Tom Lewis in Concert

What: Cornell Folk Song Club Concert
When: Saturday, October 1, 2005
Where: 165 McGraw Hall
Cornell University
How Much: $15 advance / $17 door / usual discounts

Tom Lewis

The sea will come inland to roar on the Arts Quad, and so will Tom Lewis, when her performs for the Cornell Folk Song Society on his maiden voyage to Ithaca. Hailing from England, but now a British Columbian, Tom Lewis came by his sea music honestly, through 25 years of work as a sailor on Her Majesty's Royal submarines. His passion, though, is above-board: for chanteys, songs, and dances of an earlier era of sailing ships. Most of his music is traditional, but he also includes Stan Rogers, Richard Thompson, and his own compostions in his repertoire, and has produced great harmonies with Friends of Fiddlers Green, Pint and Dale, and Tanglefoot.

Whatever the material, Tom Lewis delivers with mighty heart and energy, both tenor a capella and on concertina and ukulele. Full of salt (and sometimes salty), his lyrics come from "All Points of the Compass." So true is his sense as an old sea-dog, that the songs he has written are often mistaken for 200-year-old "standards." Lest his audience grows seasick, he can toss some Lyle Lovett, epic Rudyard Kipling, tall tales, a paean to "Radio Times," and songs of peace into the mix.

Shelley Posen (of Finest Kind, and a very fine singer himself), writes in Sing Out!: "If you're looking for seafaring [music] that breaks from the same old, same old, set sail with Tom Lewis." For an evening sure to energize, leave your land-locked life for a few hours with this fine journey-man musician.

Tickets are available at Ithaca Guitar Works, Greenstar Co-op, Small World Music, Colophon Books, and, if any are left, at the door. You may also order tickets online and by mail: SASE to CFSC, PO Box 481, Ithaca, NY 14851.

(Margaret Shepard)

For information about the concert, contact

More info about Tom Lewis
Folkstuff home page

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Author:Ted Crane
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