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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Lilli Lewis' third recording with iconic indie producer Mark Bingham "Americana" on compact disc in a 6 panel digipack with lyrics

    Includes unlimited streaming of Americana via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $15 USD or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $7 USD  or more

     

1.
My American heart My American heart My American heart is alive with the fire In the promise of tomorrow I’ll speak my story I’ll sing my song My American heart is alive with the fire In the promise of tomorrow
2.
In the city of unseen prophets Just over the hill There's an army of vagabond watchmen At the citadel In secret they walk among us Hidden in plain view But if they happen see something in us They might reveal a thing or two She told me I was trying to live easy But I was living a lie He told me I was lost in a forest Where all the trees were dying And the yellow eyed peaceful warrior They call Copper John Made an offering patient armor To help me carry on In the city of unseen prophets No one’s ever alone On the wind is a whispered wisdom That rattles in your bones Chorus If you're waiting for sunrise And you meet at the dawn Take your fill of the loving and Pass it on You know life is a suicide mission It's just a question of why Do it quick, do it slow, do it dirty or don't even try He's determined to figure out something Touch the point of the fall So he asks all the mystic masters Why come back at all He said you’re gonna need a peaceful lady While you wait out the end You got too much poison in your body But she can build you again You're a sea creature in stale waters With the power in your blood To make the angels sing about heaven Here on earth as above But let me tell you something honey We all need to know You can sing all you want of a brighter tomorrow But now is all you've got so Chorus If you're waiting for sunrise And you meet at the dawn Take your fill of the loving and Pass it on
3.
I don’t want to fight for freedom Freedom is a right from birth I don’t need to fight for money See, a dollar don’t define my worth I just want peace for my body Peace of mind Peace for my soul Peace for humankind I don’t wanna to have to fight for justice It’s better from an open hand I don’t wanna to fight for my power Some people sit to take a stand And I want peace for the seers Peace for the blind Peace for the seekers Peace for humankind Chorus But we go at Everything with a wrecking ball Let’s all go down, tear the walls down, tear ‘em on down I don’t want to fight for water ‘Cause abundance flows right from the sky And why they make you fight for shelter When the ground is soft and trees grow high I don’t need to fight for knowledge When wisdom seeds have long been sown I’m not afraid to walk this journey See I come into this world alone But what I want is peace for my brother Peace for his mind Peace for my sister Peace for humankind
4.
There’s a load I was born to carry Yea, I was born to town this line Until I take that lonesome ferry You’ll find me holding this piece of mine On this road, this road less travelled A constant stranger and fool am I Under my feet, just dust and gravel O’er my shoulder this piece of mine My true love, she smelled of cotton Her skin of honey, her lips of wine Empty words are ne’er forgotten And empty pleasures kill more than time For seven long years she would not marry For seven years she was not kind Her youthful breath my hands did bury Her heart for no one if not for mine If these long years could pass more gently If true love were truly blind Cold hard eyes could ne’er forsake me And leave me holding this piece of mine. Piece of mine, lord, piece of mine Yea, I’ll be holding this piece of mine
5.
