Luc & the Lovingtons
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Luc & the Lovingtons

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band World Pop




"Freedom Song lyrics in the New York Times - Rock’s Most Benign Satisfactions:New Albums From Train and Jason Mraz"

Pick your poison: the simp or the cad. Being held through the night or getting a high five on the way out the door. Warm and fuzzy or cold and brusque. Pretty lies or ugly truth.

A stubborn genre endures: Pat Monahan of Train on “Today” last August. .
Jason Mraz performing in Park City, Utah, in January.

Jason Mraz, well, he would never hurt you. That’s been clear for years, but never more so than on his 2008 hit “I’m Yours,” a live show trifle that ended up becoming one of the most indelible pop songs of the last decade.

“I’m Yours” found an unlikely counterpart in “Hey, Soul Sister,” released the following year by the adult-contemporary rock band Train. Both were expressions of fealty, both used ukulele (or, at least, very tightly strung guitar), and both indicated the continuing vitality — if not originality — of soft rock, a genre maligned to the bones but stubborn.

But Mr. Mraz and Train, fronted by Pat Monahan, are not the same, not nearly so, as their new albums show. “Love Is a Four Letter Word” (Atlantic) is Mr. Mraz’s fourth and his most perplexing, and dense, relative to the warm directness of his previous work. It’s not an outright rejection of “I’m Yours,” but there’s nothing as direct or as uncomplicated. For Mr. Mraz this is a retreat.

Train, on the other hand, appears to have been energized by its brush with resurgent fame. “Hey, Soul Sister” was the band’s first major hit in eight years, and “California 37” (Columbia), its sixth album, resides gladly in its shadow, full of equally goofy songs, some more so.

At the time “Hey, Soul Sister” was easily the tackiest song written by the Norwegian songwriting-producing team Espionage, also responsible for Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable.” Espionage returns here, co-producing the album with the pop-rock savant Butch Walker, and the template is much the same: full-bodied but light arrangements, coated in Mr. Monahan’s nagging yelp.

That he was able to achieve something like affection on “Hey, Soul Sister” — a reference to his “untrimmed chest” notwithstanding — was a surprise. For Mr. Mraz, though, loving embrace comes naturally. He doesn’t have a powerful voice, but it’s reassuring and tender, a good match for his genteel folk and reggae-inflected rock.

“I see a sunset on the beach/yeah, it makes me feel calm,” Mr. Mraz sings on “The Freedom Song,” which opens the new album, continuing, “when I’m calm I feel good/when I feel good I sing.”

And so it goes on this album, filled with platitudes and, eventually, psychobabble, dippy even by Mr. Mraz’s standards. On “Everything Is Sound” he proclaims, “We sing out to protest/and to project/and to harmonize with birds.” Mr. Mraz used to revel in wordplay, but here he’s more apt to pun. He sings, “From a bird’s eye view, I can see/it has a well-rounded personality.” What’s he singing about? The world.

There’s one welcome moment of friction on this album: “Who’s Thinking About You Now?” a loose James Talyor-influenced bit of light soul on which Mr. Mraz makes his case to a lover under a hint of a dark cloud. Just a hint, though.

Mr. Monahan, on the other hand, is all drizzle and sleet, a clumsy seducer more interested in looking in the mirror than in your eyes. When a woman leaves him on “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” he says he’ll make excuses for her absence: “She went down in an airplane/fried getting suntan/fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand.” On “Bruises” he reconnects with an old friend. “Haven’t seen you since high school/Good to see you’re still beautiful/Gravity hasn’t started to pull quite yet,” he croons, adding, “I bet you’re rich as hell.” Even on the relatively straightforward post-breakup song “When the Fog Rolls In” he sounds smug.

These are pickup lines and breakup wishes irresistible only to the person saying them. They make up songs destined for music festivals at Sonoma wineries, where former live-hard-ers can reminisce about their more reckless younger days.

"Jason Mraz, 'Love Is a Four Letter Word': Video Track-By-Track - Freedom Song"

The universal message that led to Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" being the longest-running Billboard Hot 100 hit ever was one of the biggest inspirations of his newest record. "The success of 'I'm Yours' really woke me up to the power of songwriting and how it can affect many peoples' lives. How words can empower an individual. When I sing that song, I watch audiences turn and sing it to each other. That they're choosing to put those words in their own mouths, and give themselves or their time to someone else and sing 'I'm yours' that they won't hesitate anymore and this is it," he tells "That was a powerful, powerful experience. I wanted to continue that experience with this album."

