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Luke Torn

Luke Torn

Maybe it was my parents handing me a birthday LP at age five, Johnny Horton's Honky-Tonk Man, that started me up. But from then on, I needed to know everything I could find out about music, about lyrics, about comradery. By the time I landed at the University of Texas at Austin as journalism major, I was seeing every punk rock/new wave/singer-songwriter and soul band imaginable in Austin, Texas – the Live Music Capital of the World.

Since the early 1980s, I've been covering music, endlessly interviewing musicians (my heroes Warren Zevon and Doug Sahm, among many), reviewing new and retro albums, and editing and publishing a music mag. I started out writing for the Daily Texan and the Austin Chronicle.

The next decades found me landing live Bob Dylan cassettes by the dozens, and covering rock, folk, country, punk, and Texas music galore for the Wall Street Journal, No Depression, Bucketfull of Brains,, and my own starter zine, Jamboree. Becoming publisher, editor, and writer for the great worldwide mag Pop Culture Press in 2001 meant covering endless new bands and historic reissues and curating CD compilations for each issue. PCP hosted some amazing live performances by exceptional artists during SXSW under the big striped tent at Austin's beloved local Dog & Duck Pub (RIP).

Since the early 2000s, I've written multiple sets of liner notes, and become a regular contributor to Uncut, covering both the brand new and the old-as-the-hill's music.

Meanwhile, we've raised a son (an accomplished percussionist!) and cared for my parents through their last years. Flipping records in dollar bins has been my escape hatch during multiple joys and traumas. The dusty bins have fed the flame of my endless curiosity about the history of singer-songwriters. Listening to dozens of no-hit wonders from the 1960s to the 1980s and beyond – the post-Dylan era, more or less – I'm still fascinated to dig through obscure songs, hunting for gems in the muck, always asking whether or not these lesser-known folks have anything to say?

5 articles

List of articles in the library

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The Byrds, Gene Clark, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Gene Clark remembered: "Genius and insanity hand in hand…"

Retrospective by Luke Torn, Uncut, May 2008

IT'S ANOTHER DAY in the busy life of one of the biggest bands in America. The Byrds have just recorded 'Eight Miles High', and are ...

Bobby Charles: Bobby Charles

Review and Interview by Luke Torn, Uncut, 12 May 2014

Swamp-pop goes Woodstock: Louisiana legend's rarely heard '72 masterpiece with The Band... ...

Roky Erickson, 13th Floor Elevators: Roky Erickson: I Have Always Been Here Before – The Roky Erickson Anthology

Review and Interview by Luke Torn, Uncut, May 2005

Astral Peaks: thirty years of incandescent psychedelia from rock's mercurial "madman". ...

Doug Sahm: He's About A Rocker

Interview by Luke Torn, Austin Chronicle, 9 June 1989

DEFINING DOUG Sahm is no easy task. The original Texas Tornado. Doug Saldana. Sir Douglas. Talk to a dozen different people and you'll get a ...

Gillian Welch: Dustbowl Darling

Profile and Interview by Luke Torn, The Wall Street Journal, 26 October 2001

STRANDED IN Los Angeles for a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on the day of the terrorist attacks, singer Gillian Welch, her ...

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