I don’t know anything about what it would Take to make a father pull his Daughter out of school and say “Today we’re going far away Never to return if God is willing We will cross more than 1000 miles Before our journey’s over through the River, over hills. There will be Moments when you feel you can’t go On a moment longer, but you’re Stronger than you think You must be stronger than you think you are One day you’ll understand That sometimes in order to survive You risk it all.” Can you tell me how the tide becomes A beast that swallows bodies whole Bodies and their babies become Fodder for the ratings and Discarded long before it became Possible to name them all Impossible to name any of their names at all? I can’t tell you what to think I can’t tell you what to do All I really think I’m wondering is What if it were you? I’m reminded of the night my mother Finally left my father ‘cause he’d Hit her in the head The night he’d climbed back into bed After she’d let him know she knew he’d been unfaithful. She took both the blame and burden with her When she left his home along with Me, Michelle and John We were glad to have him gone But the dark dreams of those years Went on much longer than you’d think And they got stronger when I left for school I never understood Why I just couldn’t make my body catch up with my mind Can you tell me how the night becomes The only solace possible Solace til the sadness becomes Louder than the madness and The madness becomes meaner than The moment it was born of and The many moments more, much bigger than I could recall I sure can’t tell you what to think And I can’t tell you what I'd do All I really think I’m wondering is What if it were you?
6.
One Shoe 04:04
I crossed the ocean to this land Carrying eyes just like a man So alone, holding on to my mother’s hand But I held a weapon at my side It held a promise and my pride It wasn’t much, just enough to help me make my stand I knew too well what I couldn’t tell I’d have to show So it became the only name I’d come to know See, what you carry in your bag Could be so much more than others have Even if it’s just one shoe No, you may not have a lot, So you better give what ya got You only need one shoe Instrumental I knew too well what I couldn’t tell I’d have to show So it became the only name I’d come to know Whatever you carry in your bag Could be so much more than others have Even if it’s just one shoe No, you may not have a lot, So you better give what ya got You only need one shoe
7.
Fly 05:29
I am the eagle who glides on the wind Touching down briefly in someone’s backyard Only a glimpse of me ever remains And my home is ever so far So I must fly I look to the moon when the daylight is lost She is my pardon, she is my rest Taking the carnage of my daily bread Can leave me discouraged at best But I am so high And there are those who still sing in the hills Sacred heart secretly raging for more Tearing away at our mis-shapen will Making the lesson the art So I will sing I hear there’s freedom lying within That’s what they tell me, that’s what i’m told Reaching for wisdom is one way to go Different direction than most But I am free So be we fre
8.
I’m a wednesday’s child Born on ruination day To a preacher man who’s better than He took to the grave When he left his garden He caught a cold in his blood Grief comes in many colors And so does love Grandaddy shot himself Straight in the head But the bullet didn’t get him Bigotry killed him dead And I say is this my story Is this my problem with rage Am I making too much of it Or am I turning the page? Well it is what it is And it ain’t what it ain’t Grandma lives alone now In the middle of a cotton field Where deep in the darkness Every star in heaven’s revealed She tells me light and lonely Tread a narrow line That’s why even the sun Can’t hold its head up all the time Mama gave me a book About a small feathered seed Whose destiny it was To ride the spirit breeze And the wind was to decide Where she rested and took root Am I the fallen seed Am I the spirit fruit? Well it is what it is It won't be what it can't It is what it is And it ain’t what it ain’t
9.
Everyday 05:02
Everyday in my house is like a thousand songs and every heartbeat is a chance to right a thousand wrongs every lifetime tells another possibility every wrinkle in time shows a future memory every lifeline holds a new reality every star shines on another version of me will I be a pot head? Would I be better off dead? Would I use a gun or a knife? Will I be a hot head? Would you hear a word I said? Will I be a man to raise a hand to my wife? Will I be blind? Will I be kind? Will I find I can move mountains with my mind? Will I know myself a child of god and love will that be enough? See every heartbeat is just another possibility every sunrise saves me from obscurity everyday. Everyday in my house is like a thousand songs and every heartbeat is my chance to find where I belong every place I wait in the belly of futility but every song becomes my own private litany will I have a nice ride? Would I make a beautiful bride? Will I earn more than minimum wage? Would I let myself decide when it’s time to eat my pride? Will I be reincarnated a sage? Will I just be ordinary? Or would that be too scary? Will I let the church choose who I wed? Will I bleed? Will I burn? Will I notice my turn? And will I take it? Everyday