And his newest album, "Love Is A Four Letter Word," draws inspiration from this amongst other themes. Despite seemingly falling out of it by calling off his engagement with fellow singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman, Mraz focuses his album on the concept to "celebrate love in a way that all of us strive to be loved and to love well. And love itself is such an extraordinary word that we use for so many things. We put a lot of pressure on that word, as soon as 'love' shows up in a relationship amongst friends, we put a lot more pressure on what that relationship means. But really 'love' shows up through our actions and how we help others and how we serve others."

Yet don't think the fans had nothing to do with this album. In fact, Mraz adds that they played a big role in choosing the final tracks. "I should really give all the credit to my career to fan support," the crooner adds. "I want to know which songs fans can see their own selves in the work. And that's important to me. And then of course being out on tour is the best because you start playing songs and of course the songs immediately end up on YouTube so you get to the next city and you can tell who's been watching and paying attention to the YouTube because people start requesting songs that they're becoming aware of.

So fans, see what you ultimately told Mr. A-Z should make the album as he goes track-by-track on "Love Is A Four Letter Word":

1. "The Freedom Song"

"'The Freedom Song' is the first cover song that I've ever put on any of my albums. It was written by Luc Reynaud from the band called Luc & the Lovingtons and he wrote this song in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with kids in Baton Rouge in a shelter. I heard this song and I heard the story of this song and was blown away. I immediately started performing it, this was about two years ago, because I felt the themes and the quality of the song really resonated and was in alignment with other songs I was performing. It just felt good. I became good friends with Luc and we toured around a bunch. So when it came time to make this album I just felt like this was a song that deserves to be heard and I know the commercialism of songwriting that I know in the end this song is going to come back and benefit Luc and the communities in which he wrote this song and I think that's really important."

"Luc & The Lovingtons Announced to Play at the Zagat Survey Pioneers Lounge"

The Mobile Food Rodeo is pleased to be teaming up with ZAGAT Survey, the world’s leading provider of consumer survey-based information on where to eat, drink, stay & play worldwide.

Join us from 3pm – 4pm on Sunday, May 6th for a special musical performance by Seattle’s own Luc & the Lovingtons.

Catch them in concert at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard on May 17th. TICKETS WILL GO ON SALE Thursday, April 26TH.

Zagat Survey will be hosting a set of local musical acts all day inside the Pioneer Lounge, so be sure to swing by review, hydrate and take break from the mobile culinary festival an the lines courtesy of Zagat.

Sign-up today for their VIF Experience Contest for you and three lucky friends to win the ultimate mobile foodie package. Click link for details.


Luc and The Lovingtons, a World-Soul-Pop Northwest band, are sharing their music and changing lives….and Hollywood is noticing. Their tune “The Freedom Song”, which was penned by the Lovingtons lead singer Luc Reynaud was covered by megastar musician and activist Jason Mraz and was just released as the second single off of his “LOVE is a Four Letter Word” album.

The “Freedom Song” shows how one song can truly affect the world. This song was born in the midst of the Hurricane Katrina disaster by Luc Reynaud and several children at a shelter in New Orleans. Eventually the “Freedom Song” was recorded in a studio by the children and Luc and The Lovingtons.

Since then, the “Freedom Song” has traversed the world and caught the attention of many, including Mr. Mraz. The Lovingtons opened for Jason on a national tour and the “Freedom Song” touched so many that Jason decided he needed to share this song with everyone. It is now available for download on iTunes and the lyric video is on YouTube

"Jason Mraz covers Seattle group on new single "Freedom Song""

Luc and The Lovingtons, a Seattle based world-soul-pop band, are sharing their music and changing lives....and people are noticing. Their tune “The Freedom Song”, which was penned by the Lovingtons lead singer Luc Reynaud, was released April 17th by Jason Mraz’as the 2nd single on his new album, “LOVE is a Four Letter Word.”

“The Freedom Song” shows how one song can truly affect the world. This song was written in the midst of the Hurricane Katrina disaster by Luc Reynaud and several children at a shelter in New Orleans. Eventually “The Freedom Song” was recorded in a studio by the children and Luc and The Lovingtons.

