Jodee Lewis
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Jodee Lewis

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Country Folk




"Jodee Lewis’ Americana delivered the goods"

Jodee Lewis’ Americana delivered the goods - Chicago Tribune, March 2, 2015

“Chicago boasts its share of fine Americana artists. Among them is Jodee Lewis, a singer-songwriter whose outsized talent is as big as her voice.
Lewis played the Old Town School of Folk Music on Sunday night, a performance that served as a celebration of the one-year anniversary of “Whiskey Halo,” her impressive solo debut.

Lewis is a Chicago transplant, born and raised in Missouri. She has been a longtime presence in the city’s country and folk scene, most notably as a member of the alt-country act the Spares. With her gentle twang and crystalline soprano, she invests her songs with a palpable ache that recalls country thrush Lee Ann Womack.
An adept acoustic rhythm guitarist, Lewis was backed by three fine players — acoustic and electric guitarist Doug Zylstra, upright bassist Christian Dillingham and fiddler Katie Abernethy. Together they achieved a rich chamber-country sound that fit snugly into the warm confines of the Old Town’s Szold Hall.”Dressed in a white, off-the-shoulder dress and leather boots, Lewis was a demure presence who let her powerful pipes do the talking. She kicked the night off with the kiss-off "I Don't Miss," a funky country-blues filled with unrepentant sass. A similar attitude percolated through the cheeky "From a Bottle," a song that musically recalled the classic Bakersfield Sound. Zylstra's Fender Telecaster leads echoed the style of Buck Owens' guitarist Don Rich.

When it came time for the bittersweet duet "St. Clair County," Zylstra ably took the male vocal part filled on the recorded version by alt-country icon Robbie Fulks. On the waltz-time ballad "Lies That Bind," Abernethy contributed delicate background harmonies and mournful fiddle.
Although a number of Lewis' songs tremble with loss, they never devolve into navel-gazing self-pity. The entire set was a finely honed and delivered affair that included a respectful cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," and an infectious version of the classic hymn "Leaning On the Everlasting Arms." - Chicago Tribune

"Jodee Lewis takes a mean street tour with Whiskey Halo"

Jodee Lewis takes a mean street tour with Whiskey Halo
WORLD Magazine Online, March 6, 2015

Jodee Lewis is a country and folk artist with a honky-tonk attitude, combining the spunk of Miranda Lambert with the snarky wit of Kacey Musgraves. Lewis also is a Christian, but that’s not immediately obvious on her debut album Whiskey Halo.
Suffice it to say Lewis doesn’t put the cookies on the bottom shelf. She populates her songs with characters that duck responsibility, drink too much, and are nearly always left high and dry.
But they have a rueful humor as well. Several laugh-out-loud lines punctuate “I Don’t Miss,” in which Lewis enumerates her relief at the death of an unfaithful lover. Electric guitar crunches along while a trombone provides extra sass for Lewis’ wry sarcasm, “I don’t miss the way I felt at sundown / crying ‘cause you never did me right / wondering who was lying there beside you / ah but honey I know where you are tonight …”
In an interview after a recent concert, Lewis explained that faith actually plays a huge role in her music.
“God is big … and it’s ok to talk about the fall and to be honest about how things really are and how people really feel,” she told me.
Certainly Lewis is acquainted with struggle and strife. She grew up in the Missouri Ozarks in a “really, really poor area,” with a difficult family environment. Lewis’ dad died when she was still a kid, and later her own son, Luke, died while he was a baby. This latter experience in particular led to a season of isolation and negativity. Eventually, Lewis realized she wanted something better for herself and for her kids. Her desire to put to death her destructive “alter egos” led to the visceral and original opening track, “O Mother.”
A banjo strums blues riffs while Lewis spits epithets about one alter ego: “She was a low-down, no good snake in the grass / breathing fire and drinking from a stolen flask / but I shot her in the chest and watched her die / I won’t say I’m sorry and I never will cry.” Lewis’ trademark silky twang combines with drums and bass to lend gravitas for the daunting truths of parenthood: “O Mother don’t you know / that the devil reaps all the seeds you sow.” Yet people are not just automatons doomed to carry out the patterns set by flawed parents. They are free agents left with a choice: “The sins of the father will haunt their child with a whiskey halo and a lonely smile / but when family resemblance rears its head / you can dig it up or you can bury it dead.”

