Irish ‘national treasure’ Jack Lukeman heads for Yorkshire

Jack Lukeman
Jack Lukeman
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Award-winning Irish singer-songwriter Jake Lukeman is to play in York.

A platinum selling household name in Ireland who is referred to as a national treasure, Lukeman is famous for his astounding voice, powerful songs and passionate live shows. He has an unusual ability to transport his listeners on a journey with his incredible vocal range and style that blends rock ’n’ roll, ethereal balladry and even contains the occasional post-punk flourishes.

The Irish troubadour returns with his 12th studio album Magic Days, and an impressive UK tour to follow. The title Magic Days is inspired by finding the magic in the mundane. The album features a veteran team of gifted musicians on it, with string arrangements from Golden Globe nominated composer, Brian Byrne (Katy Perry, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison) and long-time collaborator Derek Cronin. Conor Brady (The Commitments) provided guitar, with drums by Conor Donavan (Damien Rice/Ed Sheeran), with Greek sound wizard Vasileios Gourgourinis, wrapping up the production and Jack on guitar and vocals.

One of the hardest working singers in the business, the last two years has seen Lukeman living life on the road with a remarkable 220 gigs under his belt, and supporting acts such as Van Morrison, Imelda May and The Proclaimers.

With a fan-base that stretches as far as North America, Lukeman is a victim of his own success, with no shortage of gig offers, he feels more comfortable on the road than not.

“To tell you the truth, the biggest buzz I honestly get, and it’s a very rare one, is from singing. I have to say, there have been stages where whilst singing and breathing all my air out during the process, it’s been so emotional, there’s been times where I have actually blacked out,” he explains.

A native of Athy Co. Kildare in Ireland, Lukeman left school at 15, and after a short stint working for the family business, by the age of 18 he knew music was meant to be his chosen path. He packed up and left his hometown and entered the Bohemian busking scene around Europe in the early 90s playing Holland, Belgium and Germany.

A trip to Germany with art band Serious Women resulted in a drunken night with members of The Black Romantics, with whom Lukeman cut an album, entitled Wax, based on the works of Belgian singer Jacques Brel, who he greatly admires. The album earned him glowing reviews and vocal comparisons to Scott Walker, Jim Morrison and Tom Waits and set Lukeman on his growing path of success.

He established himself as a solo artist and serious songwriter with his memorable live shows and his 1999 multi-platinum Irish selling album Metropolis Blue, and touring Europe and the USA extensively.

Over the years Lukeman’s hard work has paid off, winning numerous awards such as the Edinburgh Fringe Spotlight Awards in Best Music, the San Diego Fringe Festival two years in a row, the Irish Post’s, Best Male Singer and the Hollywood Fringe Judges Choice Award.

His 2001 album Universe was recorded between LA, Jamaica and Dublin with Multi-Grammy record producer Greg Wells (Adele, Aerosmith, One Republic). His single So Far Gone was one of the biggest radio hits that year in Ireland.

Releasing albums every couple of years since then to a growing audience, he even inspired best-selling Irish author Anna McPartlin’s book So What If I’m Broken, in which every chapter was named after a Jack Lukeman song.

Over the years he has had the privilege of supporting the crème de la crème of musicians, such as Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Ronnie Wood, U2, John Lee Hooker and Marianne Faithfull.

Lukeman’s latest album Magic Days takes inspiration from the personal challenges in everyday life, such as Sky News Blues, which he wrote after viewing the daily worldwide tragedies Sky News reports on.

Jack Lukeman plays at the Fulford Arms, York on March 27. www.jacklukeman.com