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TOMMY LEWIS —SILVER & STONE (Self-Released)

 

www.tommylewis.net

 

Texas singer-songwriter Tommy Lewis’ music is of the kind we could do with a whole lot more of filtering through. Warmed in pedal steel, fiddle, lead guitar and more it has a wonderful buoyancy. His blending of country with acoustic blues on the opening track “Salt Water Wine” holds the attention of the listener from first to last! On hearing it I mused to myself, this guy is something rather special. Though I wasn’t wrong, the directional of his music did change, immediately in fact as he dropped the simplicity of the acoustic blues in preference for a form of country music. 

 

 

With his experience of playing lead guitar for Chad Elliott, and opening for the Radney Foster on a brief tour in 2016 to hand Lewis shares his stories (he also has a book out of Haiku poetry) in a fashion the listener finds easy to attach to.

Before that he played in and around Iowa, joining Rick Burke’s Traveling Music Show and Review in 2012, and from there Kevin Lindgren who was also a member of the convoy and himself started a band of their own. Next step he quit his job as a professor at Graceland University to become a touring folk singer. 

Evoking imagery rich in the wide spaces of Texas and neighbouring state, New Mexico - Lewis enriches his singer-songwriter country with hints of folk on the beautiful “Reservations”, and though there is better songs on the record than pedal steel draped title-cut “Silver And Stone” it does have a certain pull on the listener. But, it is no matched for ace cut “Tulsa Tonight”; as far as his songwriting is concerned, and manner he performs the song Canadian veteran Ian Tyson would be proud to call it his! I love the way the lyrics, and vocals are propelled by a busy rhythmic beat. 

Of a beautiful mellow feel you have “Sincerely” as he speaks of how he has always had a sensitive side to his soul, and with twangy guitar and pedal steel all over it an infectious feel runs through it. While loaded in melodious Dobro and acoustic picking Lewis is found wishing he was southbound (and returning to his love) on “Texas Southbound”, this as some of his finest story telling is captured. During the song that evokes images of wide open images and a little of life's gritty side it sounds like rambling is in his bloodstream. More top-class story telling is highlighted on the slow ballad “Carpenter”.

 

Rounding off the album, Lewis has in “Die Like A Poet” a tender, nicely pitched piece. With players Lynn Williams (drums), Dave Francis (bass), Thomm Jutz (acoustic, electric guitar), Fats Kaplin (pedal steel guitar) and Justin Moses (Dobro, fiddle) backing him to the hilt, and Jutz the producer his music is hard to beat. Of a standard that bodes well for both his future, and this kind of music in general. “You Don’t Go Away” set to a jaunty rhythm has Lewis who wrote all the songs, devote more time for reflection. The track is okay, but by his standard it isn’t his finest work. Be sure to watch out for UK (and Ireland for dates in 2018). 

 

                                                Maurice Hope    

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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