Since then, “The Freedom Song” has traversed the world and caught the attention of many, including Jason Mraz. In 2011, The Lovingtons opened for Mraz on a national tour selling more albums than any other opening act Mraz has ever had. “Freedom Song” touched so many that Mraz decided he needed to share this song with everyone. It is now available for download on iTunes and the official video is on YouTube.

“The Freedom Song is the first cover I’ve ever put on one of my studio albums. Written by a kindred spirit in a time of healing, Luc Reynaud put some joy in this thing. Thank you, Luc & The Lovingtons.” –Jason Mraz

Known for their raucous live shows but also their powerful message, they are a sincere and dynamic group with humble roots. Empowering lyrics flow from Luc Reynaud, backed by Chilean hip-hop artist Felipe Cañete and guitarist, Soleil Kelley. “One of our key missions as a band is to spread the feeling of unconditional love. Give it. Send it. Receive it. Honor it. Be it,” says Kelley.

Upcoming Seattle shows for Luc and the Lovigntons: May 17th at Tractor Tavern and May 25th at Northwest Folklife Festival.

Short story behind the song with Jason Mraz and Luc and the Lovingtons

for more info and free music go to:

Continue reading on Jason Mraz covers Seattle group on new single "Freedom Song" - Seattle Alternative Music | -

"Freedom Captivates; Luc of the Lovingtons in Morocco"

Troubadour Luc Reynaud recently racked up some serious frequent flyer miles.

The Methow Valley native and co-founder of Luc and Lovingtons traveled to Morocco last month for an exclusive engagement.

A royal admirer from Denmark celebrating her 40th birthday paid for Luc’s first class plane ticket to the North African country on the Mediterranean. Baroness Rebecca Wedell-Wedellsborg had rented a palace outside of Marrakesh, Morocco, as the opulent venue for her private birthday bash. With a large crowd of her closest friends and family to entertain, she invited Luc all the way from his current home in Seattle to perform one specific ballad: The Freedom Song.

How the baroness’ ears came to appreciate a tune penned by the 31-year old musician who lives thousands of physical miles and a few social milieus away is a classic tale of the power of music to resonate and raise the spirit of the human soul, becoming a self-propelled wave of connective energy... - Methow Grist

""Freedom Song": The Heartwarming Story of a Tune's Journey from Post-Katrina New Orleans Children, to Jason Mraz's Car Stereo, to Helping Free Modern-Day African Slaves"

"Freedom Song" was born in the midst of disaster. Written by Luc Reynaud and several children at a shelter in New Orleans, during Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. "Freedom Song" was eventually recorded in a studio by the children and Luc and the Lovingtons. From there it caught the attention of many, including noted musician Jason Mraz, who introduced the song to an organization called Free the Slaves.

"Freedom Song" traversed the world, finding its way to a village in Ghana. There, former child slaves find a way to release themselves through song, from the mental bondage that remains, even after their rescue by Free the Slaves. - LA Weekly

"CD Reviews: Luc & the Lovingtons & Blue Scholars"

When Winthrop, Wash., resident Luc Reynaud went to the storm-battered Gulf Coast in 2005, he expected to volunteer, not start an album. But four years later, the effects of that trip are draped all over his band's latest LP, Feel the Warmth. There's a definite "Kumbaya" appeal mixed into the disc's 13 songs (even the album's name comes across like a giant hug), although that's not a bad thing. Beneath all that, Reynaud and crew are delicately telling stories of those lands far away. On "Diembereng," recorded in Senegal in 2007, the kora, djembe, and talking drum take the forefront. Senegalese/Seattleite Thione Diop is also featured on the song, as Reynaud sings about the joys of life in Africa—a sharp contrast to what many of us hear on the news. Perhaps the disc's best tune, "Freedom Song," was recorded two years earlier at a refuge for Hurricane Katrina victims in Baton Rouge, La. As Reynaud's playful guitar strumming is matched with the harmonizing of children from the shelter, the healing power of music practically jumps through the speakers. The rest of the album was recorded in Seattle. Other songs, like album opener "I'm Awake," featuring children from a Madrona preschool, and "I Had a Dream," are more sing-along, and similarly warming to the soul. Ultimately, if what John Mayer would sound like in the world-music arena rather than in the pop realm sounds good to you, Feel the Warmth should do you some good. JONATHAN CUNNINGHAM - Seattle Weekly