Whiskey Halo takes the listener down some pretty mean streets. Lewis’ jarring images are not easily dismissed and raise interesting questions: Does creating an effective piece of art constitute its own merit? Does a close examination of faults encourage acceptance or inspire better? Part of the answer lies in the wider context.
While Lewis is loathe to offer easy resolution, light creeps in. “I Lift My Eyes To the Hills” confronts the ultimate bankruptcy of human effort and limitations. Electric guitar and drums introduce a grainy majesty as Lewis realizes, “I lift my eyes to the hills / from where does my help come / My help comes from the Lord.”

Lewis is no Pollyanna, but talking straight may earn her a hearing with non-believers who wouldn’t set foot in a church. It also means her hopeful songs—unlooked for and unsuspected—stand in greater contrast. If there is room for Pollyanna, maybe there is room for Lewis, too. - WORLD Magazine Online

"Jodee Lewis - Whiskey Halo"

Jodee Lewis - Whiskey Halo (Independently released CD, Country/pop)
There's so much country pop in the world that sounds like plasticized slices of processed cheese. It's always refreshing to come across an artist whose music doesn't fall prey to the makings of that big money machine in the sky. To quote directly from her web site, Ms. Lewis is "a native of the Missouri Ozarks, Jodee was raised on folk songs and honky-tonk, and her music reflects the best of both worlds." That pretty much sums things up rather succinctly. Whiskey Halo presents thirteen well-crafted tracks that incorporate elements from country, pop, and bluegrass. Jodee's got a voice that really pushes her songs to the next level. She's got a very resonant sound and the way she delivers her tunes is both genuine and personal. Some of these songs are reminiscent of Alison Krauss but Jodee is by no means a copycat artist. If you've grown tired of all the country music artists whose music sounds virtually the same...Whiskey Halo will come across like a welcome breath of fresh air. Our favorite tracks include "O, Mother," "In The End," "All Alone," and "There Is A Fountain." -

"My New Favorite Country Artist"

As most of you know, I am NOT a fan of country music. A little old school will do, such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, those folks. But certainly not modern country. As far as I can remember, I think that, ever since I started reviewing albums, years and years ago, I’ve only written a positive review on one country album, somewhere around 3 or 4 years ago. This all changes now.

Please allow me to introduce Jodee Lewis!

Her new album is entitled ‘Whiskey Halo’. Again, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at summarizing music that, quite frankly, I don’t know much about. Country music is one of them. I wish, in this particular situation, that I did know a bit more, so that I could make comparisons and tell you what’s so ‘extra special’ about this record. But I can’t. I just hope that it speaks for itself when I, of all people, actually continue to play this record.

I LOVE Jodee’s voice. The songs are ‘catchy’, yes, but very uniquely so. Don’t get me wrong, I would believe that one day she could be on commercial country stations, if that’s the avenue she so chooses to take (she may be doing pop country a favor in that aspect). So, at the risk of making a fool of myself, and continue rambling, I’ll leave it at that. If you actually like country, then it’s a must. If not, this one’s worth a shot. - Lovesound Magazine


Whiskey Halo - 2014

Buzzard's Bluff - to be released in March 2018



A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Jodee Lewis was raised on folk songs and honky-tonk, and her music reflects the best of both worlds. The Chicago Tribune says she is "a singer-songwriter whose outsized talent is as big as her voice," and calls her first album,Whiskey Halo, an "impressive solo debut". From A Bottle, Lewis's single from the album, took runner-up in the 2014 International Acoustic Music Awards for the country category.

Lewis trained in classical piano and began playing guitar and writing music after moving to Chicago in 1999 with her husband, Chad. Growing up in a small town, Lewis sang in her church gospel choir and with her grandfather's country band, eventually attending Washington University in St. Louis to study Chemical Engineering. After a career with companies such as Monsanto and Clorox, Lewis decided to focus on music and raising her three children.

She explores the themes of loss, heartache, and ultimately, finding hope and beauty during moments of challenge. Considered a true storyteller, Lewis uses music to connect with listeners through shared emotion and honesty. The Chicago Tribune says "With her gentle twang and crystalline soprano, she invests her songs with a palpable ache that recalls country thrush Lee Ann Womack".

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