A Dreamy and Laid Back Country Soul Soundtrack To Summer.
I fell in love with this album over the Christmas holidays; and it’s a good job I have a good imagination because it’s going to be my soundtrack to the Summer!
The laid back groove of opening song When Comes The Morning sets the mood just perfectly, with Lewis’s warm Knoxville drawl and the bands uber-mellow backing taking you on a lazy trip to the land of Dobie Gray, Little Feet and James Taylor; if such a Valhalla exists.
The first time I tried to write this review I was wearing headphones, and by the time I got to Talk About It I had to give in to temptation and just kick back and listen ‘for fun’……which is something I don’t do often enough these days.
It will be all too easy to let these mellifluous melodies draw you in like the sirens of old; but Lewis’s songwriting and storytelling is every inch just as majestic on his third full length album; none more so than the swinging title track Loversity and the richly observant (People Fall Hard) Living Easy which will set the hairs on the back of your neck on end if you listen closely.
There are two cover songs here; neither of which I knew, but show what excellent and astute taste Sam Lewis has.
Loudon Wainwright’s Natural Disaster with it’s stinging guitar solos and punchy drumming was an early contender for Favourite Track status; and the delightful Accidental Harmony by Sam’s friend and fellow Nashville songwriter John Mann has the ability to make to ‘accidentally sing along to the chorus’ when your wife is asleep in the passenger seat!
Selecting an actual Favourite Song has been as easy as it’s been difficult; as everything here has its merits and many will find their way onto several playlists for the Summer; but I’m going to stick my neck out and say Some People, with Sam sounding uncannily like a young Sam Cooke will be one of those songs that will crop up on the radio (or bloody Spotify!) and make you go “Ooh! Who is that?” Which really is the hallmark of a great song and even greater singer too, isn’t it?
I’ve discovered this album just as I’ve been involved in two heated debates, with one being about ‘the death of the album and CD’; which is patently nonsense when fully formed 14 track albums like this are available and will find themselves being bought and cherished by fans for years to come – disposable music this most definitely ain’t!!
The other was a side-bar during one of my many ‘ Spotify is the tool of the Devil’ tirades! With only constant touring and selling merch at those gigs or from your own website being the only way for artists to make a living in this technological age; Sam Lewis is a perfect example of my argument as for the first ten years of his mildly succesful musical career he also worked full time at Wallmart; and it was only that ‘little bit of luck’ that fell his way during the week of a second interview for a job at the Post Office in 2015 when he was also offered the support slot on a Chris Stapleton tour and, as they say, he gave up the day job and the rest is history!
OK this isn’t quite A Star is Born; but I’m sure Sam Lewis must have had many moments when he thought ‘is it all worth it?’…… thankfully he has persevered and pure talent is finally winning through.
Released UK January 18th 2019
Released US and North America May 4th 2019