Nashville-based troubadour Sam Lewis says he comes from “multiple backgrounds”— “I went to 20 public schools growing up, we traveled a lot. My dad was never really satisfied with what little means the universe gave us, so the grass was always greener on the other side,” he recalls. “I was always the new kid. Because of that, I was conditioned to be tolerant and to dream, which serendipitously, enabled me to be able to adapt to the traveling artist lifestyle.”
Eight years ago, Lewis became enamored with Nashville and its strong sense of community, musical and otherwise, and decided to call the Music City home. “I wanted to meet talented people and learn from them. Now, I no longer work at Walmart, I’m a full-time touring musician, and I’m talking to you!” he says with a laugh.
Two albums later, he’s smarter and hairier, but all the magic of being a career musician hasn’t been lost. “I’m a big believer in community. I’ve been asked to do a lot of things, I’ve done a lot of charity work, i jump right in. Nashville’s my home, I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere—anything I can do of the folks around me who believe in what I’m doing and who want to make a difference, I’m all for it.” So, when he was asked to participate in a benefit to preserve a beloved Nashville park, it was a no-brainer.
Lewis is set to perform tomorrow, July 30th, along with The Glade City Rounders, at the Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party, a series of shows representative of East Nashville’s thriving roots and Americana music scene, to preserve one of the city’s most unique landmarks. The historic Cornelia Fort Air Park was named after Cornelia Fort, an East Nashville debutante who bucked her heritage and the gender divide of the time to become a skilled pilot and flight instructor. Cornelia joined the Woman’s Air Force to ferry airships for the American Forces, and in 1943 died in a flight mishap. Consequently, at the age of 24 she became the first female aviator to die in war service of the United States. For decades, Cornelia Fort Air Park was the busiest privately owned Air Park in America until it closed in the wake of the 2010 flood that devastated the city; damage from the flood has served to be too much to overcome without the community’s support.
Because of monies raised from the series last year, organizers were able to make infrastructure improvements to the existing hangars, which are used by people and their pets, and Little League batting practice,among other things. Producer Todd Jarrell says, “We wanted to host an event that would bring together and allow all ages to enjoy this unique space. It is a green oasis amidst a metropolis, and it’s a space where ideas are meant to take flight!”
Admission to the Pickin’ Party is $12.00 in advance $15.00 at the door and includes a drink ticket for one adult beverage. Musicians are encouraged to bring an instrument for an extra drink ticket and jam the night away starting at 6:00 PM. For more information about Sam Lewis please visit: http://samlewistunes.com/ and more information on the Glade City Rounders visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheGladeCityRounders/
To volunteer or purchase tickets, visit: www.friendsofshelby.org
2016 CORNELIA FORT PICKING PARTY PERFORMERS
July 30th – Sam Lewis / Glade City Rounders
August 27th – Howlin’ Brothers / Bill & The Belles
September 17th – Brazilbilly (with Jesse Lee Jones) / Ashleigh Caudill