Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Tamara Lewis: Press

EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS for LIVING DOWN RIVER:

"We loved Tamara's debut two years ago and her sophomore effort is even stronger. Her advancement shows an otherworldly intelligence and work ethic...Her songwriting twists and tweaks familiar themes, but what sets her apart is she takes a deeper look."
Tom Peterson, Victory Review

"Country, folk, bluegrass, blues and jazz are finely blended together to create something quite beautiful and enchanting. Her voice is sensuous and full of clarity and strength with a strangely old-fashioned sound. The listener is transported back to a time of gramaphones and crackles. All in all this is a very exciting album." Maverick Magazine

"Lewis opens her heart with no quarters asked. Her voice is strong and soothing and when combined with her lyrical style will leave a marked impression on listeners from opening note to last. Try not to be moved!"
Wildy's World

"Tamara Lewis is a brave soul. After suffering through 12 years of CFIDS, she decided to pick up the guitar, write songs and sing them. All of this happened at the tender age of 46. If that isn't inspiring, what is? Everything about her is real and original. There is hope and emotion that comes down this river, just as the title track suggests. There is the feeling of someone who has gone through and endured hardships only to come out the other side and step into the light and then be able to share that experience with someone who needs some inspiration to do the same."
Keith Hannaleck, Muzik-reviews.com
LIving Down River--Pick of the Week

"...a bounty of vocal richness and graceful musicianship...like visiting with a friend and dishing over coffee.
These songs are brimming with warm wit and candid observations."
Nancy Dunham, Indie-music.com

See full reviews below
Excerpts from Reviews (Dec 5, 2008)
Seattle’s Tamara Lewis is a singer/songwriter whose writing is informed by twenty years as a psychotherapist as well as her own struggle with a decade-long serious illness. Writing primarily in a folk style with country and blues influences, Lewis opens her heart to listeners with no quarter asked. Supported by Max Cohen (Dar Williams), Pat Donohue (Prairie Home Companion), Murl Sanders and a cast of extremely talented musicians, Lewis delivers ten songs of passionate folk on her second CD, Living Down River. You’ll hear hints of influences such as Alison Krauss, Patsy Cline and Nanci Griffith, but Lewis’ distinctive voice and lyrical style will leave a marked impression on listeners from opening note to last.

Living Down River opens with I’ll Come Home, a song about being able to find and stay in your center even when darkness descends on your life. Lewis’ voice is strong and soothing; the perfect complement to the lyrics when you realize that she’s singing as much to herself as to you. Better Day is a country lullaby for a bad day; full of the vulnerability of someone who has lost control of their life, it is one of the most poignant songs you’re likely to come across. There’s a sad yet hopeful beauty here that is magical. Don’t Look At The Mountain is in a southern gospel style that infuses bluegrass instrumentation. It’s an incredibly enjoyable listen.

That Leavin’ Sound is a class country song of heartbreak sung in intelligent and vibrant terms. Tamara Lewis sings this song as if she’s feeling every wrench of her heart. Try not to be moved. Big City Blues goes to the other end of the spectrum. It’s a smart look at city life and is probably the most fun song on the album. With My Eyes is a special moment. It addresses fidelity and attraction in an honest and bare fashion that is refreshing. Cold Coffee, Warm Beer is a humorous look at how to handle running into an ex-boyfriend written in the spirit/style of Christine Lavin. Key Of Lonely is the keynote song on Living Down River; a gorgeous piano-based ballad about a relationship that doesn’t work despite best intentions by both involved. The album closes out with Living Down River, a haunting song full of home style wisdom and haunting harmonica.

The talent of Tamara Lewis is abundantly clear. In songwriting she is able to drop the filters that we live with every day and just stand alone in her songs. Steeped in an honesty that is almost unsettling, Lewis finds human insights in her songs like a prospector looking for gemstones. The listener is enriched in the process, but one gets the impression that is Lewis who is most healed by her search. Living Down River is a sonically gorgeous album that is smart, occasionally witty and just plain good. Spend an hour with Tamara Lewis. You’ll be happy you did, and you’ll go back again.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
Wildy Haskell - Wildy's World (Feb 7, 2009)
VICTORY REVIEW by Tom Peterson

We loved Tamara Lewis’s debut CD last year, and her sophomore effort is even stronger. She is an
assured performer with an assertive, distinctive sound whose songwriting constantly twists and
tweaks the familiar themes. The new CD, Living Down River, shows her increasing sophistication,
with some jazzy phasing working its way into her country-ish, bluesy vocals. The tunes themselves show a lot of confidence, musically; Lewis got
into performing as an adult and so already had plenty of life experience to pour into her lyrics,
but her advancement indicates an otherworldly intelligence and work ethic!

