I love the kinship one can feel with a poet, author, or musician. The right song or poem can track you down and settle into the liturgy of your life. I count myself lucky to have had that experience too many times to count. I try to keep my ears open enough so artistic expressions can tunnel their way from my ears down to my heart and gut. It was a lovely New Mexican Fall day when one of my favorite poets suggested I listen to the song ‘Sand Hills’. I tracked song the down, put my headphones on, and followed the trails of the melody into the mysterious interior landscape mirrored by lyrical vapors traversing the natural landscape. That was my first taste of Luke Redfield.
Luke Redfield is an American folk singer who hails from my home state of Minnesota and now calls Austin, Texas home. He has crossed the country in true troubadour fashion, honing his craft along the way. As his website perfectly states it,
Luke integrates elements of classic folk, indie rock, and alt-country, his soulful songwriting explores the human condition through themes of love and landscape, adventure and inquiry—inviting all who listen to join in the dance of life.
Luke and I talk about our shared Minnesotan roots, how hearing Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ was turnkey moment in his life, what it means to be human, how Walt Whitman hoodwinked Ralph Waldo Emerson and so much more. Luke Redfield has a new EP titled “Love is All Around” being launched into the world on September 21st, you can buy this EP through Luke’s bandcamp site or go to LukeRedfieldmusic.com. The songs I’ve heard are a treasure. my daughter is already singing along with them.
With that, here is my conversation with Luke Redfield.
"In Distant Neighbors, both Berry and Snyder come across as honest and open-hearted explorers. There is an overall sense that they possess a deep and questing wisdom, hard earned through land work, travel, writing, and spiritual exploration. There is no rushing, no hectoring, and no grand gestures between these two, just an ever-deepening inquiry into what makes a good life and how to live it, even in the depths of the machine age."
- Orion Magazine
Chad Wriglesworth is a professor (at St. Jerome’s University), literary critic, book editor and writer. What most strikes me about Chad is his love of words. You will hear in our conversation how he lights up on the poetic turn of phrase, or a word that is precise enough to communicate exactly what is intended. Chad compiled and edited the letters for Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. This book is riveting and I begged it not to end. The tone, tenor and rhythm of the letters are the manifestations from the lives of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. If you are a fan of this podcast, you are no stranger to hearing about Wendell Berry; Kentucky agrarian, poet, novelist, essayist, to name just a few of his attributes. Gary Snyder is also a man of letters from the same generation and equally as counter-culture but from another slant. Snyder is a poet, Zen Buddhist, essayist and leans into a more hunter-gatherer philosophical stance.
Both Berry and Snyder have shaped the direction of my contemplative approach to not knowing, encouraging the way of ignorance (when ignorance is properly defined) and the practice of the wild. Chad Wriglesworth distills the essence of the selected letters so well in this conversation; he’s attentive, useful, poetic, and relishes the conviviality of the conversation.
To learn more about Chad's work, follow this link.