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Luke Thompson - Here on the Ground

Luke Thompson - Here on the Ground

“It is a rare debut album by a New Zealand singer-songwriter which arrives as fully formed and mature as that by 24-year old Luke Thompson, whose Here on the Ground announces the arrival of a major Kiwi talent.” - Graham Reid

Two years since his first single, Morning Light was played on the radio Luke Thompson’s debut album, ‘Here On The Ground’ is finally ready to get to the retail shelves and digital hard drives on February 18th! Luke Thompson’s has had his songs played on major NZ radio networks; ZM, The Edge, Classic Hits and MoreFM taking his previous single ‘Perfect Drive’ into the Top 20.

In the traditions of early Bob Dylan, Don McLean and Paul Simon, Luke Thompson will be out on the road playing as any good troubadour should in celebration of the album release. Acoustic intimate shows at some of the countries most beautiful vineyards and café’s as part of the Midsummer Tour 2008.

Luke has also been chosen as the support act for some very big name artists; American rock stalwarts ‘Toto’ at The Civic in early March and Grammy Award winning Jars of Clay at the end of March.

Date Venue Location

Sat 16 Feb Hallertau Riverhead (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Fri 22 Feb Vilagrad Ohaupo (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Sat 23 Feb Matinee New Plymouth (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Thurs 28 Feb Mills Reef Tauranga (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Fri 29 Feb Sileni Estates Hastings (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
(Sun 2 March The Civic Auckland: Luke Thompson Support - Toto)
Thurs 6 March Sandwiches Wellington (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Fri 7 March Yaza! Café Nelson (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Sat 8 March Kaikoura Winery Kaikoura (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
Sun 9 March Fat Eddies Christchurch (Midsummer Tour 2008 w/ Brian Platt)
(Sat March 22 Aotea Centre Auckland: Luke Thompson Support – Jars of Clay)

A little more of Luke Thompson and his debut album ‘Here On The Ground’:

Here On The Ground was recorded at Roundhouse Studios (Neil Finn) in Auckland and produced by Nic Manders (Brooke Fraser).

Over the course of a dozen original songs the Tauranga-based Thompson touches the heart in songs of gentle sensitivity, pricks the conscience with tart lyrics about personal and social responsibility (Look the Other Way, Here on the Ground) and offers up revealing lyrics about his origins (Mums and Dads).

As his musical tastes broadened he began to write his own songs, encouraged by classic singer-songwriters from previous generations: “I was maybe 19 or 20 before I heard the music that I really base my music on. That was more the folky thing. The first one I got into was Don McLean then James Taylor and Bob Dylan. The first song that got me, probably when I was in the 7th form, was Vincent by Don McLean.

I don’t know what it was about it. Just how effective he was being with only his voice and guitar and some ideas. That attracted me to the singer-songwriter solo thing, where you would just come up with an idea and you would do the whole thing -- a concert, a show or a recording -- with just your fingers and your voice.”

Thompson spent some time in high school bands and it was through one of them appearing at a Smokefreerockquest that he got his break. As the singer-guitarist he was singled out for a scholarship which allowed him a year’s study at a music school of his choice (he went to Wintec in Hamilton) and to his surprise stayed for the full three year course, supporting himself by playing in an acoustic duo around pubs and clubs.

He furthered his song writing and asked acclaimed producer Nic Manders (Brooke Fraser) if he would produce a single for him as part of a class assignment, sent that to NZ on Air and a grant to record another followed.

Thompson was on his way and with Manders he began work on what would become Here on the Ground in the middle of 2007. By then his two singles Morning Light and Perfect Drive -- both on the album -- had done well at radio.

Here on the Ground is the sound of a young and new artist, yet also someone who has years of writing and performing behind him. Driven by a small band, the musically diverse album proves Thompson has something to say and his lyrics stand firmly within that long lineage of his influences.

“this mature and confident album suggests he's bigger than the three minute song and is in for the long haul. “ -Graham Reid


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