Eliot Lewis

Interview and Article by Danny Colman

“A lot of people know me as a keyboard player but I actually started out as a drummer,” explained multi-instrumentalist and current Hall & Oates band member Eliot Lewis. “I also play guitar and bass as well.”

With a resume as long as an afternoon shadow on a hot summers’ day Lewis relishes the opportunities and the experiences that he’s had over the years performing on some of the world’s largest stages with some of music’s biggest names. Performing with the likes of Train, Joe Walsh, Booker T., Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson, Jewel, Dave Stewart, Todd Rundgren, Goo Goo Dolls and Grace Potter to name a few, and the long list of artists who he’s accompanied on the award winning weekly series “Live From Daryl’s House” on Palladia and VH1. Lewis looks forward to showcasing his solo work, as he’ll be doing on Friday March 14 at The Record Collector at 358 Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown City, NJ.

Eliot Lewis 3Surely one would think after performing in venues such as the Hollywood Bowl or Japan’s famous Budokan Arena as he toured the world as a member of The Average White Band and Hall & Oates that Lewis would shy away from the smaller arenas and listening rooms; not so he told me recently. “The reason that I got into music, was to become my own artist, wanted that since I was fourteen years old when I started to write my own songs. It’s been that way for so long for me; I’ve gone from playing very, very small places to big theaters, arenas and stadiums, its variety, so the change is really sort of normal for me. Obviously I don’t have the name as some of the artists that I work with, so playing small places I have a much, much smaller fan base but I love it and I actually like small places because they’re so intimate and you can see everybody and really kind of connect with people, which you really do lose in a huge place; so it’s all good and it’s so satisfying for me because I’m able to play my own music, put on my own show; so it’s great. I know it may sound strange but I really look forward to the smaller shows; I really do.”

Eliot’s self-professed “back and forth” between his solo career and performing with mega-stars and as a regular on “Live From Daryl’s House,” came about through steady work and his writing ability. “Yeah, I’m really fortunate because even with the amount of artists that I play with, I still have time to write and do my own music, so it works out nicely. Well, really, it was through the Average White Band and working with Alan Gorrie; that was a direct path to Hall & Oates. I was writing songs and met some of the right people and began working with Alan. As it turns out, he and Hall & Oates shared the same producer and they were actually friends. Whenever we would go to the UK with the Average White Band, Daryl would come sit in because he had a house in England at the time and we’d be hanging out prior to, or after the shows, or at his house and he would joke and say that he “wanted me in his band,” eventually I left the band and did a Daryl Hall solo tour. Touring with Daryl led to being offered a spot with Hall & Oates and ironically enough, I started touring with them in 2003 and the opening act was The Average White Band (laughs). That of course led to Daryl asking me to play keys for “Live From Daryl’s House” and I’ve been doing it for going on seven years now. That itself is incredible to me, I mean seven years is a long time for what started as a small internet show that is now seen worldwide; even I’m starting to get recognized (laughs).”Eliot Lewis 2

Currently his “own music” consists of two studio albums and a recent live recording comprised of his best and favorite material. “I’ve been putting out a few CDs and I often tour the Midwest on my own; so I compiled a live CD called Live and Up Front and I’m currently working on a new studio disc which should be completed relatively soon.”

Eliot’s solo shows are unique in the fact that he uses some backing tracks but the shows are all Eliot. “My actual shows,” he explained, “Well, what my show is, it’s a little bit of backing tracks but the tracks are all me. I play the bass and the drums on the tracks and guitar on stage; so what you’re hearing is all me and not some prerecorded tracks by another musician that I’m playing along with.”

And you’re playing at The Record Collector on March 14, 2014! “I like to tie in my solo material with my Daryl’s House experience. I try to do songs from the various artists that I’ve performed with on the program. I do some other tunes, maybe a Hall & Oates song as well as tell stories about my career, experiences, music and the TV show.”

The Record Collector is one of those “small places” with a capacity of approximately seventy-five people so one cannot get much more of an intimate setting to see some of the amazingly talented performers who’ve graced its stage. Opening for Lewis, will be the increasingly popular twin sister act of Nalani & Sarina. Their first full length CD, Lessons Learned, features some of the top session players from NYC and has drawn rave reviews. Tickets for this show are $15 in advance.








An Interview with Eliot Lewis from Hall & Oates
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