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Luke Callen + Mckain Lakey $15

Thursday, April 25 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

In an age of quick fixes, flashing screens, and pop ‘songs’ that are more formula than art, an album that takes its sweet time is a radical act. “Also Going Nowhere”, Luke Callen’s third full-length effort is just that – a collection of songs that spread out through time and space, dripping with honest Midwest charm and a mischievous glint. It’s music that you can relax into, paired with lyrics you’ll want to chew on and savor, that ask something of their listener. These songs are proof and reminder: you don’t actually have to go anywhere at all to, you know, get somewhere.

That’s not to say the subject matters within this work are by any means easy or expected. Clementine follows a gun-totting mother up near the Taconite mines of Northern Minnesota. Deals go horribly wrong on the street corner in Lake Street Hustle. The cosmic, primordial soup mixes with wildflower seeds in Some Reason. These epic tales swirl alongside summertime swimming holes, interstate drives, fishing trips with Dad, and unlikely marriage proposals.All of it, grounded and cohesive in the hands of a locked-in rhythm section (Chris Grey on drums and Lauren Anderson on bass) playful lead guitar (producer Erik Koskinen) the warm hum of an organ Frankie Moscow, and of course, Luke Callen’s confident finger-picking and weathered vocal delivery.

This no-frills arrangement style is like a drink of water for those of us who crave something real and honest to listen to. The sonic palette pays homage to a whole plethora of elements endemic to the American music tradition without feeling derivative or landing too hard on any one side of the genre question. Sure, fans of John Prine, The Band, or Randy Newman will undoubtedly hear traces of Callen’s biggest influences, but there’s a modern assessment within the music that is the distinct voice of an artist coming into his own and sharing stages with fellow pickers and balladeers like Charlie Parr and Margo Cilker.

This album is Callen’s strongest recorded work yet – but even so, his work isn’t the type to get puffed up or ahead of itself. “The highway begins where it always ends/on the same goddamned street” he sings, a throwback to the title of the thing, which seems to be said with a wink and wiley understanding of the world in which we live today. Ultimately, Callen never strays from this central theme: our ordinary lives are noteworthy, and that miraculous, strange, beautiful things are happening around us all the time. We just need to take a seat, stay a while, and insist on using our attention for good. The album lands in the streams on February 2nd, 2024.

Luke Callen Official Website

Sometimes the pursuit of our greater humanity involves jumping into life head first. That’s what Mckain Lakey does. You can tell by her songs.

Armed with George the trusty road cat, a carful of instruments, and all the fight of a rambling, rural-raised, queer femme wanderer, McKain Lakey is one to be reckoned with. She’s the rare human who feels as comfortable wielding a chisel as she does a guitar, who can be as often spotted behind the soundboard in a crowded venue as discussing the intersections of race and gender in old time music with a classroom full of 5th graders.

Described by What’s Up Magazine as “a time capsule unearthed, fine-tuned and re-imagined”, Lakey draws creative inspiration from far corners of the American music tradition, tracing the lines of musical lineage that connect Old Time to Rockabilly, Country to Cajun to Dixieland. She’s a dedicated student of tradition, but at once unafraid to stare down convention through the modern lens of her lived experience. Her new album, Somewhere, blurs lines of old and new, referencing musical textures of past eras while unabashedly exploring topics of mental health, family separation, rural identity and queer love.

Mckain Lakey Official Website

Music 8-10 pm

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$15 cover charge will be added to your tab.


Thursday, April 25
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm