Boogie-woogie whiz kid Veronica Lewis lifts roof

Veronica Lewis’ debut, “You Ain’t Unlucky’ hit No. 1 before it was even released.
Photo by Nancy Leotta

Seventeen-year-old boogie-woogie pianist Veronica Lewis described her mindset when making her debut album: “I imagined I only had one shot to lay it down in the studio, as if I walked into a recording studio somewhere back in time, like Sun of Stax, and the producer just pressed the record button and said ‘OK, kid, let me hear what you’ve got.’ Then, if I’m lucky, the roof lifts off the studio, and the rest is history.”

Consider the roof lifted. And luck has nothing to do with it.

“You Ain’t Unlucky” skyrocketed on Monday to No. 1 in seven categories on the weekly Roots Music Report. It also debuted high on various charts, Americana, Alt Country, Independent Blues, College & Community Radio and the title track debuted at No. 12 on the Living Blues Radio Chart.

Lewis an undeniable force with a robust, wide-ranging, playful voice. She shows off her voice without showing off, keeping a rhythmic melody throughout the eight songs on her self-produced debut. Call her the Boogie-Woogie Whiz Kid.

And the Boston kid did her homework. Blues purists will love her. There are two covers, “Is You Is My Baby,” a 1943 Louis Jordan standard, and “Whoo Whee Sweet Daddy,” by Katie Webster, the “Swamp Boogie Queen.” She also penned “Ode to Jerry Lee,” and on the rip-roaring final track, “The Memphis Train,” she shouts out to Pinetop Perkins and the aforementioned Jerry Lee Lewis and Katie Webster.

Lewis is the 2020 Boston Music Awards’ Artist of the Year and was named 2020’s Best Young Artist by the New England Music Hall of Fame.

When the pandemic lifts and live music returns all across the nation, Veronica Lewis will be an artist not to be missed. As she sings on “Clarksdale Sun:” “We’re gonna beat down the angry sun with a boogie-woogie bass and drum.”

-Tim Parsons

  • Veronica Lewis
  • ‘You Ain’t Unlucky’
  • Label: Blue Heart Records
  • Release: Feb. 19, 2020
  • Favorite tracks: ‘Memphis Train,’ ‘Is You My Baby’

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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