David Lewis

David Lewis

BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

I'm a long time singer/songwriter and most of my original songs are rooted in the eastern North Carolina culture in which I was raised. Much of what I write has some humor to it. I consider Americana as my genre and its "home grown" because I grew up in a town that had 3 AM radio stations and everybody played the same music. Elvis, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Frank Sinatra were heard from the same stations.

Biography

In the Fall of 1956 I took a turn on the stage at the Center Theater in my hometown. Our local kid's club was having a talent show at the normal Saturday morning gathering and I stepped up to the microphone and in my best third grade baritone voice sang the current Elvis hit "Love Me Tender". When I finished singing the place erupted in applause and I won the contest. I collected my prizes which included a ride home in a police cruiser with siren blaring and light flashing. Since I had not even mentioned the contest it was quite a shock to my parents when I was escorted into the family grocery store by two law officers! It was an important day and I was now hooked on performing. I constructed a "guitar" from a cigar box, some rubber bands, and a roof plank from Lincoln Logs. I sang along with everything I heard.

When I was 13 I cut grass during the summer and accumulated enough money to buy a cheap acoustic guitar from Sears. I taught myself to play during the height of the 60's folk music explosion and performed wherever I could draw a crowd. The following year my parents bought me a Kay electric guitar and a used Gibson amplifier for Christmas. I soon joined my first garage band made up of other kids about my age. I continued to play all through high school and during my time in the US Navy (67-71). In 1971 a booking agent in Kansas City heard a demo tape, signed me, and I was soon on the road as a full time entertainer. After several years the toll became so great on my family that I abandoned the road. However, I have remained a performer and continued to hone my craft. In the last couple of decades I have expanded into more songwriting as well as studio production and engineering.

In addition, I have returned to my acoustic roots in recent years and recaptured much of the music of the sixties and seventies folk and singer/songwriter movements. I also have cultivated a great appreciation for songwriters that many people have never heard of because their names are not prominent. Often they are the reasons that the recognizable names have been so successful.

Obviously, I'm no Spring chicken and people are not going to come see me perform because I'm so pretty. However, I can now say that I have been performing for over 50 years....half a century....wow. I have continued to maintain my vocal and instrumental chops, enjoy performing as much as ever, and still like having people respond to what I do, whether few or many. Engaging in conversations with younger people who are now discovering music that I have been playing for years is an added perk. I feel that part of my musical responsibility is to expose these younger generations to great writing and songs that need to be kept alive.

Singer/Songwriters

Especially during the seventies singers who were also songwriters came to prominence....people like James Taylor, Harry Chapin, Neil Young, John Prine, John Denver, Tom Rush, Gordon Lightfoot, Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, and many others. Their great lyrics coupled with an acoustic base opened a new avenue though it was still very deeply rooted in the folk music movement from years prior. Within my repertoire there are dozens of songs from this period.

Two Favorite Writers and Influences

John Prine - I've been playing John's songs for several decades now. I discovered his music long before many did outside of his popularity hub in the Chicago area. He is a songwriter's songwriter and his talents are highly respected. My favorite song by him is "Hello In There" and you will find it on the Audio and Video page of this website. Some years ago I opened for John at the Roxy Theater in Greenville, NC.

John Stewart - Dan Daniels, one of my pickin' partners from Colorado, introduced me to the music of John Stewart. Later we actually met John in Vail, Colorado where we were both performing. After the Kingston Trio disbanded John became a solo artist and a writer of many poignant songs. His most commercial success was in writing the song "Daydream Believer" that the Monkees would make a hit. He also had a song in 1974 that went to number 5 on the Billboard Chart. It was entitled "Gold" and featured Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Neither of these songs are really reflective of John's complete body of work which is much more folky and acoustic. He wrote some phenomenal lyrics. John passed away in 2008 at the age of 68. I know a great deal of his music and enjoy sharing it with those who are not aware of his compositions.

Original Music

Though I have been writing some of my own songs since the mid-seventies it has become a concentration in the last few years. There are some people who prefer to hear original tunes instead of covers and I enjoy having the opportunity to share mine. You can hear my originals "Home Cookin'" and "Romance With A Capital "R" on the Audio and Video page at www.davidlewismusic.com as well as the only blues song I've ever written, "The Eastern North Carolina B

Discography

Home Cookin' - Released in August 2013, some internet airplay, available on CD Baby
Memory - Scheduled for release September 2013
Sweet Ice Tea - Scheduled for release September 2013