I've been in the entertainment business most of my life. As a child I was singing in local radio commercials in Toledo and was the voice and tap sounds heard on a lot of the records that kids who took dance lessons danced to. By the way, that was how I paid for my dancing lessons by doing the vocals for the records used by the dance studio.
I owe a big thank you to many of the Jazz and Blues Musicians and singers in Toledo and Detroit that graciously helped me along the way in my early days.
My first band gigs were with the Johnny Knorr Big Band when I was 13 and the The Dixieland Jazz band at 14. During this time I was also doing theatre. Little did I know that all those musicals that I was in would be a good start for me in building a jazz repertoire. You know jazzers, they like their standards. During the late '70s, I went on the road with a show band. When that tour ended, I moved to South Florida and landed a house gig on the first night that I got in to town singing with a Big Band at a club called In The Mood. I stayed around South Florida for a couple of years working the local clubs doing top 40 and some of the rock clubs on the beach. I was offered a gig with a show/dance band that was going to start their tour at the Americana Casino in Aruba, so I took it. When we came back to the states we played clubs from Florida to Canada and all the way west to New Mexico. When that tour ended, I came back home to South Florida. I I've always loved soul music and the Blues. I've spent many hours listening to B.B. King, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Rawls, Sarah Vaugh, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Eddie Jefferson, Al Jarreau, Righteous Brothers, Denise LaSalle, Ernestine Anderson, Elvis and of course, Delbert McClinton. As you can see, my tastes are Eclectic. Good music is just good music....
The pairing of Every Day I have The Blues and Fine and Mellow is as inspired as its slick arrangement, burning intensely and scorching all behind it, making it a great set closer. The Miles Davis/Oscar Brown, Jr. All Blues provides Lewis an excellent jazz vehicle with a blues subtext, as the singer negotiates the piece with precision and class, never overdoing it in the technical department. Buddy Johnson's Since I Fell for You, provides an Etta James vibe, taking the edge off the disc's hard blues.
All Shades of BluesTMB Records
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