Singer Beverly Lewis soars with bold confidence and glowing independence on new blues record
(Published: September 19, 2011)
September 19, 2011 (Miami, FL) Written by Robert Sutton. It's the slide guitar that grabs the attention first; it sizzles like the hot bellowing of flames. Then a lean, mean harmonica cuts through the air, its presence thick with atmosphere. But the real highlight is the voice that envelopes them both, strutting with bold confidence and completely unchained in providing an icy kiss-off. "I'm a brand new woman," Beverly Lewis proclaims on "Someone Else Is Steppin' In." And as her voice soars with glowing independence, there is no doubt about it.
The blues is an often misunderstood genre. The unenlightened always seem to define it as a depressing musical genre, slow, guitar-driven ballads for the lovelorn. But, contrary to its name, the blues is actually about overcoming despair and not giving in to it. The best blues music is often confrontational. In "Someone Else Is Steppin' In," from her new album, All Shades of Blues, Lewis captures the sense of liberation one feels from splitting from a bad relationship. There is a feeling of empowerment in her voice, a toughness that is lost on a number of today's young blues singers.
Lewis gets it; she understands the real purpose of the blues. But what's even more impressive is her effortless way of combining other musical styles with vintage blues. On "The Jealous Kind," for example, Lewis recalls the crystalline crooning of classic country legends such as Loretta Lynn and the late Patsy Cline. "The Jealous Kind" opens sweetly, allowing Lewis to reel in the listener with a warm caress; however, as the song builds up to profound heartache, one can hear the pain gradually reveal itself in her voice as guitarist John Fifield captures the moment with his bruising riffs.
There is palpable chemistry between Lewis and Fifield, and it's not just because they are also husband and wife. As musicians, they are keenly aware of each other's strengths; quite often Fifield's sharp, passionate guitar work seems to deepen the wounds that Lewis is trying to unveil.
Lewis doesn't adopt the heavy rasp that many female blues vocalists have been sadly attempting, and that is utterly refreshing. On "Since I Fell for You," Lewis drops a velvety smooth jazz vocal that is completely intoxicating, and Randy Singer's lonesome harmonica adds texture and cinematic mood. Without a doubt, All Shades of Blues is among the year's most impressive blues releases.
More Information: http://beverlylewis.net