Classy, thoughtful album from a striking talent.
The 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.”