Casual “Gilmore Girls” fans know him as Luke Danes, the curmudgeonly but thoughtful owner of Luke’s Diner and eventual, if not always-certain, paramour of Lorelei Gilmore.
Serious “Gilmore Girls” fans also know that Scott Patterson, who portrays Luke on the long-running series, also is a singer and songwriter, and it’s that side of Patterson that fans will see Sunday when he brings his 2017 Atomic Love Acoustic Coffee House Tour to Las Vegas.
Patterson’s band, Smithradio — their most recent EP is “Revolution” — plays rock and power blues, but fans on this tour will hear a different side of Patterson’s music.
“What I always remember from the great (rock) shows is, you take people by the throat and just go,” he says. “But on the acoustic side, we’re completely different, and there are three or four songs in the set that are, quote-unquote, rock, tunes that we’ve acoustified, if that’s a word. But the rest are some very intimate, lyrical songs people haven’t heard from me yet, and I’m ready to share those.”
Fans seem to like them, he adds. “We’re finding most of the 25 gigs we’ve booked so far are selling out, and we’re just gonna keep going either until I collapse or when my voice decides to leave me.”
Playing coffeehouses isn’t anything new to Patterson, 58, who was a singer/songwriter long before his acting career took off. During the late ’90s, “I was doing LA. coffee shops and doing a lot of open-mic nights,” he says.
“I wanted to revisit this this whole thing because, as a songwriter, I think you have better songs to share with everyone. And, I wanted to get out there and connect with my fans, and you don’t really get a chance to do that when you’re doing a TV show.”
Actually, Patterson’s music career goes back even farther, to third grade, when he and a few friends formed a band with, he jokes, “the unfortunate name of The Unknowns.”
“We played parties and assemblies for the entire school,” he says. “And when I got into high school, we got better. We played battles of the bands locally.”
Like most aspiring musicians — like most kids — of the era, The Beatles were a strong influence, hitting Patterson like “a bolt of lightning.”
By 13, he was writing his own songs. “I grew up in the golden era of rock and roll,” he says. “So I’m also a huge fan of folk music, a huge fan of Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Neil Young, and all the great songwriters — Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan — and Led Zeppelin.”
Then, during those coffeehouse-playing days came what Patterson calls “Gilmore Interruptus,” the early days of “Gilmore Girls” when the demands of working on a weekly TV series kept him from his music.
“If you’re on any series of any kind on TV, whether it’s a half hour or an hour, you’re going to get swallowed by that,” Patterson says.
Not that he’s complaining, because the success of the show allowed him to later reconnect with and pursue his music. Patterson appeared in last year’s Gilmore reunion show, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” and says he’d entertain the prospect of doing another, if one comes around.
“I love that character and I love working with those people.”
For now, though, Patterson is focusing on his music, his art, photography, his business ventures — among them, the impending launch of “Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee” — and, of course, the acoustic tour.
“I’m just doing something I love,” Patterson says. “I’m following my passions. You can’t go wrong if you do that.”
Contact John Przybys at reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.