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The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport

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Raised in East Nashville, this rootsy singer/songwriter moved to Brooklyn (where he wrote these songs) and then Montana (where he honed them) before returning to Nashville (where he rolled tape). The acoustic guitar and lonesome fiddle notes opening “I Don’t Want You Anymore” reveal that Roberts is still playing a melancholy Americana similar to that on his 2011 debut album, Big Bells and Dime Songs. But on closer listening, you can hear more complex changes and dynamic arrangements that give his endearingly warbling inflections more room to stretch out and travel. In “Cartier Timepiece,” Roberts’ weathered vocals sound more upfront and intimate, letting his textured timbre sing over some folky fingerpicking. A full band joins in on “His Song,” where a simple drum kit holds down a head-nodding tempo alongside root-note bass playing. Over this, Roberts plays an electric guitar solo reminiscent of Neil Young’s single-fingered approach, while crooning like One Foot in the Grave–era Beck. Emily Sundblad's honeyed backing vocals add another dimension to Roberts’ musings.


Born: Nashville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Raised in East Nashville, indie folk/Americana singer/songwriter Luke Roberts spent his formative years singing and dancing at church and taking saxophone lessons before picking up an acoustic guitar. His experiences exploring the rougher edges of town, specifically the old train yards, helped to fill in the stories and characters on his debut album. Recorded by Kyle Spence (Harvey Milk) in Athens, Georgia, Big Bells and Dime Songs was released in 2010 on the Ecstatic Peace! label, and reissued in...
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The Iron Gates at Throop and Newport, Luke Roberts
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