10.
I have a healing inside me just now I have been longing for justice just now I have a yearning for safety just now I am a self-sovereign human just now I claim the space for my grieving just now I am awake to my journey just now And I have a healing inside me just now
11.
There’s a lady I met at a party one night She’d come over from old mother England Just a beast in the air with her fancy a-flight And her ship was just now coming in You could tell by the light in her eyes this was no make believe That she measures her prize by the weight of the gun up her sleeve A hand cocked to one side as she steadied her pride and the kick back enlivened in her bones Now the stained little girl has a woman made world of her own Well I have this good friend whose beginning again She has never lived on her own I can see how she feels, it’s a pretty big deal When the night comes to find you alone Well I guess it’s the weight of the world she must hold in her hands A cold chamber echoes “honey, you know you’ve left a good man” But the bullet inside means she no longer hides From those real or imagined demands ‘Cause it’s her story now and she moves as the journey commands Oh the coffee shop girl with her warm chestnut eyes She has nothing against integration But the fact of the matter is how it was done Went against the known will of her nation See there’s only one law of the land worth keeping around And that law puts a gun in her hand as she’s standing her ground And whatever the cost or the lives that are lost She believes it’s her right to defend So those brown eyes turn cold as she wipes down the counter again
12.
Don’t ya get got The great divide is an illusion ‘Til the world stops Don’t be misguided by confusion I’m talkin’ bout the politics of dignity And living out the promise of humanity It’s hard for me to preach without the sanity Of the eagle-eye view Where there’s no difference between me and you. The great divide is an illusion. (Don’t ya get got) The great divide is an illusion. (Don’t ya get got) I see Dreamers preach This land’s their land too And Two Spirits teach Make old wisdom new And I sing to myself They belong in this world I see Judy Heumann Oh, she fights for me While thousands of houseless Make homes in the street And I sing to myself They belong in this world I tell you in the politics of dignity We’re mapping out the promise of humanity We can’t forget the view of basic sanity Where in the eagle-eye view There’s no differences. I see every color Watch their dollars die We turn to the children To be the ones to save our kind And I sing to myself We belong in this world We belong in this world
13.
My American heart Wants your baby to be born healthy Wants your son to make it home from the war Fully able to rejoin his people My American heart Wants your job to help you feed your family Hopes it lets you build a home that houses Generations of joy My American heart Knows you're more than just an able body Hopes if your able body ever falters Your wellness won't have much in the way I hope your children and grandchildren Become curious and kind But above all, I wish them safety from without and within My American heart wishes safety for my own family too don't wanna have to keep them safe from you but Nevertheless, here we are We're in a difficult conversation One that might go on for years But in this difficult conversation I want you to know I can see you, know I can hear you Know I still pray for you With my American heart. Instrumental We're in a difficult conversation One that might go on for years But in this difficult conversation I want you to know I can see you, know I can hear you Know I still pray for you With my American heart.

