Some look at everything COVID-19 has taken away from people, but a local country musician is looking on the bright side and making the most of the situation.
Brady Junker (stage name Brady Luke) is a Stanley-based country music artist with a love for every era of the genre. His live group, dubbed The Brady Luke Band, regularly performs live throughout the Midwest. Heading into the year the Brady Luke Band had a long list of performances scheduled, but COVID-19 has changed things dramatically for Junker and his band.
“It’s affecting us pretty heavily,” Junker said. “Most of us rely on playing shows as part of our income, so not having that has forced us to adapt. We’re trying to look at it in a positive way by allowing ourselves to be more creative with our songwriting and learning new songs. We’ve been trying to take advantage of the time we have, but we want to get back out on stage as soon as possible.”
The Brady Luke Band consists of Junker on acoustic guitar/vocals, Tristan Shuttleworth on lead guitar, Jake Morley on bass and Jeremy Svihovec on drums. The four-piece recently was forced to cancel their gigs through June due to COVID-19 restrictions, but instead of focusing on the disappointments, the group is taking advantage of their newly found free time to perfect their craft and release new music.
Brady Luke is releasing his new song titled “Half a Try,” a track about giving a relationship 100 percent of yourself and not taking advantage of the person you love by giving them less of yourself than they deserve. The song has what Junker describes as a “honky tonk vibe with a meaning,” and is the first offering from his upcoming second full-length studio album, due out sometime in 2020.
Junker said over time he has gravitated toward writing music that will put a smile on listeners’ faces and he was cognizant of this while writing “Half a Try.”
“I like to have a mix between fun and energetic music and some songs that come from a deeper place in my heart,” Junker said. “I just want songs people can turn on and have a good time. Over time I’ve tried to write more and more songs from that perspective.”
Besides releasing new music digitally and staying engaged with fans on social media, Junker said he and the Brady Luke Band are spending their time perfecting their live show and writing new music. The usual schedule for the band involves playing live most weekends of the year, so not having any commitments for at least the next few months has provided a plethora of opportunities for the band to come together musically and work on their live show so they’re prepared for the time when they can hit the country music stage again.
What Junker and the Brady Luke Band said they miss most during the COVID-19 pandemic is being able to play live, and they can’t wait for it to subside.
“It’s an irreplaceable experience,” Junker said. “You don’t know much you love and will miss something until it’s taken away from you for a period of time. All of us in the band want to get back up on stage and have people to play to. Not being able to play, talk to fans after shows and build those relationships is something we all really miss and can’t wait to get back to.”
The new Brady Luke song “Half a Try,” is available on all major streaming services.