Luke Walstead, 23, a Gig Harbor native, is a conscientious songwriter and guitarist.
On his debut EP titled Nobody Else, he outlines sharply on the song “My Life” what he wants to do with his life: “I want to be good at what I do/I want to do good with what I say/I need to know my life’s worth more than just a song.”
The five-track EP was released earlier this month, available on major streaming services like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play. Walstead recorded the original songs at AM Studios in Puyallup under the careful hand of engineer Michael Rabb. Troy Glessner at Spectre Studios in Seattle mastered the project, doing an exquisite job of elevating the brightness of the brass instrumentation and the fluidity of Walstead’s breezy vocals and pop guitar strumming that evokes big band crooner Michael Bublé and guitarist John Mayer.
“These were songs that I wrote from about September 2014 to January 2016,” Walstead said. “I’d written a bunch of other songs during that time, but I wanted to pick the songs that represented me well without putting me in a box. I like to be diverse. I didn’t want to do one thing. I wanted to put it all out there and be really genuine and try to be me.”
The title track and “My Life” represents Walstead’s love and appreciation for the Motown and R&B music of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He remembers in his youth listening to Roy Orbison, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Stevie Ray Vaughn on the oldies station.
Starting at the age of 7, and until he was 18, Walstead studied piano and music theory, taking private lessons. Because he was home-schooled, Walstead said he could choose to focus on piano lessons first thing in the morning each day.
When he turned 14, he started learning guitar. Because he had the music theory and piano playing down, picking up guitar was a cinch, he said. His earliest memory of music was of his father playing and singing Beatles music on the guitar to Walstead’s mother.
“I’ve always been mesmerized by music,” Walstead said. “There is no greater feeling than when I’m up on stage. It’s not the applause I like, it’s the quiet. When people hear the music and they stop talking and you’ve moved them, they get it. There is no greater feeling on earth — I’ve moved them.”
Five years ago, Walstead started teaching guitar lessons. He hopes to make a career out of teaching guitar lessons and also performing live.
No tour is planned yet to promote the EP. Walstead is sending his music to regional festivals and broadcast and Internet radio, in hopes of broadening his reach. He performs local shows at area restaurants and coffee shops.
His next performance is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 7 at Cutters Point Coffee in the Olympic Village Shopping Center in Gig Harbor.
“I already have a backlog of songs, some that are newer than the EP,” Walstead said. “I already have the next EP planned out. I would like to record this summer, maybe release around Christmas of 2017.”
To learn more about Walstead’s music, visit lukewalstead.com. Those interested in guitar lessons can email email@example.com.