Luke Hawley

Luke Hawley

 Sioux Center, Iowa, USA

Leonard Cohen said, "If I knew where the good songs came from, I'd go there every time." That is what Luke pursues: Good songs. And he has the voice to carry them.

In addition to his songwriting esteemed chops (2013 Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project), Luke is also an award-winning writer. His collection of short stories and accompanying songs, The Northwoods Hymnal, won a 2014 Nebraska Book Award.


There is winter in Luke Hawley’s blood.  A dryness in his humor, an urge to huddle close to the warmth of his melody, a gruffness to his voice, like a thick lumberjack beard. His stories are wholly Midwestern, unassuming and funny, and you’ll find they stay with you through the bleak, help with the coping, without asking much in return. But Hawley knows the cold of winter is only a mirage and his words echo his vision; a storyteller in both short fiction and song form, he weaves the hope of spring into the horizon. He is the best parts of winter: the moody gray sky, sun coming in late to bounce brightly off the white atmosphere, cracking the tree limbs and relieving the evergreens of their burdens.


The Favorite Season

Written By: Luke Hawley

She says falls her favorite season even though it smells like death
But it's worth it just to watch the colors turn
And she knows all good things eventually see their end
Like when you set the leaves out to burn

She's got it tattooed on her hip so she never will forget
That a part of her has left this world for good
I'd like to write her on my skin and let her know when this world ends
I would hold her in my arms if I could

Ain't it the truth that we trade in our youth for grey hair and wrinkled skin
But ain't it a lie that when good things do die they never do live again

I am thinking if she'd let me I would tell her about forever and how some things simply turn to gold
When you think that they will fail you instead they stand beside you and hang around until the world explodes

So give me the spring give me trees turning green give me birds heading home from the south
This is redemption: The chance to try again the chance to choose faith over doubt

Little Bird

Written By: Luke Hawley

Oh Little Bird
How you carry all those heavy things with just your will and wings I'll never know
Oh Little Bird
You've got the strength of an army marching out to certain death you survey the scene and take the wind into your chest

And try try again
But oh why oh why and oh when oh when
Does the trouble end?

And as for me I've mostly been a quitter as long as I have been alive it's just been easier
But Little Bird
Watching you makes me want to finish something before I die before I leave this world and say goodbye

You don't have to be strong here
You can let down your guard here
I know it's been a long year
But you don't have to be strong here


Genuine (2002)

It's Easy to Get Lost Here (2004) 

Trees (2010)

Shorts (2010)

The Northwoods Hymnal (2013)

*Streaming at SoundClound and

Set List

I prefer sets around 45 minutes, just because I'm under the impression that it's best to leave them wanting more. But I can fill an hour and half. I don't have a particular set list, but I'll leave a copy of my last one.

1. Fact v Fiction (unrecorded)
2. Come Clean (Keep Your Eyes on the Sky)
3. The Favorite Season (
4. T-shirts and Oak Trees (unrecorded)
5. Not Me Babe (It's Easy to Get Lost Here)
6. Homecoming (It's Easy to Get Lost Here)
7. Slow and Steady (thegreatamericannovel1)
8. Happy and Dead (thegreatamericannovel1)
9. Little Bird (thegreatamericannovel1)
10. Oh Atlas (unrecorded)