Luke James Shaffer
227 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA, 22180
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is all ages
Rooted in vocal harmonies, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, banjo and an eclectic range of additional instrumentation and soulful arrangements, Beta Radio’s Americana-folk sound is the result of a decade-long collaboration between Ben Mabry and Brent Holloman.
Mabry and Holloman met at summer camp in the North Carolina mountains while on break from high school and immediately formed a musical kinship, bonding over the sounds of another musical duo, Simon and Garfunkel. Throughout high school and college, they found themselves in multiple hard rock and metal bands, an ironic juxtaposition considering the 60’s folk sound that first brought them together. Later, through a cycle of “on again, off again” writing and demoing during and after college, Mabry and Holloman had a collection of songs ready for a studio, and in the winter of 2009 they sat down to record their debut album, Seven Sisters. Seven Sisters was recorded and distributed without label support and enjoyed a grassroots success built largely on the back of internet music services Pandora and Spotify.
Beta Radio’s most recent studio release, Colony of Bees, is a layered and ethereal offering that treads into new territory while at the same time managing to effortlessly keep one foot firmly rooted in the Americana-folk arena that they have called home for many years. The Huffington Post calls Colony of Bees “sonically lovely” and included it in the top ten roundup of their 40 “Best Albums of 2014.”
Luke James Shaffer
Singer-songwriter Luke James Shaffer’s story is the kind of yarn that packs an anthemic dose of rock n’ roll romanticism. Seven years ago, Luke was toiling away as a server in a restaurant, longing to be a full-time singer-songwriter. In one moment of fevered enlightenment and hope, he turned to his friend and co-worker and asked if she thought he should pursue his dream. She said yes (by the way, that wouldn’t be the only time she said yes to a crucial question—the two are now married).
Today, Luke is basking in a new era of unbridled creativity and unbounded possibility while enjoying a familial partnership with House Music Group. His exhilarating, Bourbon Street-spiked first single “Pressure,” from his debut EP (with HMG), also titled Pressure, rocketed to the Top 20 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts in January 2018. Luke has also amassed a robust YouTube audience with his live-looping cover videos and intimate renditions of popular songs, garnering over 1 million views.
The key to his success? “I always strive to create positive vibes because life is beautiful even when things aren’t beautiful,” the Washington, DC-based artist says.
Luke exudes gentlemanly charm and earthy sophistication. His congenial easy-spirited musicality traverses alternative Americana, folk-pop, country, soul, gospel, and the intimate singer-songwriter genre. His warm and soulful singing have garnered him comparisons to Adam Levine, The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Zac Brown, and Mumford & Sons. Currently, he’s backed by an intuitive collective of ace musicians, including Sean Mahon, piano/guitar/backing vocals, Daniel Brown, bass, and Jeremy Thompson, drums.
Recent career highlights include partnering with the Global Mental Health Alliance on his song, “We’re All a Little Crazy,” which reached the Top 50 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts and amassed over 60,000 spins on Spotify in just 3 months. A portion of the proceeds for this track will go to the Foundation. Luke also wrote and recorded the single “Cliff Dive” with bassist Austin Bello (Forever the Sickest Kids) which was picked up by The Travel Channel and featured on the show Expedition Un- known.
Past career highlights include making it to the Top 50 candidates on American Idol two years in a row; being cast on the web-based reality show Take The Stage with music manager Johnny Wright where he placed third, earning him an opportunity to work with LA-based producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins (Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga); and playing Madison Square Garden with an agency cover band.
As a singer and songwriter, Luke puts forth sweet and soulful enlightenment with a purity of expression that extends to his decision to never use auto tune. “My music comes from the heart—I say the things in a song I can’t say any other way. I love to tell stories, and I believe there should be truth and honesty in music and lyrics,” he shares.
Luke grew up in Ohio, and, as a child, was painfully shy—his mother had to indulge his love of singing through gently nudging him to join choir. Even though his father played guitar growing up, Luke didn’t really listen to music until he started playing it himself on a guitar he and his two brothers got for Christmas. Isolated from many kids his age through being home schooled, his musical world were the sounds he heard at home. One sound he didn’t like to hear at home was his younger brother growing more proficient on the guitar than he. “As an older brother, I just couldn’t have that,” Luke states. So, as a late bloomer at 18, Luke started playing and writing songs and fell in love with the expressive possibilities of songwriting
In pursuit of his passion, Luke moved to NYC after graduating college. For 2 years, he continued to write and play music, while waiting tables to pay the bills. After money got tight he reluctantly made his way back to Ohio to work at an old restaurant he waited tables at as a college student. That is where and when Luke made the fateful decision to give music one more shot. To this end, he moved to DC and signed up with an agency and began making a living singing cover songs. In joining forces with House Music Group in 2018, he found a platform that would nurture his gifts as an artist and support him in the decision to focus on only original music full-time. “They have faith in me. This is a big step that I don’t take lightly,” he says.
Pressure represents a culmination of a creative partnership with House Music Group producer/songwriter Daniel Strauch. The songs on the EP came together, as Luke says “pesticide free,” meaning they were created organically. The pair cherry picked a cohesive five-song collection for the EP’s rousing and redemptive roots rock aesthetic.
The EP’s first single is the invigorating gospel-infused pop-rock title track which boasts spiritual uplift, anthemic hooks, and heaps of soul. “That song is a reminder that there is only so much we can control, and, if things don’t go the way we plan, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just life,” Luke shares. The single will be paired with an animated video that addresses bullying issues in high school in a sharply insightful and entertaining way. Pressure’s second single will be “How Sweet The Sound,” a storyteller romance that glows with vintage soul touches like a Hammond B3 and smoldering grooves.
Luke is on the precipice of fulfilling his dream of doing original music full-time. Up next, he will tour behind his EP and record its follow-up release. “There is a lot of pressure associated with this,” he acknowledges with a sly pun. “But I have a strong faith in everything we are doing. I have the attitude that when you put the hard work in, believe in yourself and your team and manifest a positive outcome for your life, things will work out.”
Advance $12 | Day of $15
• Full dinner and drink menu available
• The Premier Plus section is a raised area with great views and reserved seats and tables. There is a dedicated server for faster service