Flyinshoes Review

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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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March 2018

Mary Gauthier
95 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Ed Romanoff
89 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Dean Owens
43 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
Marlon Williams
41 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans
Rod Picott
39 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
Vivian Leva
39 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
H.C McEntire
38 pts.
Merge Records
34 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
Alela Diane
32 pts.
Allpoints Believe
Ben Miller Band
32 pts.
Choke Cherry Tree
New West Records
The Lynnes
32 pts.
Heartbreak Song For The Radio
Adam James Sorensen
30 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
John Oates
27 pts.
Thirthy Tigers
Cameron Blake
26 pts.
Fear Not
Continental Song City/CRS
John Gorka
26 pts.
True In Time
Red House
I'm With Her
25 pts.
See You Around
Rounder Records
The Reverend Shawn Amos
22 pts.
Breaks it Down
Put Together Music
Beth Wimmer
21 pts.
Chris Smither
21 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
Dayna Kurtz
21 pts.
Here, Vol 2
Kismet Records
Joan Baez
20 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Kacy & Clayton
20 pts.
The Siren’s Song
New West Records
Caleb Caudle
19 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Ad Vanderveen
18 pts.
Denver Nevada
Ben Reel
18 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
Bruno Deneckere

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