It’s not everyday that Atlantic records label star Jason Mraz calls and asks for permission to borrow a song. The Grammy-nominated and chart topping singer who often draws comparison to John Mayer should have a bevy of upper echelon music companions to collaborate with. But for local singer-songwriter Luc Reynaud, that’s exactly what happened earlier this year when Mraz emailed him via MySpace. It turned out that Mraz got wind of the catchy tune, “Freedom Song,” that Reynaud released last summer with his band, Luc and the Lovingtons, and fell in love.

“So a few months back, I donated our tune “Freedom Song” to the organization Harmonic Humanity for a compilation album that homeless people were able to sell in connection with the Real Change newspaper on the streets of Seattle,” Reynaud recently said. “It helped raise something like $9,000 for the homeless and one of the artists somehow got that CD in the hands of Jason Mraz. He heard “Freedom Song” and hit me up on MySpace and said it was one of the most inspiring songs he’d heard in a long time. He asked my permission if he could cover the song, bring in a band and make it a smash hit.”

Hopefully, the song goes global and if you’ve never heard it before, Luc and the Lovingtons will be performing it this evening at Nectar Lounge in Fremont.

They’re by no means a big deal locally, although hopefully, one day they will be. Luc and the bulk of his band are originally from the Methow Valley in Central Washington and are still establishing a presence in Seattle.

A big part of the reason that “Freedom Song” is such an infectious, feel-good ditty that brings about the same sensations of Mraz’s breakout single, “I’m Yours,” is that Reynaud recorded it in Louisiana just weeks after Hurricane Katrina with children who had been displaced by the storm. The acoustic tune feels like a giant exhale in the face of tragedy.

Interestingly enough, this is Luc and the Lovingtons first show in Seattle since they returned from a brief tour of Chile a month ago. As the latest news trickles in across the web that region is now experiencing tragedy as well due to the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck this morning, I can imagine that tonight’s show will bear extra meaning for the group. One of the members in Luc and the Lovingtons, Felipe, is also Chilean. - PUBLICOLA

"Mraz faz cover de Luc & The Lovingtons"

Durante seu pocket show no NAMM 2010, no último dia 15, Jason Mraz cantou a música “Freedom Song”, da banda Luc & The Lovingtons. A banda segue o mesmo estilo de Mraz (com influências do soul, funk e reggae) e o vocalista, Luc Reynaud, inclusive é adepto do chapéu modelo fedora. Para saber mais sobre Luc & The Lovingtons - Official Jason Mraz Web Brasil

"Opening act: Luc and the Lovingtons"

Methow Valley natives Luc Reynaud (vocalist) and Jake Shaw (keyboard) unite in this Seattle-based funk-soul-reggae conglomerate, scheduled to warm up the crowd for the Blue Scholars show. Reynaud studied film and theater at the University of Washington, taught English in West Africa and created a music project for children evacuated from Hurricane Katrina. Shaw, recognized as an up-and-coming piano talent while still only in his teens, fronts his own jazz-funk trio in Seattle. Other combo members include guitarist Joe Sokol, singer Felipe Canete, drummer Lorin Boley, bassist Lynnex and cellist Big Al.

— Jefferson Robbins, World staff - The Wenatchee World

"Luc & the Lovingtons Opening for the Blue Scholars"

Good Fresh HIp Hop
and one big dance party
What could easily be “the best dance party the Methow Valley has seen yet,” will take place Friday (Feb. 20) at the Winthrop Barn when the Seattle duo The Blue Scholars comes to town.
Emerging out of the Northwest hip hop scene with soulful beats, poetically political rhymes and a reputation for energetic live performances, The Blue Scholars blend the personal and the political into one big dance party. It’s an evening “for those who like to dance, and aren’t afraid of some good, fresh hip hop,“ according to Methow Arts.
Emcee Geologic and DJ/producer Sabzi came together from vastly different musical approaches to experiment with a unique, new sound that echoes the classic boom-bap of a bygone era.
Prior to their collision, Geo had already performed as a distinguished battle emcee and spoken-word poet, while Sabzi honed his skills as a classical and jazz-trained pianist while attending indie ska and punk shows. Their partnership strikes a balance between worlds of poetic lyricism and beats you can dance to.
Luc and the Lovingtons, featuring native Methow Valley talent Luc Reynaud, Joe Potter, Jake Shaw and others will open for the Blue Scholars with a soulful collection of original reggae and funk-inspired tunes.
The concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door, available at Daily Business in Twisp and Winthrop, and online at Students with ID can purchase tickets at the door for $12. Call Methow Arts at 997-4004 for more information. - Methow Valley News


