Great things come to those who wait and fans of Paul Lewis know this well. “Bag of Rain” the long anticipated third solo record from the enigmatic singer/songwriter/producer comes storming out of the gate with intensity like a man on fire. The CD is the culmination of several years, searching for peace, prosperity and the never ending learning process that is being an artist, husband, father, and human being. “Bag of Rain” is Lewis’ most mature and visceral exploration of the journeys that have led him to this point in his life. He puts it all out there as he explores his victories and his defeats instead of hiding from the less favorable outcomes. The music cries of themes of how anything can be achieved and shows growth in his spirit as well as his artistry. Brutally honest and forthright as an artist, Lewis has found his nitch in a fickle industry and has arrived on top yet again with the release of “Bag of Rain.” Outside of his solo work is a lead actor along side Oscar nominated actor Eric Roberts in the upcoming feature film, "Days of Power".
Paul Lewis enjoyed the kind of musical start most artists would have sold their souls for. In the 90s, the Eastern shore of Maryland saw the beginnings of the artist about to fuse with the proverbial lightning strike. Paul and his band, YNOT?! did what no other band had done before and none have done since. Sellout after sellout.
Even with a charting album, Billboard recognition, regional acclaim and financial comforts, eventually, the band dismantled and Paul moved to Los Angeles. When Lewis re-emerged from the Los-Angeles underground in 2001 with his first solo album, Get on With It, not even Paul knew where it would take him. After receiving critical acclaim and sold out shows at such high profile venues such as Genghis Cohen and the Roxy, Lewis decided to return to his roots on the East Coast to record his sophomore follow up to “Get on With It.”
While “Trading Horror Stories” was met with acclaim and charting success, the albums biggest compliment to date happened while recording “Bag of Rain,” Lewis’s Bowie Cover “Breaking Glass” received a honorable mention in a Nicholas Pegg interview at Foyles, UK, author of “The Complete David Bowie.” When asked about covers of David Bowie songs, Nicholas Pegg, David Bowie’s official biographer had this to say. “There’s a great version of Breaking Glass by Paul Lewis on his album Trading Horror Stories. Really quirky and unexpected.”
Following the release and success of “Trading Horror Stories”, Paul took a long hiatus from the studio but continued to perform live and write. When questioned about his hiatus Lewis stated, “My daughter asked if she could live with us permanently to have access to schools with an emphasis on performing arts. I knew going in that being a full time Dad while on the road was going to be a challenge so I changed things up a bit. It has been all consuming and completely rewarding.” In one of his many tweets he states, “Anyone can be a father but it takes a real man to be a Dad.”
Lewis states, “There is no filler on this recording. Not a lot of artists are making records any more it’s more about singles. I’d like to think of this as an experience to be listened to from beginning to end.” “Bag of Rain” is a mix of influences that you can feel and hear at every turn on this record. “David Bowie an obvious influence.” Lewis states, “He’s all over this record. Every song on the album is connected to the overall concept of the record. Some have likened it to a psychedelic trip down the yellow brick road with unexpected turns, twists and the occasional flying monkey. The music was co-produced by Lewis and producer Lance Davis. On the collaboration, Lewis says, “It was a very creative experience, I felt a freedom on this record that I had yet to experience. We were both fans of each others work and it seemed inevitable that this collaboration would eventually take place. He pulled things out of me that I had wanted to do for a long time.” The feast of sounds and textures is not without making statements about the world and the changes that are occurring around us. Lyrics such as,” blood and dust, everybody wants to be insured, rage & rust, happiness is too much to endure” bring attention to the issues we are facing as a society. The gothic storytelling of the title track brings forth abstract images that flow with the psychedelic vibe and sounds of tracks “Love me like you love Venus” and “Stone” to the straight forward rock -n-roll of “So Strange”. The CD reaches a highly emotional moment with “The Platform of our Lives”, a song of loss and re-birth. This record pulls no punches, yet stays true to a more alternative edge which is displayed in the first track of the record “In a Day.” where Lewis acknowledges, life is short with lyrics such as “my crazy days are numbered and my nights are just a dream.” Paul shows his playful side in “It Touches Me” then brings a social and political commentary to light in “Good Luck & Good Night” with an almost punk like tribute to Edward R. Murrow as he bites down hard with intense sarcasm he asks “where is heaven? where is hell? Here’s your dead we wish them well.”
Paul Lewis is a passionate artist who has performed over 4,500 live shows. Lewis live delivers a mesmerizing performance filled with passion, sex, drama and charisma. A true rock star, captivating and creative performer, who grabs you, hugs you, screams at you, questions everything and then asks...”What are you going to do now?”