According to his friend and frequent collaborator Matt Kinman, country singer-songwriter Luke Bell has passed away. Bell’s retro sound combined elements of Texas, Nashville, and Bakersfield. He was 32.
Bell, a manic-depressive who had flown to Arizona with Kinman for business but had vanished since Saturday, August 20th, was last seen in the Tucson area. A week after he went missing, his body was discovered “not far from where he disappeared, and in a manner, we all imagined he would be when we first got the news,” as reported by SavingCountryMusic.com. His autopsy results have not yet been released.
Kinman said to the media, “We came down to Arizona to work down here, perform some music, and he just walked off.” Kinman had played with Bell for six years. He was located in the vehicle’s cargo hold. I walked in there in search of sustenance. He had already gotten out of the truck when I stepped outside and disappeared.
Soon after, he vanished, “He could be in Tucson,” Kinman surmised. But, as was typical for Bell, “it’s probable he hopped a freight train.” Bell hitchhiked during his formative musical years and couch surfed as he was “semi-homeless and adrift,” as described by SaveCountryMusic.
His music has been called “classic honky-tonk with a wink and a yodel,” as stated by Rolling Stone in 2015. His original sound got him opening gigs for artists like Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., and Dwight Yoakam.
Bell has released three albums: a self-published debut in 2012, Don’t Mind If I Did in 2014, and an eponymous effort in 2016.
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