Singer-songwriter Luke Spehar stopped by Denver Catholic for an exclusive studio session during his All Is Gift Tour, and is offering free music downloads to Denver Catholic readers (see bottom of story).
Spehar is a Minnesota native and cradle Catholic. He said that while his faith has always influenced his music, he was never drawn to produce “corporate” praise and worship songs. Instead, he wanted to emulate his musical heroes, most of whom are acoustic performers.
“When I started picking up the guitar, for me it was more interesting to play finger style and learn early folk musicians,” Spehar said. “That was just more interesting to me, and so, musically, that’s just the direction I pursued.”
All of Spehar’s songs flow from personal reflections. For example, “Sweet Memories” explores his relationship with his siblings and their shared experiences growing up in Minnesota.
“That’s ultimately what inspired this song: the beauty and the gift of family, and just the sweet memories that you form, even at such a young age, that are a part of you and you keep with you as you grow up,” Spehar said.
Spehar joined the seminary after high school, which he said was a tremendous gift. Another of his songs, “An Explanation,” deals with his emotions surrounding a breakup before he entered.
“[It’s about] that struggle of moving from my plan to the Lord’s plan, and the pain that can cause. It was a really honest song for where I was in my life,” he said.
Spehar was in seminary for four years before he said he felt the Lord call him out. He said he spent those years praying that God would set him on fire for his next move. It was during his last year of college seminary that he released his first album, “Be Still.” Spehar said the release party was a success, with a few hundred people in attendance.
“I was in a different place of joy, and I really hit a stride,” Spehar said.
He prayed, and said he became assured that God wanted him to pursue him through music.
“I think that’s one of the most exciting things about being extreme in your faith,” Spehar said. “I made an extreme move in faith to think about being a priest… The Lord rewarded me by showing me what I wanted. I think that’s the biggest thing, is he showed me what I wanted and then he gave it to me.”
Spehar is now married, with a baby on the way. He and his wife blog about their adventures as a newly-married couple on tour at www.lukespehar.com. He continues to write music and practices relentlessly, especially his more technically difficult songs, such as one about St. Michael.
He said “To St. Michael” flowed from a feeling of gratitude for the angels that protect us. His song mimics the anxiety of a spiritual attack—beginning with slow picks and crescendo into a multi-layered rhythm of rapid chords.
“It’s a very challenging song,” Spehar said.
Spehar is offering free downloads of three of his songs to Denver Catholic readers. You can download “Sweet Memories” here, “An Explanation” here, and “To St. Michael” here. He offers an additional song at his website, www.lukespehar.com.