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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Eliot Lewis coming from ‘Daryl’s House’ for Civic show

12/19/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Eliot Lewis will perform at the Akron Civic Theatre Dec. 21.
Photo courtesy of Phil Nichols
DOWNTOWN AKRON — When Eliot Lewis made a stop with Daryl Hall and John Oates last February for a concert at the Akron Civic Theatre, he found the venue and the audience to be impressive.

“It was beautiful,” said Lewis, who has played with the chart-topping duo for 10 years. “We did a few Hall and Oates shows in a row here [in Ohio], and I remember Daryl saying, ‘Why don’t we come to Ohio more? The audiences are so great.’”

Now Lewis is bringing his one-man show to the Civic for an intimate cabaret-style performance Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. In the show, he’ll sing and play guitar and keyboard and be accompanied by bass guitar and drums that he recorded on backing tracks.

“There’s a million musicians who play an acoustic guitar and sing,” Lewis said in a phone interview from his Connecticut home. “What I wanted to do was recreate the band experience on my own. I’m using some technology, but it’s very simple. It’s all me playing those instruments. I’ll be playing songs from my own CDs and some songs I’ve done on ‘Live From Daryl’s House.’”

Lewis appears regularly on Hall’s music series, which started as an Internet-only show and is now carried on VH1 and Palladia. The show has featured a mix of well-known performers, including Joe Walsh, Rob Thomas, Train and Todd Rundgren, along with newcomers such as Allen Stone, The Dirty Heads, Eric Hutchinson and Matt Nathanson.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be on every episode from the start,” he said. “To see the growth over the six years, it’s been amazing.”

Lewis noted he just wrapped up four new episodes that were recorded at a new studio venue for the show in Pawling, N.Y.

He said he enjoys splitting his time between working for Hall and Oates and working on his own music. Lewis started out playing the drums at 10 and added other instruments as the years went on.

In the 1980s, Lewis had publishing deals with major labels Warner Brothers and Sony.

“That sort of led to me being in the Average White Band, for 12 or 13 years, and I did a lot of session work with people like Tina Turner and Joe Cocker,” he said. “My relationship with the Average White Band led to meeting Daryl Hall. When I left, Daryl invited me into the band.”

Lewis tries to record a new CD every year. He just released Live and up Front and will have copies available at the show.

He added that today’s music business is very different than the one he started out in, but he’s tried to embrace the changes.

“I have to look at the positive aspects of how the business has changed,” he said. “It’s a little bit like the Wild West — anything goes now. It’s definitely more overwhelming for a new artist to come into it now without the backing a record label can give you, but there are more opportunities. It’s more dependent on building up a grassroots following … but it’s hard because there’s so much music and so many artists out there that you have to find a way to stand apart.”

Tickets for the show are $20 and available at the Civic Box Office or by calling 330-253-2488. The Civic is located at 182 S. Main St. For additional information, go to www.akroncivic.com or www.eliotlewis.com.

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