Lilli Lewis is an award-winning classically trained singer and songwriter. A prolific writer, composer, pianist and producer, she began playing piano at the age of three. The social injustice themes and human rights messages that filter into her lyrics, as well as gospel tinged vocals and instrumentation, are a direct result of her upbringing spent listening to her father’s sermons and southern choirs in rural Georgia churches while learning the northern sensibilities of her civil rights activist mother. Lewis is a sought after featured performer on main stages across the United States and abroad. In 2013 she made New Orleans her home and performs regularly as a soloist and with her acoustic soul orchestra, The Lilli Lewis Project. She is also the current lead singer of sousaphone savant Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove. Prior releases by Lewis are “The Promised Land: Songs of the Sacred South” and “Orange Music, Volumes I & II” from which the feminist folk trio The Malvinas recorded Lilli’s single “O, Let Your Light Shine Bright” (Louisiana Red Hot, 2016) on their Soona Songs release of “God Bless the Grass.” Lewis’ latest release “The Henderson Sessions” was released on Louisiana Red Hot Records in February, 2018. The national debut LP is an exquisite self-portrait with Lewis’ exceptionally soulful and powerful vocals set to the barest of piano accompaniment. Co-produced by Lewis, with James “Jimbo” Walsh and Mark Bingham, the album takes its title from Walsh’s country recording studio built in Henderson, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Red Hot was OffBeat Magazine’s 2015 Record Label of the Year and is known for launching and supporting the careers of southern favorites such as Trombone Shorty, Hunter Hayes, and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, among others. Lilli Lewis’ voice and showmanship have been described as “Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s virtuoso commitment to her instrument and Odetta’s vocal power, creating a show that is a force of nature.” Jamie Anderson, indie-music.com cited…“Makes you want to put your hands in the air, shout hallelujah and shake your booty for the rest of the night…enough energy to power a large city,” with Radio Stonewall stating… “Lewis is the light at the end of the tunnel…” Lewis can currently be heard weekly in the main hall at New Orleans’ historic Little Gem Saloon on Friday evenings from 5-7pm.
- Brian Goff
- A Better Hand