“I felt its pull, its draw…some of my favorite people live in Nashville and I thought maybe I could rub up against a few of ‘em if I move there…"
Just as he’d hoped, Lewis arrived in Nashville and made a fan in producer/musician/entrepreneur Matt Urmy following an open mic at The 5 Spot. Urmy helped corral such all-stars as famed guitarist Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Lana Del Rey, Ray Lamontagne) to back the young singer/songwriter’s first real session, “a bunch of insanely talented musicians that I’d never played with, that had never heard my music. I was a nervous wreck.”
Despite his understandable jitters, Lewis and his sidemen clicked from the jump, tracking six songs in just one day. He saved enough to record six more songs and in January 2011, a second session followed. Released in 2012, Sam Lewis received national acclaim, applauded by No Depression for “calling on the musical spirit of Leon Russell and maybe Al Green, after a weekend with Willie and Waylon in Dripping Springs, TX.”
With his compelling songs, stirring melodies, and preternaturally soulful voice, Sam Lewis has quickly established himself as one of Nashville’s most talented new tunesmiths. Waiting On You – his sophomore album via Brash Music and follow-up to 2012’s self-titled debut – reverberates with earnest emotion and restless energy, rich with the intimate lyricism of folk, country’s raw integrity, and a lived-in muscularity born of Lewis’ captivating vocal timbre. Songs like “3/4 Time” and the tender title track are intuitive and organic, the rollicking “Things Will Never Be The Same” groove-powered and irresistible. Produced by The Wood Brothers’ Oliver Wood (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Shemekia Copeland) and featuring a stellar supporting cast of Music City’s finest session musicians, Waiting On You reveals Sam Lewis to be an exceptionally gifted troubadour, forthright, genuine and completely his own.
Lewis sees himself as a link in a lineage, a continuum of truth-tellers and troubadours like Hank Williams, Fred Eaglesmith, and John Prine, singer/songwriters who utilized diverse elements of American music to create their own unique canons. Brimming with candid confidence and a determined artlessness, Waiting On You is a sure landmark on what has already been an extraordinary journey as well as a resonant signpost towards future triumphs.
He has cultivated his career and craft, performing in front of increasingly larger audiences while also wowing crowds with mostly solo acoustic shows from New York to Los Angeles and multiple tours of the United Kingdom to date.
"I’m just making friends, man,” Lewis says. “I’ve been really really lucky so far. I have people that believe in my material and I have songs that they think the world needs to hear.”
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