As many businesses and public spaces remain closed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the live entertainment economy has ground to a halt. While livestreams can’t replace going out to a show (economically or otherwise), they’re a great way for artists to raise funds to help replace lost income from canceled tours or to support important causes. Just as importantly, streams let musicians carry on the important work of connecting with an audience. In that spirit, Nashville Scene has launched No-Contact Shows.
Their 12th installment Luke Schneider will livestream from The Blue Room. Over the past two decades, he’s contributed the skill he’s honed on his 1967 Emmons push-pull pedal steel into a wide range of projects, including the post-rock ensemble Character and William Tyler’s stylistically expansive folk-rock-meets-krautrock-and-more band. Schneider has also played in bands of other folks who hew closer to country sounds, like Margo Price, Caitlin Rose and Orville Peck, as well as country-psych group Teddy and the Rough Riders.
This past summer, Schneider made his live solo debut and announced a project he’d been long at work on: his debut record Altar of Harmony. The album, released May 15 via Third Man Records, follows in a fine tradition of pedal-steel artistry by highlighting even more capabilities of the instrument. Inspired by New Age composers, Schneider uses the steel and a bank of effects devices in service of majestic, introspective compositions, in which rolling melodies ride on rich clouds of harmony that seem to hang in the air.