John Prine forced David Luning to drop out of college. Not at gunpoint or anything—the two had never even met—but the effect of hearing the songwriting legend's music for the first time had an equally compelling effect on Luning, who was studying film scoring at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at the time. Now an accomplished artist in his own right, Luning is preparing to release his most dynamic and gripping collection to date, 'Restless,' and he can trace it all back to one fateful night that changed everything.
"A couple of friends invited me over to share some songs at their apartment, and that was the first time I'd ever really listened to Americana music or folk or country or whatever you want to call it," remembers Luning. "They showed me John Prine, and it just resonated with me so much. I was like, 'Oh my god, this is what I have to do with my life.' I just figured it out in that moment." Luning dropped out of school almost immediately, moved back to his native California, and devoted himself to songwriting and performing.
After taking home the grand prize win at Buskerfest (Long Beach’s largest and longest-running battle-of-the-bands competition) and being named “Best Folk Act” by the OC Weekly, the on-stage bandmates and off-stage girlfriends of Bearcoon made a bold decision: to sell 95% of their possessions, quit their jobs, give up their apartment, and begin touring the country full-time. Following their sold-out album release show at Fingerprints Music in June 2015, the pair left town in a 1992 Chevy G20 conversion van they’d purchased off of Craigslist a few weeks earlier. Following its release their album, El Guapo, quickly reached the #1 spot on amazon.com’s “Hot New Releases” list and would go on to be voted “Long Beach Album of the Year” on the Long Beach Post’s public opinion poll. The duo spent 2016 touring the west coast and making appearances at several noteworthy festivals including the Joshua Tree Music Festival.