American singer-songwriter TONY LEWIS has earned a reputation as one of the hottest and most sought-after performers, recording artists and songwriters in the European scene. During a 30 plus-year career, he has performed in over 30 countries* on 4 continents, released 6 albums of mainly self-penned songs, headlined festivals before 30,000 screaming fans, shared the stage with many of music's legends**, and along the way taken the time to learn to speak 5 languages fluently.
An inveterate globetrotter, Lewis regularly plays packed venues in Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Spain. This is an artist who makes close contact with his audience, and who understands how to move and entertain his listeners. Whether in the intimate atmosphere of a club or from the biggest festival stages, Tony's energetic, professional, and varied performances showcase his eclectic mix of styles, and leave no doubt that he is a unique talent. He has celebrated triumph after triumph at numerous international festivals, like for example twice as the main act at the mammoth Mirande American Music Festival in southern France, where in 1998 an electrifying performance before 30,000 fans brought the stadium to the boiling point, and Tony back for 3 encores.
A native Californian, Tony Lewis was surrounded since birth by Rhythm & Blues, Country & Western, Swing, Folk, Soul, and naturally Rock & Roll - styles that would later blend into his own particular brand of American music. He found his passion when at age eleven he bought his first guitar, and settled down to teach himself to play. Later he began to concentrate more on singing and writing, and in spite of playing a credible guitar, piano, mandolin and harmonica, today considers himself a vocalist and composer.
Tony showed a rebel streak early, when at the age of fifteen he left home to try his fortunes in Hawaii. By the time he was 19, his travels brought him to Europe where fate and luck pushed him into a musical career. While backpacking through Italy he was robbed, and found himself left on the side of the road with no more than the proverbial shirt on his back. He made his way across the border, borrowed a friend's guitar, and after an impromptu audition in a hotel kitchen, got his first professional engagement in the alpine ski resort of Zermatt, Switzerland.
Since then, Lewis has stayed moving with extensive tours through Europe, the South Pacific and the Caribbean, as well as a year-long stint in Latin America on tour as a "Cultural Ambassador" for the U.S. Government. From first-class night-clubs in Hawaii to colonial concert halls in dusty provincial Argentine backwaters, from rustic ski resorts in New Zealand to the top recording studios of Paris, Lewis has gathered experience, paid his dues, and demonstrated his talent on the most diverse stages around the world.
Since 1991 Lewis has called Switzerland his home. In 1993 he released his debut album "Wanted Man". Tony's '95 recording "Another Country", recorded in Nashville and produced by none other than Mike Chapman (Garth Brooks), again testified to his talent as singer-songwriter. Lewis returned to Nashville in '98 to produce his landmark album, "Dancin' On The Edge", again working with the Country Mecca's cream. In these songs, his early influences of Rock, R & B, Pop and even Jazz sit firmly on a Country base. In '99 "Portrait", an anthology album including unreleased material appeared. Tony's next release "Naked", was an intimate and intense solo acoustic work, well outside the box- and into the nascent "Americana" scene. As one reviewer put it, "This album doesn't rely on arrangements and production for its power, but on songs and soul".
Soon after the release of "Naked" in 2001, a series of events would happen which would lead to Lewis' decision to take a break from performing. The tragic loss of 3 band members (out of 5), along with the loss of his father and the events of 9/11, were answered by purchasing a small winery in the US and retiring for a few years from the music business. "One day while out working in the vineyard, I all of a sudden realized that I missed performing, and was ready to go back", recalls the artist. The estate was sold and Lewis returned to Switzerland.
A new album followed in 2010. "HeartLine" was another Nashville produced record, and a return to his trademark eclectic modern Americana style. “It was definitely a celebratory way to leave the sad events of the past in the past, and to look towards a more optimistic future”, says Lewis.
In addition to performances on European Country stages with his band “Tuff Love”, 2012 will see Lewis back on the road with an Americana-styled solo acoustic Singer-Songwriter concert tour branded “The Naked Tour”. He will perform songs from the album of the same name, along with many newer compositions.