About

MAKING MUSIC since 1984

The early years

Luke Bulla has been singing and playing music most of his life. Touring with and singing in his family band from age four, Luke took up the fiddle at seven.

Over the course of the next few years, he won the National Fiddle Contest (in Weiser, Idaho) six times in his respective age categories. His seventh win came in the Grand Champion division at age sixteen, making him the youngest to have earned the title at the time. Entering Nashville’s Grand Master Fiddle Championship at age ten, Luke distinguished himself by being the youngest person to have made the top ten.

In addition to violin, Luke plays guitar and mandolin, and sings and writes songs.

Luke Bulla recording on fiddle
Luke Bulla, Lyle Lovett, and Keith Sewell performing
Luke Bulla and Shawn Colvin performing
Luke Bulla in the studio with guitar

On to Nashville

In the spring of 1999, Luke moved to Nashville to establish himself as a full time musician. He spent his early years in Tennessee playing fiddle in Ricky Skaggs’ band, Kentucky Thunder, which earned him his first Grammy Award.

Following the Skaggs stint, he became a member of the John Cowan Band. More recently Luke has performed and/or recorded with Brandi Carlile, Jim Lauderdale, Darrell Scott, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, Bryan Sutton, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Russ Barenberg Trio, Shawn Colvin, Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Peter Rowan, Patty Griffin, Glen Phillips, Rodney Crowell, and Earl Scruggs, to name a few. Luke was also a perennial instructor at Mark O’Connor’s fiddle camps in his early Nashville years.

Nashville and beyond

With his long-time friend Casey Driessen, Luke founded the band Wisechild, which toured briefly with John Mayer and Counting Crows. He also had a band collaboration, W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration), which included members Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Fiction Family), Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket), Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek, I’m With Her), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, The Attractions, Los Lobos), Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Wilco, Sheryl Crow, Beck), and Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker).

In 2009, Luke released a solo EP featuring Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Aoife O’Donovan and more.

That same year, Lyle Lovett asked Luke to join his Large Band, and he now tours full time in all of Lyle’s configurations.

Luke Bulla playing guitar
Photo by Evan Nickel

Recording and more

In 2015 Luke co-founded a Bluegrass/Americana record label, Pure Music | Nashville, with music and business executive John L. Heithaus. Luke’s LP, Who Loves You Better, was released by the label in May of 2016. Recorded at Zac Brown’s studio, Southern Ground Nashville, the LP was produced by Grammy winner Bryan Sutton.

Who Loves You Better showcases featured vocal performances by Sharon & Cheryl White, Maura O’Connell, Lee Ann Womack, and Sara Jarosz, complemented by a veritable A-List of Americana’s finest musicians, including: Jerry Douglas, Noam Pikelny, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Sam Grisman, Bryan Sutton and more.

Currently Luke is happy to be touring again and is working on a new EP slated for release in 2022.