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Dad rock 'I was delighted to get my dad on record at 81 years of age - it’s just a lovely thing to have' says Irish singing star Jack L

Jack Lukeman features mechanic father on new album from lockdown

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Jack has been performing live for fans

Jack has been performing live for fans

Jack has been performing live for fans

Irish singing star Jack Lukeman has honoured his beloved father by featuring the former mechanic on his latest album.

Jack, whose real name is Sean Loughman, credits his dad, Sean Snr, with giving him a passion for music that has led to his successful career.

Lukeman has been sharing stages with major artists, including Sting and Jools Holland, for the last couple of decades.

"I got my singing voice from my father and I was influenced by the music he had in the house when I was growing up, so it was really cool to finally have him on one of my records," Jack tells the Sunday World.

Sean, now 81 years old, is still recovering from a stroke he suffered two years ago, but he had previously recorded the classic songs, That's Life and Young At Heart, in his son's studio.

"When I was going through some old recordings that I had, I found some of my father singing, including the song That's Life. I was able to manipulate that into a duet, and then there was also a wonderful version of him singing Young At Heart.

"I was delighted to be able to get him on record at 81 years of age. It's just a lovely thing to have. He was in fine voice back then, but he's doing well since his stroke and we still drive around singing our heads off in the car."

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Jack on stage with his dad Sean Loughman

Jack on stage with his dad Sean Loughman

Jack on stage with his dad Sean Loughman

Jack, who comes from Bennetsbridge near Athy, Co Kildare, says his father worked as a mechanic all his life, carrying on a family tradition. "It goes right back to my great-grandfather who worked with steam engines," he reveals.

"My grandfather carried it on, as did my father. I worked at it for a short time in my youth, but my head was elsewhere and eventually I went busking all around Europe and never looked back.

"Although he followed the family trade, my father is a natural as a singer. When he recorded the songs that are on my new album he did them in one take, which amazed me as he was somebody with no recording experience. He's been a great supporter of what I do, and many of the fans known him from my shows."

Lukeman, who was tagged "the ultra-cool culchie" when he first arrived on the scene, had been making a good living touring with Jools Holland and supporting Imelda May, The Proclaimers and even golden oldie Neil Sedaka in recent years.

Then came Covid-19, and the man with the powerhouse voice that can be tamed and fashioned to interpret the songs of everyone from Leonard Cohen to Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan to The Beatles and Janis Joplin to Amy Winehouse, had all his shows cancelled.

Legends

This week, Jack should have been basking in the glory of a prestigious gig with Jools Holland at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall.

Another show he was looking forward to was a supporting role to rock superstar Sting in Germany. That show was also cancelled.

Instead, Lukeman has been performing Saturday night sessions on Facebook Live in recent months, doing his own songs as well as those of the legends.

"I was just getting ready to go back on the road and I had more than 50 gigs in the UK and Ireland when the lockdown came," Jack says, looking back on a year that silenced live music.

"Like most artists, I then started doing a regular Saturday night at 8pm gigs on Facebook Live, performing my own songs. After two or three of them I thought it was a good opportunity to do shows I had in my head, so I did Leonard Cohen songs, Bowie, Bob Dylan, Beatles versus the Stones, Johnny Cash… and I even did an '80s night.

"It was great because every week I was trying to learn all these songs I'd never done before, for gig on a Saturday night to a couple of thousand people online. It was edge of the seat stuff, but that got me through the first couple of months of lockdown. It was great for filling the time.

"My new album is a natural progression from that series of gigs. I said I'd do a 'best of' from all those gigs with my favourite songs, and I've had great support from the online audience."

Jack Lukeman's album, Streamed - The Best of the Lockdown Sessions - Vol 1 is available now from Jacklukeman.com He will performs Songs from the '80s on Facebook Live next Saturday at 8pm.

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