|Call it blues, call it roots, call it what you will; it’s 100% Veronica Lewis. And she delivers big with her debut album, “You Ain’t Unlucky,” releasing February 19, 2021 on Blue Heart Records. The highly anticipated recording features eight tracks, six originals all penned by Lewis and two covers, including her original title track, ‘You Ain’t Unlucky’ (dropping January 8, 2021); a call to action to remain grateful for the good things in life no matter what happens. Lewis comments, “In difficult times, sometimes all you can control is how you look at things.” In ‘Clarksdale Sun,’ Lewis exclaims “we’re gonna’ beat down the angry sun with a boogie-woogie bass and drum,” and that is exactly what she does in this scorcher. ‘Put Your Wig on Mama,’ a song Lewis wrote to her mother, is a simmering pot of bumpin’ groove gumbo that could be cookin’ in any south side Chicago joint. There is also ‘Fool Me Twice,’ a call to action to not put up with other people’s foolishness, punctuated by original rhythmic changes and an infectious hook. ‘Ode to Jerry Lee’ is a straight ahead rockin’ piano instrumental she wrote for the Killer. In ‘The Memphis Train,’ Lewis imagines herself on a symbolic train of dreams and opportunity, riding down to Memphis with no one on board but herself and her piano heroes. In addition to the six original compositions, Lewis offers a total make-over of a Louis Jordan tune, ‘Is You Is My Baby’ and she honors one of her heroes, Katie Webster, with a modern spin on ‘Whoo Whee Sweet Daddy.’
With one foot firmly planted in the 1950’s and the other in the future, Lewis pays homage to her influences – Katie Webster, Otis Spann, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Pinetop Perkins. Combine this with the authentic approach to this self-produced album, she captures the essence of a time when only talent and passion dictated the success of a recording. “I imagined I only had one shot to lay it down in the studio, as if I walked into a recording studio somewhere back in time, like Sun or Stax, and the producer just pressed the record button and said ‘Ok, kid, let me hear what you’ve got’,” Lewis muses. “Then, if I’m lucky, the roof lifts off the studio, and the rest is history!”
It’s an uplifting, authentic, and original message to the world at a time when it is needed most. A seasoned pro and award winner at 17, Lewis rocks the piano, and her strong, expressive voice is punctuated with a light and delicate vibrato, belying her age. Blues progressions are a launching point, evolving into original songs with stories that are both thought-provoking and humorous. Her tight, straight-ahead trio of piano, drums, and sax delivers a stunningly “full-on” sound, as Lewis belts out a message made to heal the soul.
At the age of 17, Lewis stands should-to-shoulder with seasoned professionals, having won Blues Artist of the Year 2020 by the Boston Music Awards. She has also won the 2020 Boston Blues Challenge and was named 2020’s Best Young Artist by the New England Music Hall of Fame. In addition, she is a four-time Granite State Blues Challenge Winner and recipient of the 2019 W.O.W. Rising Star Award. In 2019/20 Lewis travelled across the country from Nashville to Los Angeles playing her music at packed venues and festivals. She debuted at the Rhythm & Roots Americana Festival in R.I., in Las Vegas at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Fest, at the National Women in Blues Showcase and the 35th International Blues Challenge, both held in Memphis.