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Sam Lewis: Solo

review sam lewis x1 cong

Lewis is a grizzled looking American dude and sings the songs you might expect; modern life and its many facets, just him and guitar. He’s good because he has a soft voice, lyrics that can be thoughtful, amusing or silly, and makes honest, simple music. This is just him and an audience in what sounds like an intimate venue (imagine the upstairs room at the Biddulph Arms).

The set opens with What Does It Mean, a bluesy tune that’s a good warm-up before he hits us with Southern Greek Tragedy, a song that’s an entire novel: “They had their children in the early eighties / First one was a girl they named Katie” is harmless, but four lines later, of child number three, he sings: “… a couple who saved her from the storm / Though she wasn’t planned, at least they let her be born”. He’s not judgmental, singing: “How could they know better? / To them it was a normal life”.

There’s a run of acoustic blues songs next such as Bluesday Night (“She didn’t lie: the locks had been changed / And I found myself talking / To the chairs we hadn’t rocked in so long”). Almost playful is Neighbors — opening line “I got neighbors / Who don’t realise they got neighbors” gets a laugh — but it goes on to develop on serious thoughts about being neighborly. Things Will Never Be The Same was written in England, a gentle track about lost love.

The best thing we can say: there are 19 tracks on this album and we’re always surprised how quickly it ends.

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