A Conversation with Erika Luckett
Puremusic: Greetings from Shanghai.
Erika Luckett: Aloha.
PM: It's great to talk to you. It's been too long.
EL: Almost a year. It's been since February of last year--has it been that long since we spoke? I know that's when I last saw you.
PM: I think maybe we spoke one time in that year. But our last meeting was particularly good. [We shared a lot of music and quality time at Folk Alliance in San Diego.]
EL: Yes, we hit some very good spots there.
PM: I was excited to hear about your new record. The last few hours I've been digesting the tracks. I'm proud of you, that's a great record you've made.
EL: Thank you. I appreciate that.
PM: I mean, as deeply acquainted as I am with your personal and your musical artistry, I'm still amazed by the quantum leap you've taken with this particular record.
EL: Thanks, Frank. It interesting that you should say "quantum leap," because, over the last couple of years, I've been so deeply immersed in studying quantum mechanics. [laughs]
PM: Oh, really?
EL: Yes, and it lends a lot to the whole vibe of the project. You haven't seen the cover of the CD, but it's a picture of me with the guitar slung over my back and a yellow road sign that used to say something else, but now it denotes energy going off toward the infinite. The idea going into this recording was: "What happens when we allow ourselves to spin out of our ordinary patterns and open up to the possibilities that exist, and the Unexpected?"
PM: Well, I hear that, because that's certainly what you've done here musically. Although there were some impressive ensemble recordings on your first three solo records, this is much more of a world pop record, wouldn't you say?
EL: Yeah, definitely. On the last three recordings, I was sort of exploring different facets of my musical expression. And in this one I just felt like turning all the engines on and letting it fire full force--especially having come from the intimacy and sort of pen and ink approach of the New Orleans Sessions, where it was just voice and guitar, and a small room and a couple of mics, and that was it. I was really glad to be able to get so bare on the New Orleans Sessions, and then go full throttle, production wise, on the next outing.
PM: Many of my favorite artists favor wide swings of the pendulum and riding it from one side to the other, and that's certainly what you've done here, between New Orleans Sessions and the new one, Unexpected. Let's take a minute to discuss the road to that record from the last to the current disc. How did the next direction occur to you, and how did it begin to take shape?
EL: Well, in my imagination there are hundreds of albums and ideas. And even now as I'm speaking with you, I can really clearly visualize at least six more albums that I want to do. When I went in to do New Orleans Sessions, I knew that I wanted to record a very bare bones, very revealed album, where I was baring my heart with no crutches, with no makeup, just a singer and guitarist, and a song. I knew that I needed to do that before I really felt fully able to dress it up all the way. That way, you really get to feel the integrity of just being on a record, in order to know and show that, and have full confidence in the basic nucleus. continue