Luke Stanton describes his music as eclectic.
The singer-songwriter is a local kid who grew up on Raft Island. His mom, local artist Lita Dawn Stanton, is his biggest fan. When he was 12, she gave him his start by trading a portion of her art gallery in downtown Gig Harbor to a music teacher in return for free lessons for her son.
“My mom said I was good from the beginning, but I think I just did OK. I knew that for the first several weeks it was not sounding that great, but I put a lot of time into it once I got into it. I could play a bunch of Dave Matthews songs at 12 years old,” said Stanton.
Currently working in construction during the day, he follows his passion nearly every evening and weekend by performing throughout western Washington at coffee shops, breweries, wine bars, festivals and open mics.
His first CD should be available by the end of May.
Stanton said he immersed himself in the music right from the beginning.
“Hours would disappear and they still do,” he said.
He started singing a couple of years ago when his cousin, Lucy Horton, who he describes as a “phenomenal singer,” asked him to play backup for her for a couple of shows.
“She asked me to try a few harmonies, and I said, ‘I don’t know about that. I sing in the shower and in the car.’ But she convinced me and it actually sounded OK,” he said.
Horton encouraged him to sing more often, and he started writing his own music. Stanton said he writes music based on his own experiences, some good, some not so good. But it is always therapeutic.
“After a bad breakup, I wrote a lot, and it really helped me get through it,” he said.
Stanton said being in front of an audience and knowing they are enjoying his performance is the best reward. “Every show feels like a therapy session that 100 people are sitting in on,” he said.
His performances include his own music as well as well-known songs.
“Since I’m not well-known, these songs help keep the audience’s attention,” he said, adding that in each of his performances, he is trying to cycle in more of his original songs.
“Keep Your Distance,” and “Slow Down,” original Stanton songs, can be viewed as You Tube videos on his website at lukeonguitar.com
Stanton’s schedule is brutal.
“For the last two months I’m so busy I feel like I should be going crazy, but I love it so much,” he said.
His long-range goals are to perform enough to support himself with his music, but he said he is also a rational person who recognizes that when it comes to music, a lot of success is pure luck. He won’t give up.
“I love playing music and I’ll never stop doing it,” he said.
Stanton’s mom is still his biggest fan.
“She comes to about 90 percent of my performances,” he said.Joan Cronk is a freelance writer for the Gateway. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.