There is a train called Cherry Lee Mewis, either get with it, or get left behind…
She’s a 5ft nothing 24-year old white girl from North Wales who has helped turn roots ‘n’ blues music into a cool, swinging fusion that’s both classic and stylishly modern.
It’s 2 years on from Cherry’s first blues effort, Little Girl Blue, which was received with open arms and introduced a whole new audience to the smouldering sound of Cherry Lee Mewis, firmly securing Cherry’s place as one of the rising stars on the UK Blues scene today, taking her music from the tiny clubs of Bedford, to festivals in the UK and Europe, such as Italy’s Tropea Blues Festival, Shetland Blues Festival, The Barbican International Jazz & Blues Festival and Cambridge Rock Festival, naming just a few.
The winter of 2008 saw Cherry finally pack her bags for good and leave her tiny village hometown in north Wales, to her adopted home of Bedford. “I’ve been making music here since I was 17, so it’s not totally alien to me, but moving permanently away from family and loved ones’ was and it left me facing totally new life experiences…”
Cherry served her apprenticeship endlessly gigging in clubs and bars developing not only her powerful soulful voice, but her performance and style too.
"The concept of expressing myself creatively from the age of 9 was something I was always intrigued and inspired to do…
"Where as my mum would love motown and retro soul records, my dad would be more into the rock 'n' roll and the psychedelic, really obscure 60's stuff. He introduced me to Jeff Buckley, Edith Piaf and Janis Joplin."
It wasn't until later on, that Cherry became immersed in blues and jazz.
On her debut, Little Girl Blue, she showcased her range of different influences, singing with raw power and emotion, hurt and pain.
"Many of the oldest blues records contain gritty, realistic lyrics, no censored versions! I put my whole self into every single one of these tracks, I feel like i'm inside of them…." Her 2nd blues album, Southbound Train, released January 2010, is a heady mix of foot-stomping barnburners to bluesy slow-cooked rockers with a spoonful of jazzy shuffle, supported by a band of slick smokin’ musicians.
Accompanying Max Milligan on acoustic guitar are,Nicky Slater (acoustic guitar & dobro), Robbie Mathews (bass & backing vox) and Flow (drums), her Blues Gems as she calls them; Cherry feels more drive behind her at the live shows. “They sure as hell fuel my fire!” she laughs.
Like most great blues performers, Cherry is best experienced live! As well as performing all over the UK, she and her band have just returned back from supporting Walter Trout on tour.
The great hobo bluesman himself, Seasick Steve says, "The only people who are going to keep the blues alive and kicking are the kids picking it up, these young bands out there - they got all the future."
"This is music I fall in love with on a daily basis!” concludes Cherry, “My music is all about a vibe and capturing that raw, stripped back sound that I love."
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