Can you believe it has been a decade since American Idol alumni Blake Lewis released his debut album “Audio Day Dream“? Although we have spoken about Blake so much down the years, it doesn’t seem any great, length of time since we first began talking about the album and its follow-ups “Heartbreak On Vinyl” and “Portrait Of A Chameleon” (also celebrating it’s three-year release anniversary this summer) if truth be known. Shortly after announcing reaching the “Portrait Of A Chameleon” milestone in May, Blake hinted at new music would soon be on the way. These days I tend not to hold my breath when artists feed out comments like that because it takes a lot to get an album off the ground in the current music climate. However, the singer’s fans are an especially, loyal bunch and Blake is a man of his word so it only, seemed sense to mark his decade in music with a live album featuring songs from all three of his studio album’s. At peak time for reminiscing the appropriately titled “Strings, Spit and Serenades“, is here.
What you do need to know about the album is, it came to fruition by a fan-funded PledgeMusic campaign and was recorded live at Columbia City Theatre with the incredible, Passenger String Quartet. Blake said this about the project, “On July 21st I will be filming a live concert at The Columbia City Theatre with the incredible, Passenger String Quartet. I’ve hired the help of Workhouse Creative (amazing, cinematic storytellers) to film and edit, Justin Armstrong (Legendary Seattle Engineer) to record the audio and have my dear friends Mark Rodriquez, Rob Wasilauski and Andrew Joslyn to take my songs to new heights with their orchestral, arranging skills.”
I have to say the inclusion of strings on these live renditions really, does raise-the-bar to that of most live and acoustic recordings. The performances are spellbinding, the vocals emotively powerful and the contrast between classic and modern ideas seamlessly come together in the most exceptionally, magical way. The album as a whole takes the listener off to a beautiful place of elegant artistry that is fearless of branching out down, off the beaten track. I especially love how “How Many Words” with violin accompaniment from Andrew Joslyn has turned out.
May I suggest, you check out “Strings, Spit and Serenades” when you’re looking for a quiet moment to breathe and rejuvenate before you’re back to being the life and soul of the party during this festive season. I hope you’ll discover it to be exquisitely charming and absolutely, stunning as I did.
LISTEN to “Strings, Spit and Serenades” on Spotify HERE
WATCH the complete live recorded performance on YouTube HERE