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You can’t help but admire the tenacity of Lucas Jack, the old school, soulful piano man.

One day, something clicked in his head, and he decided to abandon a successful law practice — preferring instead to set up his piano on dusty Texas stages. From his perch in these smoky bars and ballrooms, Lucas Jack powers through ballads, while people enjoy the atmosphere he creates. He’s not just playing a piano anymore. Lucas Jack is painting a room with the stories of his life. More than anything else, Lucas Jack is a reflection of the man he is: A dad with two kids, and a wife he beams about. He leads a band that swaggers around stage like sailors, grinning and jamming. Make it Beautiful is filled to a surfeit with stories of fatherhood, loss, coping, and his struggle to navigate a music industry that doesn’t seem to “get” what he’s doing. (Sidebar: Even the bio he sent me didn’t make any sense, at all. So I did something I usually don’t do, and wrote this press release myself. Mostly because he’s just a humble dude who clearly doesn’t know how to describe himself. But anyway, I thought that was funny.) His second full length EP is like walking into an unfamiliar bar, and seeing some guy just wailing away in the corner, with a piano, for about a dozen people. It’s not a popular bar, but the music is fantastic, so you decide to order a beer. Four songs later, you’re into another beer, talking to the person next to you. The bouncy piano chords fill the room, and you get an idea for who Lucas Jack is. You ask the bartender who the piano player is. “Oh, that’s Lucas. He hauls that old upright piano in here every time he plays. I heard he was like a lawyer or something? I don’t know. He just came in here and offered to play piano one day, so I gave him a shot. Now he’s in here every week. People just like his stuff.” You can feel the narrative of his gumption through his music, and that’s hard to find. People say they want something “authentic” — which is the most overused word in any press release. Lucas Jack is authentically himself, a guy who probably should have been on stages in the 1970s, jamming with a bygone era of piano pop artists, yet he relents into our era. Nothing on Make it Beautiful is a compromise, or a song that’s written for the sake of writing a song. He’s telling stories about his kids. He’s talking about moving. His marriage. A life filled with joy. It’s a happy album, but sometimes there are moments of self-doubt. It’s a story of a life well-lived. An album should tell a story, and Make it Beautiful tells you exactly where Lucas Jack is, right now. You don’t have to be there to walk an hour in his shoes, and understand we share a universal need to tell our story.