The album opens with the gently rocking “I’ll Come Home,”
which gives way to the gently assuring “Better Day,” which has a distinctive melody melding a
lullaby theme and some country crooning. The twang gets turned up a notch on “Love Song To
The Midwest." Lewis has a good hurtin’ song with “That Leavin’ Sound,” featuring some ethereal steel guitar. The song likely to attract the most attention, as it fully lives up to its catchy title, is “Cold Coffee, Warm Beer.” Lewis
doesn’t leave it at catchy, though, as so many Nashville hacks would these days – she’s fully metaphorical here. That’s what sets her apart: she takes the deeper look. Even on the album’s
plugged-in cut, the southern rock honker “Big City Blues,” she’s got insights like “No matter where I am, I’m in somebody’s way . . . no one says hello, unless they’re askin’ for change.”

The album is beautifully packaged, and Lewis
is committing 10% of the net to Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome research,
too. Tamara Lewis is a star!
"This is an album of lovely songs that speak of and to gentle hearts aware of the precipitous nature of human existence. Tamara's lyrics affirm life's beauty, acknowledge it's sadness and vibrate with the sense of longing that keeps us on track in our never-ending search for that which inspires and comforts us.

The straightforward production of this recording manages to highlight the excellent musicianship without overwhelming the listener with flashiness, always keeping the focus on Tamara's clear vocals and the intent of her words. A pleasure to listen to."
Nova Devonie of Miles and Karina (Jan 22, 2009)
A good mix of country with outside inflections for a classic traditional soundscape.

Tamara Lewis likes to bring real life stories into her music and her latest offering is no exception. She is quoted as saying the she is heavily influenced by Patsy Cline and Alison Kraus.

This album is an unusual mixed bag of songs. Country, folk, bluegrass, blues and jazz are finely blended together to create something quite beautiful and enchanting.

I'll Come Home opens and is a fine example of Tamara's unique musical talents. A gentle mix of country, blues and jazz combines perfectly together to produce an old-fashioned song with a strong traditional feel. The musical accompaniment is pleasant to the ear allowing Tamara's voice to shine through.

Better Day has more of a country feel about it. Tamara's voice is sensuous inviting the listener to hear more as lovely harmonies fill the chorus. This is a delightful song that will melt the hardest of listeners; a truly mesmerising song--pure class!

Love Song to the Midwest is another song with a strong traditional country feel to it that reminds me of Kathy Mattea in both style and composition. Don't Look at the Mountain has a strong bluegrass feel to it. Tamara's voice is once again powerful and full of strength and clarity. That Leavin' Sound combines jazz and bluegrass together and comes up with something quite delectable and unique. It is easy to see the influence of Patsy Cline in the beautiful ballad.

Big City Blues shifts Tamara's musical style up a gear on a livelier song that still manages to retain something of a classical country sound. With My Eyes is a high point of this delightful album of contrasts and styles. This gentle ballad really gives Tamara's vocal talents a chance to shine through and shine through they do. I like the fact that nothing is overdone, the music is subtle and Tamara's vocals are crisp with a strangely old-fashioned sound.

All in all this is an exciting album that pulls together many types and styles of music to produce a delicate classical sound.
Sara H. - Maverick Magazine (Jan 15, 2009)
Living Down River, the 10-track sophomore CD by Seattle artist, Tamara Lewis, is like visiting a friend and dishing over coffee. Whether she's looking forward to a "Better Day" or lamenting about "That Leavin' Sound," Lewis is a fairly plain talkin' woman who sets her thoughts to a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll sound with a dash of folk and blues mixed in.

It's not surprising that Lewis' inspiration for these songs came from conversations with friends and observations from her 20-year career as a psychotherapist. These songs are brimming with warm wit and candid observations.
What IS surprising is that Lewis brings such a bounty of vocal richness and graceful musicianship to an art she only just began to pursue in earnest.

Here's to following your dream.
Nancy Dunham - Indie-Music.com (Jan 31, 2009)
PICK OF THE WEEK on Muzikreviews.com

"Tamara Lewis is a brave soul. After suffering through 12 years of Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction, she decided to pick up the guitar, write songs and sing them. All of this happened at the tender age of 46. Now if that is not inspiring, what is?

Living Down River is a ten track recording encompassing real life situations and feelings all set to a tasteful mix of folk, Americana and blues. Tamara has a clear and thoughtful vocal style that is convincing while very pleasing and inviting regardless of what style of music she is playing. She also writes all of her own material and maintains her independence as an artist with no attachments to any third parties. Ok, I am really starting to like this woman, everything about her is real and original and she is indie - that is the entire package for me, well the music needs to be good too and in this case, it is the icing on the cake.

