Bay Roberts singer eager to share tunes
Bay Roberts singer-songwriter looks to gain exposure
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.
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.
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.
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.