though she was happily taking pictures with people!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is the freedom to create and live life the way you want to. If I could no longer be a musician, I’d be a children’s music teacher. I already am; I teach private lessons when I’m not on tour. But if I stopped touring, I would do it at an even higher capacity!

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I love interviews! I have not grown tired of it yet!! I would love it if an interviewer asked me more about my pets. I have a dog and a cat, both rescues! Adopt, don’t shop!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There are certain sets I wish my band and I were more prepared for or sounded better on. It sucks to get a big opportunity and to feel like you blew it.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would have loved to watch Joni Mitchell record Blue. It’s such an important album, and the emotion on it cuts through like a knife. I think seeing those performances in person would have been out of this world!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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