Luke Pell performs on home ground Saturday

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

He may be better known to millions of viewers for his stint on the reality TV show, “The Bachelorette,” but country music singer-songwriter Luke Pell still considers himself a Burnet, Texas, boy at heart who has been fortunate enough to chase his passion since graduating from Burnet High School in 2003.

At 9 p.m. Saturday, Pell and his band will perform at Toupsie's in Lampasas. It marks the first time since the Burnet Concert Series in May 2016, when he opened for Kyle Park, that Pell has played this close to home.

“I'm very excited and so glad to be back and to get to play on home turf,” he said. “We last played Toupsies about two years ago, so it's been a while since we've been there as well.

“I've been in Nashville now for some time, working as songwriter and as a recording artist. A lot of people who may have seen me in the past will now get to see how I've been working hard the last few years to build a band and a great show. We're going to put on a high-energy, great show for everyone.

“It's been great to really chase something I am passionate about,” he added. “I've had so much support from people, especially the folks back home. Every time I come home to the Hill Country and Central Texas, everyone is so supportive of my career, from time in military and in West Point to now, and they always want to hear what I am up to and how things are with me.

“It seems like yesterday I was graduating from Burnet High School. The last 10 years have really flown by, but it still makes me feel warm and fuzzy to come home and call Burnet home, and same with Lampasas and Marble Falls.”

Currently, Pell and his band are playing gigs on both coasts and all points in between as he promotes his latest singles, “Pretty Close,” “Best Thing You've Ever Done,” and “Drink You In.”

“We're all over the place these days and playing coast to coast,” Pell said. “Next week, we're playing Washington, D.C., on June 30, and then Los Angeles on July 1. Being on the road, I don't get to come home as much to Central Texas as I'd like.”

Going places is not new to Pell, who played football at the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 2007, before becoming an Army platoon leader in Afghanistan. Pell would later serve as a fire direction officer, a fire support officer and a battalion operations officer. He rose to the rank of captain before leaving active duty in 2012 after five years in the military.

After pursuing other career options, Pell went to Nashville to pursue his passion as a country music singer-songwriter, where he has been building a steady repertoire of solid, country songs that blend his background and love of Texas red-dirt country music and other influences that come from growing up in the Hill Country just minutes from Austin, the capital of live music.

“It's been great having so many different influences and music genres in Central Texas and growing up around that, especially that whole subculture they call red dirt or Texas country,” Pell said. “I grew up listening to a lot of that. Those guys have been an influence on what I do. One of the coolest things about being a songwriter or artist is your sound is unique to you as a person and what you grew up on.”

Then, in 2016, Pell was chosen to appear on Season 12 of ABC reality TV dating series “The Bachelorette,” which featured Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher, a real estate developer from Dallas, trying to find a husband among 25 eligible suitors. Pell and Fletcher had great chemistry and he brought Fletcher home to Burnet to meet his folks, Bill and Susie Pell, who still have a ranch near town, and enjoy a weekend with family and friends.

However, Fletcher surprisingly eliminated Pell just short of the final three in Week 8 and would eventually choose former NFL quarterback Jordan Rogers instead. Pell was in the running to be “The Bachelor” on the 21st season of that hit TV series, but producers instead chose former Bachelorette contestant Nick Viall.

“'The Bachelorette' was an experience in and of itself,” Pell said. “It has been a roller coaster ride having been on that show. It certainly opened a lot of doors for me, but it also has brought a lot of challenges.

“It's a double edged sword being on reality TV. There are a lot more people now who are fans of music and have become supporters of mine. I've met so many people this year. At the same time, some people have only been introduced to me because of what they know as my 'character' on a reality TV show. They don't get to know the rest of the story of the guy who grew up in Burnet, Texas, and went to the military and who is chasing his passion to be a country music artist.”

Pell notes the show never touched on his career in Nashville before Hollywood came calling.

“It is interesting trying to reintroduce myself to the world with the full story,” he said. “Some people think that after I was on this reality show, I just decided I wanted to end up in Nashville and that this is something new, but what they haven't found out is this is something I had been doing for years before.”

For more information about Luke Pell, check out his wbsite at lukepell.com. For tickets to Saturday's show, check out the link: http://bit.ly/2rXjUzk.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet