Many people speculate that the reason Steve Carrell never received an Emmy for his work as Michael Scott on The Office, was that no one grasped the complex effort behind his simple performance. Enter Brooklyn transplant, social media savvy, dog-lover, Ricky Lewis and his debut solo EP, Serious Mistress. Lewis, formerly of two indie bands (Dear Lion, The Wools), new sound is so stripped down that if you weren’t paying attention, you would miss every thoughtful layer. His musicianship on display in patient guitar chords, sporadically joined by intriguing ivory tickles, like on the much-lauded song “Clay Baby”.
And if you are listening closely, then you’ll also be engaged in engrossing wordplay. Delivered in the style of a man who is more poet than singer. Often teasing out certain words in a way that calls out every verbal wink. Like in the song Cold War Dreams, he says, “My best friend does not pray, not since he killed a man for pay, he used to shoot me with a toy gun he made of wood.” These sorts of lyrics work in a complimentary tandem with the music. And both ultimately stand on their own; yet equally appeal to the listener’s empathy.
Because as you listen to Lewis reflect on his life, you’ll look at your own. As this is what attentive performances do, they work really hard to build a bridge to your emotions, without showing you the nail, or the hammer. So you only feel like you got pounded. And, that’s what she said!
See Ricky Lewis play at Rockwood Music Hall, in Manhattan, 1/29 at 10:30pm.
Article by Sommer Bonner