Cool Hand Luke (band)
|Cool Hand Luke|
|Origin||Nashville, Tennessee United States of America|
|Genres||Indie, alternative rock, pop|
|Labels||Floodgate Records 1998–2007
Lujo Records 2008–10
|Past members||Jason Hammil
Cool Hand Luke was initially formed by Brandon Morgan and Jason Hammil in 1998 while they attended Middle Tennessee State University. A punk rock-influence showed itself within the band's early music, although the range and scope of Cool Hand Luke's sound changed quickly after Mark Nicks joined the band. With Nicks on drums and lead vocals, Cool Hand Luke quickly became known for playing with their backs to the crowd, lengthy, emotively expressive songs, and deeply introspective lyrics. They were signed to Floodgate Records in 2002, releasing two full-length albums (2003's Wake Up, O Sleeper and 2004's The Fires of Life) through the label. After an extended hiatus (during which time Nicks spent time playing drums for Atlanta, Georgia's The Chariot), Cool Hand Luke released a "retrospective album" entitled The Balancing Act, thus fulfilling their contractual obligations to Floodgate Records. The Balancing Act contained songs from their earlier independent releases along with tracks from their Floodgate discography.
In October 2008, Cool Hand Luke released their newest full-length album, The Sleeping House, on Lujo Records. The album, produced by Matt Goldman and showing such diverse influences as Shudder to Think and Keane, comprises twelve piano-based songs of a depth, intensity, and relative darkness unseen before in Cool Hand Luke's work. The artwork-intensive album, complete with an enhanced CD, features comprehensive lyrics, explorations of each song, a music video, and in-depth exploration of the meanings contained within the decidedly cryptic artwork.
On March 22, 2009, Mark Nicks (the sole remaining member of the band) announced that he was working to complete what he plans to be the final album under the "Cool Hand Luke" name. Nicks reported that he has no projected release date for the album. He has mentioned that he is considering titling the last album "Of Man".
Cool Hand Luke's final album, "Of Man", was released on March 25, 2011. Mark Nicks said, "The album tells the story of Jesus’ final days, from the perspective of the people in His life. Part rock, part classical, part film score, this is the capstone of Cool Hand Luke’s 13-year career. Over 30 friends contributed to the making of this album, including members of Underoath, Elliott, Quiet Science, Aireline, and the Kopecky Family Band." Only 500 physical copies of the album were pressed.
- Mark Nicks – vocals, drums, keyboards/piano (studio) (ex-The Chariot)
- Jason Hammil – guitar (1998–2003)
- Chris Susi – guitar (2004)
- Brandon Morgan – bass (1998–2004)
- Nathan Lee - drums (2006)
- Philip Smith – drums (live) (2006–8)
- Joey Holman – guitar (2006–2009)
- Demo Schmemo (1998)
- ...So Far EP (1999)
- I Fought Against Myself (2001)
- Wake Up, O Sleeper (2003, Floodgate Records)
- The Fires of Life (2004, Floodgate Records)
- The Balancing Act (2007, Floodgate Records)
- The Sleeping House (2008, Lujo Records)
- Live at The Brown Owl (2010)
- Of Man (2011, Independent)
- Nicks, Mark (2005), "Cool hand Luke", December hotel (interview).