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