Bill Lewis at Woodyfest
This post was updated on Monday, 15 October at 4:42 P.M. to correct Lewis’s current whereabouts and other factual errors.
Bill Lewis Brings Taste of Hill Country to Okemah
Kicking off the 21st annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, [Sidenote: This post marks the kickoff of a series we’ll be publishing over the next few weeks showcasing a selection of artists from this year’s Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. We hope to post at least one or two articles and galleries in this vein per week until we get through every performer we photographed at this year’s festival. If you want to keep up on this series, please consider signing up for our mailing list.] Bill Lewis brought his solo troubador act to the basement of the Brick Street Café on 12 July at 11:00 A.M., two days before Woody’s birthday.
Lewis learned classical piano in and around church in his hometown of Decatur. Finding the small town life too constraining, he moved away
seeking culture and art and other real things. [Sidenote: “The Real Bill Lewis,” Luckenbach Moon, November 2008.] He’s currently based in San Antonio, Texas, touring the Texas Hill Country. On Sundays you can find him at Hondo’s in Fredericksburg playing piano with The Any Given Sunday Band.
Lewis is a regular at Oklahoma City’s Blue Door and is the co-writer of a folk opera about addictions ranging from fast food to opioids, Jack and Jill, with his collaborator, the late Michael Hilton. The pair also wrote a musical, Code of the West, depicting the rise, fall, and redemption of a cowboy. Featuring larger-than-life, semi-mythical characters with names like
The Sky Boss,
The King of the Cowboys, and
The Queen of the West, the musical draws inspiration from the Legend of King Arthur. At one time, some Broadway producers expressed an interest in staging it. Lewis holds out hope that it may one day see the Great White Way.