This CD is solid in every way, the production is good, the musicianship exemplary - all of the most important aspects are in focus so we have ourselves a captivating group of songs to listen to. I have no doubt after reading about the life of this artist that she truly is living the songs performed. When you hear “Better Day”, it echoes with emotion and the feeling of someone who has gone through, experienced, and endured some hardships only to come out the other side and step into the light then be able to share that experience with someone who needs some inspiration to do the same. “Big City Blues” is my favorite, which comes as no surprise because I do love the blues and it is a very upbeat track. Tamara and her friends really strut their stuff on this one.

I think a prerequisite to listening to this music and understanding it is to be in a reflective and somewhat serious mood but also lighthearted enough to enjoy the warmth and sunshine it can put in your heart because of all the hope and emotion that comes down the river, just as the title and closing track says. It is a bluesy number with a harmonica that is longing for a friend. A perfect closer to these stories told so well. “That Leavin’ Sound” is a lament to a relationship getting ready to end as the singer anticipates a break up by that sound of leaving in the person’s voice. These particular songs made a noticeable impact on me musically and emotionally.

To relate to music is to know it, and to know it is to understand the artist presenting it. I think I connected on Living Down River.

© MuzikReviews.com
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-August 25, 2008
I continue to receive airplay at:

~KBCS in Bellevue: "Lunch with Folks" and "Sunday Folks."

~KSER in Everett: "Homegrown" and "Sunlit Room"

~KBOO in Portland

~WGDT Vermont

~Online Folk Festival--owned and operated by Greg Grant

~Pandora Radio

~Miller Tells Her Tale out of Scotland with Karen Miller

~KHIR with DJ Dan Ross in The Dalles, OR

KIHR with Bob Rice in Spokane.

Germany and Denmark! GO figure.
AIRPLAY (Jan 16, 2009)
Tamara Lewis is our Featured Artist for the month of January 2007.

Excerpts:
"I can't believe how much I love this CD. I basically sat there during the first listen, trying to comprehend how beautiful this voice is. It is flawless, crystalline, and heavenly. Take that and match it with one of the purest genres of music--Americana--and you have an album that Patsy Cline would fall madly in love with and want to sing from start to finish."

"I just sat in silence when this thing was over. You don't just jump up and do laundry or make a phone call. You just sit and savor it. Tamara is an artist to watch; whoever is watching her right now, please get her back in the studio. I want more."
Excerpts from Tom Peterson's VICTORY REVIEW:

"Tamara Lewis is a sophisticated chanteuse with a fine, clear, and supple voice with just a touch of Everywoman world-weariness, perfect for the bruising songs she writes."

"Her CD is as smoothly professional as the great pop-ballad albums it emulates and should propel Tamara forward in the Adult Contemporary field. She's got it.
Tamara Lewis sings beautiful music that is alluring and peaceful. I really enjoyed her well-crafted songs and can't wait to hear more.
TAMARA LEWIS is our March Issues' WOMAN ON THE RISE

Excerpts from the Review:

"This is just the type of story we like. Twenty-year career gal turns to music and beats the odds.
Listen Me Back is beautiful vocals with a meltdown (as if it needed a violin, Lewis’ voice IS a violin, a perfect blend). This is a touching song. Many of the cuts, like Just Because, have a great old western swing-blusey feel, good for slowwwww dancing. Loose Ends World seems timeless, though it’s tick-tock slow rhythm reminds us “time is a tide-pool in our dreams . . . surprised to find it’s in a straight line in this time-flies world.” He’s not you, sounds like a good old Patsy Cline heartacher, making you want to sit in a soda shop, feelin’ dreamy-eyed and lovesick. Other cuts like, This Good-Bye, whisper of a sadness we have all known.

Lewis is definitely a woman on the rise."
"Every once in a while a musician comes around who just absolutely captivates you. Tamara's writing and stage craft, including her ability to joke with her audience, is perfect in every way."
Russ Bevill, sound engineer - Straight from the Horse's Mouth (Mar 15, 2007)
THINK PATSY CLINE'S LITTLE SISTER
"What a wonderful recording, especially for someone so new to performing and songwriting. Tamara's huge heart, with all it's creases and careworn marks, is right there where anyone can see it. But what really gets to me is her voice and the Patsy Cline lode that is mined with every note--plaintive but not forsaken, yearning but not giving up, nuh uh, no how. Can't wait to see what's next for this lovely singer.
Leah Kauffman - CD Baby (Dec 30, 2006)