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Friday, July 28th, 2017
Musician Profiles

Luke Langford Makes Country Cool Again

Luke Langford has created a country music tour de force with the newly rebranded Luke Langford Band (formerly Luke Langford & the 331 South Band). The band name was recently shortened with the hopes that it would be easier to market and tour under beyond Beachcomberland, as Langford has his sights on a pretty big future.

It’s worth mentioning that cowboy boots and worn jeans aren’t for show. Langford can be found on the family farm most days, the popular Cypress Cattle & Produce in Freeport. We actually conducted the interview while he was heading out to deliver a load of lumber to a customer.

Surprisingly, Langford only recently stepped behind a mic. “I never sung a note or played in front of anybody until I was 31,” he says. “I was very professionally minded throughout my 20s. I got started running the family farm and got busy with that.

“When I came home from college, the farm needed a little work and some help getting back up to speed. My dad wasn’t in the best of health, and you have all this pressure of legacy…when I came home, I put my nose to the grind on that and really leaned in.”

Although Langford had a Taylor guitar, it wasn’t until he built his own family that he began to reconnect with music. “When I had my two boys and started doing bath time routines for them, I got my guitar and started playing again.

“I don’t remember the circumstances around it,” Langford admits, “but somehow I ended up at a Redd’s Fueling Station on open mic night.”

That’s all it took for Langford to get hooked on performing. The first incarnation of the band came together, and the nameless group booked their first show. “I think my first actual gig was at 4C BBQ at DeFuniak Springs,” says Langford. “I’ve always loved themed events, and we didn’t have a name for the band. So we said screw it, and the first gig would be a Name That Band gig.

“On the breaks, we had this big tip jar and you’d roll up this piece of paper and write what you think the name of the band should be. And they were all horrible. They were so bad.”

After nixing the suggestions, they put their heads together and dubbed themselves the 331 South Band.

“I had no idea that country music would be as popular down there as it has been,” says Langford. “I’m still learning as I go, as far as the music scene.”

The band won Best Country Artist at the 2017 Beachcomber Music Awards. “I had no expectations going in. I was really honored… It was nice to be recognized. We don’t take it for granted, and we don’t take it lightly. What you guys do with Beachcomber, it helps establish a music scene—to be a part of that and be labeled as the best country band, we will take it anytime we can get it.”

Although Langford’s name being front and center, he is quick to praise his bandmates. “I have guys around me that are just complete and total badasses.” The lineup currently includes Langford on guitar and vocals, Clayton Lancaster on guitar and vocals, multiple Beachcomber Music Award winner Matt Miller on fiddle, Jon Webb on bass and vocals, and Scott Fryer on drums and vocals.

Fryer is the newest addition—he joined the band in late May. “Scott is a pro,” says Langford. “His effort leaning into this project with little to no notice—he learned 60, 70 songs to the T in two to three weeks. He put a monumental effort into it out of the gate, and he’s a phenomenal drummer.

“We play four or five nights a week, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I love playing live—getting up in a bar, having that place burn to the ground, packing it out and watching people have a good time. That’s just where I want to be.”

There is also an album on the horizon. Recording and releasing it are a matter of timing. “When you play four to six nights a week, you can’t (record),” says Langford. “We’re all trying to make sure we take care of the home front, and most of us have day jobs. I want this stuff recorded yesterday, but in the interest of putting out best foot forward…

“Whenever it is, I want it to be a good representation of the band and the sum of all its parts. We got something here that we want to hang onto, and I want to make sure that a solid record is put out.”

The Luke Langford Band’s shows are slowly becoming part of local legend, mixed with a fair amount of tequila shots. “It is a lot of fun. If someone is coming out to see our show, they probably want to wear comfortable shoes because we love to see people dance.”

Keep up with the band at www.lukelangfordband.com.