Meet September's Artist Discovery: Sam Lewis

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Meet the Sam Lewis. 

He is a Nashville based artist and has toured with icons, such as Los Lobos and Chris Stapleton. You may also recognize his voice from his collaborations with Kacey Musgraves, John Prine, or the Wood Brothers.

We are BIG fans of Sam and we had the opportunity of asking him a few questions!

Get to know Sam:

What was the first album you ever owned on vinyl? 

Mad Dogs & Englishmen by Joe Coker

I found a rare import from Columbia at a hairdressers shop in Knoxville, TN. She was selling her entire personal collection to make room for more hair supplies, I guess. Already a devout fan of Leon Russell I was already very familiar with this album and most of the backstory on how this insane tour (and ‘live’ record) came to be. The cover artwork is quite colorful ad carney-like giving you an idea as to what you’re about to get into. I love the ‘classroom’ photo of the entire band inside the gatefold jacket and descriptions of most all the musicians and singers. There’s even a brief bio and timeline educating you on how that tour and album came to be which I’ve always enjoyed revisiting when I spin it. This would be the first record of the few hundred that now consume part of my living room!

What have you been listening to lately?

Music without words or in other languages… bands like Tinariwen (album ‘Elwan’) and Khruangbin (album ‘Con Todo El Mundo’) have been a breath of fresh air. I have to be careful about what I put in my ears mainly because it can come back out in my future compositions. While creating my album ‘Loversity’ I found myself listening to a lot of late' ‘60’s gospel funk from Chicago. The Numero Group makes these amazing compilation albums that are loaded with great photos and information regarding the groups and their recordings, I highly recommend buying.

Who is the first artist you remember listening to?

Roy Orbison made a strong impression on me at a very young age. I knew way too many songs of his by the age of seven. I’ve yet to ask my parents what they thought of my listening to ‘Crying’ on repeat at max volume while alone in my room. His vocal range and conviction he expressed I found extremely captivating, but mostly the songs which which is really what I care most about.

Who is the most interesting/inspiring person you’ve ever met?

Bill Murray has to be the most interesting AND inspiring person I’ve ever had to opportunity to meet more than once. I first met him while on tour with Chris Stapleton in Charleston, SC just a month after ‘Traveller’ was released. He’s a massive Stapleton fan and actually heckled me during my opening performance with requests like, ‘can you please turn up the bass?!’ and later ‘if you don’t play another song I’m going to burn this place to the ground!' He actually came to my merchandise table and introduced himself while purchasing my records and said ‘you’re funny but you’re a coward for not playing another song!’ He invited us all next door for drinks and somehow in the middle of our visit he and I got into a bit of a wrestling match at the table. I’ve never seen someone interrupted so frequently by strangers who were obviously fans, but he acknowledged every single one without the slightest hint of irritation which I found extremely impressive.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

New Orleans. You either love it or you’ve never been there; that’s what I’ve come to understand. They share some of the best culture that America has to offer and has been most inspirational to me. Our nation’s music was born in New Orleans and without that region’s history there would be such a vacant whole it would simply be impossible to fill. Everyone should spend some time there while they still can.

 
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Ally Lindell