Musician of the Month: Billy Lurken

This Musician of the Month specializes in a wide variety of music genres and tries to keep it...
This Musician of the Month specializes in a wide variety of music genres and tries to keep it as original as possible.(Dakota News Now Staff)
Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 4:50 PM CDT
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MITCHELL, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Billy Lurken’s love for music was already obvious as a child and is a reason his parents gifted him a guitar when he was nine years old. “My parents have always been big music fans,” Lurken said. “I don’t know if they thought it would stick, but they just bought me a guitar, got me lessons, and it stuck. It seemed to really come naturally for me and it’s something I love to do.” Eventually, music took him away from home and provided some opportunities to see more of the world. “I went to Moorhead State University up in Moorehead, Minnesota, got a music composition degree, moved to Nashville, and moved to Scotland for a couple of years,” Lurken said. “Then I moved back here and I’ve been here since.”

A decade in Nashville might have provided the most perspective on country music and original music. “A lot of people go down and give up, but you just need to learn from who you can, meet people, and listen to all kinds of music,” he said. Lurken said he discovered a lot of original music just across the border in Kentucky where he says the Blue Grass State was quite a surprise. Seeing people produce, write, and perform in that area is an experience he would not change.

Now that Lurken is back in Mitchell, he performs at quite a few venues in town but will be on the move now that the weather is warming up. “Sioux Falls I’ve got a lot of things lined up. Tinners, ROAM, PAve, Wilde Prairie Winery, Calico Skies,” he said. “I play out in Oacoma at Cedar Shore as well.”