Luke Winslow-King’s heart rests in Louisiana, some 1,200 miles away from his birthplace in Cadillac, Michigan. But the casual listener wouldn’t notice; Dixieland undertones color his music, leaving little room to doubt that this young songwriter and multi-instrumentalist isn’t a native of New Orleans. But Winslow-King is more than influenced by the Crescent City where he attended college; he is a student of the sounds and culture, and in turn, the place has left an indelible mark on the his music.
The learned and acclaimed scholar has released Old/New Baby, a set of songs that celebrates the horn-laden sounds of Bourbon Street, but tempered by Winslow-King’s easy, drifting vocals and his Reso-phonic guitar. He swings, shakes, and gets loose with laid-back, jazzy swagger that exposes ample degrees of class and charisma. Spunky bass fuels “As April is to May” and lyrical playfulness enriches “Never Tired,” two of the stand-out tracks of a well-rounded release.
Winslow-King’s comfortable approach is something to experience. The strings of the upright base bob and weave, the brass is full and polished, and his songwriting thoughtful and laid-back. And Old/New Baby is a fitting name; it is an album that merges the jazz and Dixieland with modern themes and a young voice. The “old” has rarely felt so new.
Old/New Baby is out now on Fox on a Hill Records.