Grifters & Shills w/Tommy Lewis
Grifters & Shills and Tommy Lewis together at Chelsea Wine Bar.
Tommy Lewis: Tommy was raised in Alvin, Tx, learning jazz trumpet from professionals, including Dick Frerking. He taught himself to play guitar (mostly to impress a cute John Denver fan) after moving to Iowa, became involved in the local scene, and eventually joined Rick Burke's Traveling Music Show and Review in 2012. Learning songwriting and performing from craftsmen like F. Charles Persall, Chad Elliott, and Rick Burke, Tommy quit his job as a professor at Graceland University and struck out as a traveling folk singer, playing over 200 shows a year, sometimes over 250. When asked by the Anamosa Journal what he called his music he replied, "It's folk music I think. If it makes people dig a little deeper into themselves, or feel like someone else knows their life and their struggle, then I guess it is folk music." Some days Tommy lives in a small town west of Nashville, other days he lives in Alvin, Tx, and in between he can be found in the blue pontiac flying down the road. He enjoys fishing and writing, playing fiddle to the woods, and hiking the wilderness.
His new EP, "Winding" is produced by award winning singer-songwriter Chad Elliott (chadelliott.net) and was released by Fish Foster Records in August 2015 to awesome reviews.
Grifters & Shills: Amplifyin' and testifyin' for your soul. His was hard rock and heavy metal. Hers was the classic sound of the East Texas piney woods. Theirs was a fiery collision, bearing forth a sound that was at once novel and instantly familiar--nodding to roots seated deep in high lonesome harmonies and back porch blues, while peering out at a scorched path bound by modern assertions and contemporary commentary. Behind Grifters & Shills is John and Rebecca Stoll, native Texans who met in a classic rock/blues jam band in 2008. Between them they discovered a magnetic chemistry that manifested not only in music, but in all aspects of their relationship. When they began playing as a two-piece band, they found a unique voice in the combination of Rebecca's East Texas vocal stylings and John's formidable guitar work. They immediately began writing their own songs, while testing the waters of vocal harmonies and adding an array of instrumentation to their arsenal. A typical show will feature a delightful range of electric instruments, including John's archtop guitar, Rebecca's bass, a driving stomp board, a couple of cigar box guitars, a handful of harmonicas, and an occasional kazoo.
They call it high lonesome heavy metal, and together, this two-person, dozen-instrument act provides a show full of sound a fury, punctuated with raw, quiet vulnerability, forging new trails and shining new light on familiar ground.