Lilli Lewis “Americana”

Red Hot Records 2021

Classy, thoughtful album from a striking talent.

Lilli Lewis Americana album artworkThe self-professed Folk Rock Diva Lili Lewis returns to recording with a rootsy, country soul album that really hits the spot with its melancholy meditations and narratives. Opening with the gospel acapella ‘My American Heart’ the album feels perfectly introduced as a piece of serious work but ‘Copper John’ sets the tone with its laid-back country-soul vibe and sweet production. ‘Wrecking Ball’ allows Lewis to show off her vocal chops to a sassy blues shuffle and the following ‘Piece of Mind’ returns to the gospel harmonies before turning into a heartworn ballad.

Every track is exquisitely produced and the flavours run from the pure gospel soul previously mentioned to the gentle soul song of ‘One Shoe’ with its funky bass solo, scat singing and floating keyboards it sounds like a late night at Ronnie Scotts, a long way from folk-rock. In fact the centre of the album featuring ‘One Shoe’, ‘Fly’ and ‘Wednesday’s Child’ are pure soul torch songs by any other name but they sit perfectly within the overall whole. They are followed by the acapella ‘A Healing Inside’ which is both moving and clearly invested with some powerful emotions featuring as it does Lady A the veteran Seattle-based blues legend.

This is a powerful work right at the soul end of Americana but Americana it sure is as Lewis herself pointed out during the Americana Music Association’s virtual “Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation” live stream. She stated: “Black artists and black art have been at the heart of Americana since its inception, and now we’re in a position to address what this means from a relatively new point of view.”

7/10
7/10

About Keith Hargreaves 378 Articles
Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up
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[…] New Orleanian classically-trained musician and record label executive Lilli Lewis is a well-established voice of clarity and insight within the queer country and folk music community. Described by Mandy Patinkin as “like listening to light,” her music incorporates traditions from classical, blues, country, folk, and soul, creating a style that’s all her own. At the end of this month, she’ll be piloting the first ever Black Opry Fest, held both in New Orleans and over Zoom, as well as releasing Americana, a long-anticipated LP that was recently reviewed by Americana UK. […]

Martin Johnson

Americana UK spoke to Lilli recently and the interview will be posted in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space.

Martin Johnson

There is an AUK interview with Lilli Lewis coming soon.