Album Review | Loversity Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson
Just one man, one guitar and a bunch of stories from the heart. Sam Lewis performs nineteen songs from the stage at the Southern Grand Studios in his adopted home town of Nashville before a small audience, effectively making everything warm, cosy and atmospheric. This is nothing new for this engaging singer songwriter, who’s been performing alone on stage for over ten years now, garnering a reputation as a soulful troubadour with a good story to tell.
With three studio albums behind him, there’s plenty of material to choose from for his live set, though in addition here, Sam treats his audience to four new songs, most notably the wryly humoured “Neighbors” and the opener “What Does it Mean”. In some cases, the comparison between the earlier recorded versions puts the emphasis on the starkness of the solo performance, notably on “Bluesday Night”, which is stripped of its guitar/organ gospel feel, leaving it feeling a little too sparse. Those familiar with the originals can fill in all the gaps in their heads without too much bother. Having said that, it’s always rewarding to take home something as close as possible to what you’ve just heard on stage, therefore Solo will make an ideal souvenir for the shows he delivers during his current UK and European tour. Do check out those earlier studio albums though, Sam Lewis (2012), Waiting on You (2015) and Loversity (2018).
Choice Track: Neighbors (NSV 497)