Lazy B's Third CD "Bound To Roam" Released!!
LATEST NEWS: Brad Lewis & Bill Barrett Tour!
They'll be driving through the back roads of the Great American Songbook. They hope to navigate the unpaved roads just outside Pre-Bop Swing & Hillbilly Jazz. They'll be making the music of Bob Wills, Merle Travis and Hank Thompson. They'll also play the original songs of LA country music bad-ass Lazy Brad Lewis.
Lazy Brad Lewis – Rockin’ Blues with Country Soul
by Michelle Richardson OC Music Magazine
From one song to the next, Lazy Brad Lewis keeps you on your toes with the numerous different facets and tones that are so expertly molded within the music. “Down Inside” makes you want to slow dance with your loved one at the local saloon while “Late at Night” reminds you of the catchy song that Quentin Tarantino chose to use in his next film. “Evil” brings all of the true blues qualities to the surface while “Warm Texas Rain” is a half sung and half spoken story of heartache and hope. Playing back-to-back shows all over Orange County, they are currently etching their mark into the Southern California country scene and defying the laziness that you might assume from them based on their name.
OCM: Where did the name Lazy Brad Lewis originate from?
Brad: I was at Long Beach State studying ethnomusicology when we read about a rural southern bluesman named Lazy Bill Lester. I joked to my friend Bill Barrett that it was phonetically close to Lazy Brad Lewis, and was just ironic, as I was attending school full time and in five bands. If you Google Brad Lewis there are a couple of other people that come up such as the cinematographer, director, photographer, but there is only one Lazy Brad Lewis.
OCM: How would you describe yourself to new listeners?
Brad: Rockin’ blues with country soul.
OCM: Give us some history on Lazy Brad Lewis.
Brad: Well I was born in Toronto, Canada and partially raised in South East Los Angeles. My parents bought in O.C. in early ‘70s. I attended Fullerton College, studied cello, and recording/ engineering. Lived in Hollywood in the late 70s/early 80s and was in a band called the Que (compared to 13th Floor Elevators) at the time. We toured, opening for The Bangles when they were starting out. Studied guitar with New Orleans legend Ernest Mclean (Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, etc) in Hollywood, but it was at Long Beach City College in the early ‘90s where I met Tom Richmond, harmonica player in the band and also a great writer. We met in the music program there where I studied jazz guitar with Frank Potenza. That was 19 years ago now. I had my own country band at the time (Cheyenne) and we got Band of the Year from The Golden West chapter of the California Country Music Association. Received our award at the famous Foothill Club in Long Beach, where I played on Monday nights with another pick-up band. We were playing five nights a week when I decided to go to school and work on a music degree. I worked with “Guitar God” Will Ray at this time in his band The Gila Monsters, and did several recording projects, and performed regularly at the Palomino where I was featured on banjo, guitar, and mandolin.
OCM: What are some of your biggest influences?
Brad: Well growing up in South Gate, my folks listened to KFOX before I could get a hold of my own radio, and we attended the live broadcast at the Eagles Lodge every Sunday where they had live country bands. Hearing “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man” one Saturday morning on the radio was a kick in the pants. The great Motown tune they used to play on the radio was a great mix. Later, Bob Dylan was pulling my heart with tunes like “Visions of Johanna”.
OCM: What would you define as being the most influential moment in your career?
Brad: When I lived in Hollywood, I closed the Troubadour one night with Tim Hardin, Freebo and Will MacFarlane. They passed my guitar back and forth all night and every song was better than the one before. It taught me that you need to have a catalog at your fingertips of great original songs. More recently we had a great time performing at the Chris Gaffney memorial in Long Beach at the Puka Bar. He was a great person to me and my son.
OCM: Who are some other people you have worked with?
Brad: Well, Harmonica Tom has worked with George Griffin. He also introduced me to Dale Spaulding, whom in turn introduced me to New Orleans and Austin, Texas. Tom Blair and I also work with Rick Sturbenz and The Regular Guys, who have been doing the blues cruises out of Long Beach for many years and is a monster piano player in the style of Big Joe Turner (probably because he worked for him for many years).
OCM: Are you currently recording anything new?
Brad: I’m working concurrently on two new discs. One is mostly Honky Tonk and the other is more acoustic with a lot of mandolin work on my part. Some traditional Irish tunes and some new original tunes.
OCM: You seem to play many venues all over Southern California. Do you have any plans on touring nationally or internationally?
Brad: We have been getting around the Southwest during the summer months, but this summer we’re staying close to home. We’ll be doing some Northern California dates in August. The new CD is getting played regularly in France and Belguim so that’s certainly something we’re looking into.
OCM: What are some of your favorite venues to play?
Brad: Personally I just like to see people dancing and having a good time, real people of all ages. The Wild Horse in Durango, Swallows Inn in San Juan Capistrano, or even the Doll Hut in Anaheim.
OCM: And where would you say you have your strongest fan base?
Brad: Orange County has our strongest fan base, and we’re more likely to play in Arizona than Los Angeles, I don’t know why that is.
OCM: What message would you say you are trying to get across with your music?
Brad: I love the music all by it self, it says so much to me. But people like songs with words so that’s ok with me too. Many of my songs are of the every man. I just love the everyday struggles of people, whether it’s love or survival, everyone has an interesting story and I learn something from everyone I meet.
When asked about his music making process, Brad shared one of the most beautiful quotes that I have ever heard from a musician – “Music or melody comes first, usually I’ll wake up with a song in my head and realize as I’m waking that it’s a song I’ve never heard.” This is something that any artist can relate to. To put it so eloquently helps the rest of society truly understand how unique and creative the process is to create any form of art, whether it is painting, music, lyrics, etc.
Lewis has a highly impressive history in music, an obvious dedication to their fans and live performances, and they have encompassed so many layers of country and blues that I believe that any fan of music – regardless of genre – will be thoroughly impressed and begging for more. They currently have two albums out, “Down Inside,” released in February of this year as well as “All My Friends are Bartenders,” released in January of 2007. You can sample their music on their Myspace page as well as on CD Baby and iTunes.
Folk | Rock | Country | Blues
All My Friends Are Bartenders
& Down Inside Available at