Send My Love - Release November 2011
Track: If We Hit You Right
Track: Elephant Stomp
Track: Send My Love

Feel the Warmth- Release August 2009
Track: Waves
Track: Freedom Song
Track: You Got Life



Luc & The Lovingtons are a World-Pop-Soul band out of Seattle Washington. Known for their raucous live shows but also their powerful message, their music takes the listener on a worldwide journey through Nigeria, Chile, the Methow Valley, Kingston, Detroit City and Seattle WA. Luc & the Lovingtons’ diverse membership yet unified soul allow them to authentically mix Afro Pop, Latin and Roots Reggae with spices of Motown soul.

With a social emphasis on their music and the knowledge of the power of Love, Luc & The Lovington’s know that songs must be accompanied by action. Front man Luc Reynaud founded the band after his trip back from New Orleans, where he was taking part in relief efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. While there, he collaborated with some displaced kids to create “Freedom Song". 5 years later in February of 2010, two time Grammy award winning artist Jason Mraz discovered “Freedom Song” and struck by the music and its story, began to perform covers of it around the world. Since then the Lovingtons have performed on a national tour with Mraz, selling more records than any other opening act in Jason's touring history. Mraz just released Luc’s “Freedom Song” as the second single on his new album, “Love is a 4 Letter Word.”

“..One of my new favorite groups, I think they’re one of the most heart-centered bands out there today” –Jason Mraz

In November 2010 Luc and The Lovingtons performed at The Freedom Awards Ceremony in L.A. The ceremony honors the top humanitarian leaders fighting against modern slavery today.

The Lovingtons released their sophomore album “Send My Love” in Seattle on November 11, 2011. The album inspires listeners to feel all the levels of Love, embracing the totality of its power. “As constant learners of the many shapes of love, this album reflects both the greater love we wish to propel ourselves into, as well as the one we are living in. We want our listeners to join us in a love that moves, a love that gives,” says front man Luc Reynaud.

Band Members Biography

Luc Reynaud (Main vocals, acoustic guitar)

Luc was born and raised in a small mountain town in eastern Washington. Brought up in a musical family he never considering himself much of a musician, instead humming in the background to the elegant voices of his father and eldest sister.

But music was his destiny, and Luc has spent the last 9 years dedicated to balancing both music and social service, traveling from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (Freedom Song) to Europe & finally Senegal in West Africa where he used music to teach Students English.

Luc is driven by the fundamental belief that we all have endless capabilities as long as we do not limit or judge ourselves. He is a social worker, a teaching artist and a lover of humanity and the earth.

Felipe Canete (Vocals, percussion)

Felipe was born in the city of Curico, Chile. He studied business at the University of Talca and theater in the city of Valparaiso. He moved to the United States five years ago and he is a founding member of the band.

A powerful stage presence and percussive mastermind, Felipe flips pure Chilean bred hip hop, while simultaneously singing beautiful 3 way harmonies and blasting out polyrythmic, multi lingual drum speak.

Currently he teaches theater, filming, and music in different schools though out Seattle.

Soleil Kelley (Electric Guitar-vocals)

Soleil is a laid-back Methow cat who after living in the hustle of New York City for several years has returned to the beautiful city of Seattle and re-connected with the Lovingtons.

Growing up in the Methow Valley in Washington, music flowed from serene mountaintops through green valleys and crisp rivers and provided a connection to earth and boundless inspiration. In the rich arts community of the Methow, Soleil took to playing the guitar from a young age and connected with Luc first as his guitar teacher, but more recently on the Lovington's "Feel the Warmth" debut, as a co-producer and performer. Now back in Seattle, he's come full circle and joined the Lovingtons full time to help the world feel more Love, Tons of it!