Bay Roberts singer ea­ger to share tunes

Bay Roberts singer-song­writer looks to gain ex­po­sure

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

Ja­cob Lewis’ love af­fair with mu­sic has been on­go­ing for a few years. A reg­u­lar pres­ence at venues in the Bay Roberts area that fea­ture live mu­sic, the young singer-song­writer soon hopes to have a band in place to help bring his coun­tri­fied tunes to a wider au­di­ence.

Bay Roberts’ Ja­cob Lewis doesn’t like to sell him­self as some­thing he is not.

The 24-year-old singer-song­writer doesn’t try to mar­ket him­self as the best singer nor does he say he is the best gui­tarist.

What he does try to sell him­self as is a show­man. Some­one who can jump on the stage with his guitar, a trucker hat and a gui­tarpick neck­lace to give his au­di­ence a show they’ll re­mem­ber.

“I like to put off a show,” said Lewis. “It’s the pres­ence and the energy that I like to put off.”

It’s that energy that will hope­fully help him reach the next level. It is what en­ter­tained a ca­pac­ity crowd at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts a cou­ple of months ago and what makes him a must­see per­former when­ever he plays a show lo­cally.

Lewis’ mind­set as he slugs it out to get more gigs and ex­po­sure is bor­rowed from the sports world. When Lewis played hockey, he was known as a guy who was go­ing to keep his head down and work hard.

It’s how he played ma­jor mid­get hockey and ju­nior hockey af­ter that.

“I’m not afraid to belt it out when I have too,” said Lewis. “The more you prac­tice, the bet­ter you get and the bet­ter you sound. You have to be will­ing to out­work the other guy.”

With that in mind, he’s been try­ing to find gigs out­side of his usual haunts at Kelly’s Land­ing and the Win­ner’s Cir­cle.

“Donna (Fowler of Kelly’s Land­ing) has been great to me in terms of help­ing me with ex­po­sure,” said Lewis. “They re­ally helped me a lot.”

He’s try­ing to get some space along Ge­orge Street and plans on at­tend­ing some open mic nights at dif­fer­ent venues.

“I will be more than happy with a half hour on stage and three or four songs,” said Lewis.

He rec­og­nizes that half hour can be­come 45 min­utes. Lewis just has to keep grind­ing it out.

“The more you’re able to prac­tice, the bet­ter you’re go­ing to sound and play,” he said.

The dream

Lewis’ love af­fair with mu­sic starts in Grade 9. Then, he was given a week’s no­tice be­fore he was set to open for Rex Goudie at Mile One Cen­tre when Goudie’s pop­u­lar­ity was at its height.

He re­mem­bers lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio days af­ter and hear­ing peo­ple talk­ing about his per­for­mance.

“I thought that was pretty cool,” said Lewis. “It made me think I may want to make mu­sic.”

A cou­ple of years later, and he is try­ing to make that child­hood dream come true.

“If you’re sat down play­ing your guitar in your liv­ing room for no­body, you have the dream of do­ing this full time,” said Lewis.

In­flu­ences

Lewis clas­si­fies him­self as an “old school coun­try” guy. He prefers the likes of Merle Hag­gard and Way­lon Jen­nings to new school guys like Luke Bryan and Eric Church.

How­ever, it is not just the clas­sic coun­try singers he ad­mires. There are also the folk stylings of Bruce Spring­steen and John Mel­len­camp present in his al­ways-ex­pand­ing cat­a­logue of songs and in­flu­ences.

“A lot of the songs I do have that coun­try mu­sic feel,” said Lewis.

Lis­ten closely to his voice and you can hear traces of early Spring­steen circa the 1982 al­bum Ne­braska. It’s grav­elly — in a good way — and pow­er­ful when Lewis needs it to be.

He is just as adept at croon­ing through a bal­lad as he is at rip­ping through a rock song.

“I can belt out a song when I want to,” he said. “I love songs that have a story and that’s how I write songs.”

When he is play­ing, he loves to hear from the au­di­ence. Whether it is re­quests or some con­struc- tive crit­i­cism when he’s stepped on stage, Lewis wel­comes it all.

In re­cent months, he’s heard more re­quests for his orig­i­nal stuff and he hopes to get into a stu­dio to record some songs. There are also plans to fill out the stage around him with some band mem­bers.

“I’m try­ing to find that per­fect com­ple­ment when it comes to the band,” said Lewis.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTOS

Bay Roberts singer-song­writer Ja­cob Lewis hopes to reach a wider au­di­ence with his mu­sic, which leans to­wards coun­try tra­di­tions.

Ja­cob Lewis per­forms dur­ing an event ear­lier this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.