Cool Hand Luke's Mark Hicks issued an update on the trio today, announcing the exit of two of the band's three members and offers some thoughts on the band's future -- including his prediction that the project he's currently working on will be the final Cool Hand Luke release. Hicks writes...
Iím sitting with my wife at a coffee shop in Nashville called Fido. Brandy and I are sitting at the same booth we sat at the very first time we ever hung out. We came here to get away so she can work on taxes and I can work on this. I started writing this and then everyone I know came in. We ended up talking with friends for a really long time. I kept hearing, ďWhatís going on with Cool Hand Luke?Ē ďHow are things with the band?Ē I kept explaining the same thing over and over. So, I scrapped what I had started and Iím starting over. I donít fully understand it all myself, but I can see what God has done and I have some indication of things He is doing. I see that it is all good, but it may not be what I would have chosen or what you would have. So, Iíll try to catch you up now. If you look at our dates, youíll see weíve added a few shows. In the coming weeks, weíll be adding more. You should know if you come to one of these shows, you wonít be seeing a band. Youíll just be seeing me playing piano and singing Cool Hand Luke songs that youíve heard before (and maybe some new ones that you havenít).
The first two shows are right here at my home in Tennessee. Remember that band Aireline that we used to play with all the time--the one that you thought should have been headlining arenas instead of playing in your churchís basement with us? Well, my good friend Chris McMurtry who played guitar in that band will be playing with me for the first two shows. Iím excited about this because he is one of my best friends and one of my favorite musicians. I hope some of you can come out. Occasionally, I will have my wife and friends playing with me. Iíll tell you more about that as it unfolds.
THE BAND (OR LACK THEREOF)
So now youíre wondering why itís just me. Why no band? Because there is no band to speak of. Several months ago Casey, who played bass, left the band. I donít really understand fully why, but he had his reasons and he said it was best for him. We toured in January and our friend Lee filled in on bass. A couple of weeks after the tour, Joey and I talked and decided it would be best if we donít play together any more. It had gotten to the point that Joey and I didnít see each other except to rehearse or play shows. We no longer had any common ground beyond the band. We were growing apart philosophically and musically, and I just didnít feel good about trying to force something that wasnít there.
For the past few months I have been working full time at a small print shop in Franklin, TN with some men who are older and wiser than me. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from them, working hard, and doing my best to provide for my family. It has been a joy to learn something of what it means to be a minister to my wife. It makes things more complicated and yet so much richer. Itís harder to justify playing shows if it means taking off work and making less money. And yet, my wife and I see the virtue in doing what we feel to be an important ministry and trusting in our Lordís provision. So, whatís the future for the band? I can wholeheartedly say with joy and truth that I do no know. I donít have any agenda or plans other than following God where He leads me. I can tell you what I think things will look like, though. I want to play as much as I can to support The Sleeping House. Many of you have been asking Cool Hand Luke to come to some pocket of the US that we havenít visited for a few years. I hope to make it out to some of you. I get more excited about meeting some of you and being able to share my heart with you than trying to impress you with my musical prowess. When it is feasible, Iíll come playómaybe by myself or maybe with a whole slew of friends.
A NEW ALBUM
Additionally, I have begun writingóor begun to finish writingówhat I predict will be the last Cool Hand Luke record. I canít say when or where Iíll record it. I imagine it will be a drawn out process that involves a lot of people and a lot of places. Iím excited about seeing it unfold. Thatís all Iíll say about it for now.
Iíll try to keep you posted on all things Cool Hand Luke and be as honest as I can. Though Cool Hand Luke is just me for right now, I donít think or want you to think that it has been all about me for the past ten years. It has always been a group of people working together to produce art that makes us all think of something beyond tones and rhythms and points us to the center of the Cross of Jesus Christ. It is with a penitent and humble heart that I offer these things to you and encourage you to lift your eyes to the holy throne during this season of Lent. Love for all of you.
For more information on Cool Hand Luke, visit the JFH Artists Database.
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