If you were at Bonnaroo this past weekend, you might have noticed that there was a LOT of Nashville to be found on every stage at the Farm. Civil Twilight brought their world pop, Bully pummeled Bonnaroovians with a wave of guitar sounds, and Anderson East broke hearts in This Tent, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell commanded the behemoth that was What Stage, and the Who Stage saw the likes of Dylan LeBlanc, Promised Land Sound, and Maren Morris bring unique sensibilities to the Bonnaroo crowd – but no other Nashville-linked performer at Roo embodied the ideal Nashville spirit quite like Luke Bell.
A road weary nomad who’s incorporated extended stops in Wyoming, Austin, New Orleans, and now Nashville into his exceptional spin on the honky-tonk country western of yesteryear. Luke Bell transported the Who Stage back to an early Robert’s-esque era of wandering narratives capped by cool breezes of lap steel and saloon-style songs from his upcoming full-length release, Luke Bell (out June 17th, on Thirty Tigers). Despite being wedged between sets from HAIM and Nathaniel Rateliff, Bell had no trouble attracting a sizable crowd that wanted to hear lead singles “Sometimes” and “Where Ya Been?” (a personal favorite of mine) in earnest. There was a unique air to Bell’s Who Stage performance – despite the stage’s modest size (and clever “breaking artist” nomenclature), Luke’s set felt like a watershed moment – that paired with his June 17th LP release – in which after a year’s time will has passed, there’s likely to be no one asking “who” Luke Bell is.
Keeping in style with his distinctive standing as Bonnaroo’s lone honky-tonk performer, Luke offered Lockeland Springsteen a Nashville Five wholly unique to himself and all other Nashville Fives – the five best Asian restaurants in Nashville. Feel free to check out any of the spots Luke listed on your way to his Luke Bell album release show this Friday, June 17th at The Basement, 8:30 PM, featuring Teddy and the Rough Riders and Chris Acker.
Luke Bell’s Nashville Five – Nashville’s Best Spots for Asian Food