about

Beloved New Orleans Folk Rock Diva Lilli Lewis is releasing Americana, her third full album for Louisiana Red Hot Records. The album was co-produced by Lewis and iconic indie producer Mark Bingham (Peter Stampfel, Hal Wilner, Allen Ginsberg…). Notable guest artists include cellist Rick Nelson (Afghan Whigs, Polyphonic Spree), folk favorite Gina Forsyth, and Seattle Blues Legend Lady A. The album will be released on CD and across all digital platforms on October 29th.

Thanks to the perils of five pandemic-era hurricanes, Americana was recorded across more than twice as many spaces, with the bulk of the load performed in New Orleans at Marigny Studios (recorded by Rick Nelson), and at Bingham’s own Nina Highway in Henderson, Louisiana. After performing for a full house at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s last show before lockdown, Lewis conceived the album amid quarantine conditions that imposed an indefinite pause in an otherwise booked-out performance year. Without the pressure of upbeat, danceable shows on the agenda, Lewis turned to a bag of story songs that she felt didn't fit the New Orleans club scene.

The record returned Lewis to her folk and roots origins, and reflects two sides of her America, that of her father’s church, and that of the “white-gaze” world that existed beyond those walls. Reuniting Country with its gospel and blues roots, the country-soul excursion begins with the Texas-tinged, Eliza Gilkyson inspired “Copper John,” but quickly shifts into the Rufus-esque country-funk anthem “Wrecking Ball.” If the heart of the record is found in its benediction “My American Heart,” a song Mandy Patinkin referred to as “like listening to light,” the soul of the collection may be “A Healing Inside,” an a cappella, sober declaration that features Lady A, the Seattle based Blues legend whose name has been famously usurped by the Nashville band formerly known as Lady Antebellum, who changed their name in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Of the collection, Lewis says: “these stories were meant to reflect the humanity of the forgotten, because in times like these, it feels like dignity can be really hard to come by.”

Trained as an opera singer and classical pianist, Lewis has been a composer, producer and performing artist for over two decades. She released her first album The Coming of John in 2003, and has been known as the Folk Rock Diva since performing in the Folk Rock band The Shiz, which she founded with her wife Liz Hogan in 2009.

Lewis has issued three critically acclaimed releases on Louisiana Red Hot Records where she serves as VP and the Head of A&R: the 2018 solo piano album The Henderson Sessions, 2019’s We Belong by the Lilli Lewis Project, and the 2020 My American Heart Red + Blue EP, which one reviewer compared to legendary opera singer Jessye Norman, if she had been part of the folk-rock genre. In 2020, Lewis also released a single she co-wrote, co-produced and performed — the “Mask Up” anthem for a public health campaign from Louisiana Red Hot Records and WHIV-FM featuring New Orleans favorites Kirk Joseph, Glen David Andrews, and Erica Falls.

Since the shutdown, Lewis has performed a powerful set for the Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America virtual series, played "My American Heart" for a streaming voters' rights benefit (where Patinkin became a fan), and performed for WWOZ-FM's Piano Night virtual benefit. She also was selected to be a Folk Alliance International delegate for Global Music Match, an online collaboration showcasing 78 artists from 17 countries.

When Lewis was featured in the Americana Music Association’s virtual “Black Equity in Americana: A Conversation” live-stream, she stated: “Black artists and black art have been at the heart of Americana since its inception, and now we’re in a position to address what this means from a relatively new point of view.”

Her new 2021 album Americana does just that.

lillilewis.com

credits

released October 29, 2021

Produced by Lilli Lewis & Mark Bingham

Recorded by:
Rick Nelson at Marigny Studios, New Orleans
David Villalta at Studio 55, Ponchaatoula, LA
Mark Bingham at Nina Hwy, Henderson, LA
Keenan McRae at Artisound, New Orleans
Lilli Lewis at Sanctuary Studios, Slidell, LA

Performed by:
Lady A - Ad Lib Vocals
Kyshona Armstrong - Backing Vocals
Arnae Batson - Backing Vocals
Doug Belote - Drums
Mark Bingham - Electric Guitar
Mikayla Braun - Backing Vocals
Vienna Carroll - Backing Vocals
Richard Comeaux - Pedal Steel
Dave Easley - Pedal Steel
Gina Forsyth - Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals, Fiddle
Angelique Francis - Backing Vocals
Wade Hymel - Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals, Drums, Electric Guitar, Percussion
Jim Kolacek - Drums
Sam Kuslan - Keys, Synths
Lilli Lewis - Lead Vocals, Piano
Kirkland Middleton - Drums, Percussion
Kenny Murphy - Backing Vocals, Bass
Rick Nelson - Cello
Josh Paxton - Organ, Rhodes
Kim Richardson - Backing Vocals
James Walsh - Bass
Bryan Webre - Bass, Electric Guitar

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LILLI LEWIS @folkrockdiva New Orleans, Louisiana

Lilli Lewis bears a progressive, provocative, and conscientious presence paired with a love for music that began before she composed her first song on the piano at age three, Lewis is a modern day Renaissance woman, who, when in full gear, conjures the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Odetta, and Janis Joplin. ... more

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