artists & venues

Billy Lee Lewis

Billy Lee Lewis working his magic
The Tommy Castro Band.


From: Billy Lee Lewis
Subject: Billy Lee's update
Date: August 12, 2004 5:08:44 PM PDT

It's been well over a year since I left the fold of the Tommy Castro Band, and to quote Kurt Vonnegut, "It's a full life and a merry one." I've been remiss in updating the events and changes in my life and career, and in the hope that a few of you retain interest, I'll fill you in.

Going directly from five-plus years of near-constant touring, to waking up in the same bed every morning was not unlike the decompressing stages divers experiences on their way up from the depths (which is not to imply that the Castro gig was the depths - far from it - but perhaps a less insinuating metaphor is called for here). OK, let's use the "space vehicle re-entering earth's atmosphere" analogy. Either way, done too abruptly, serious consequences are likely. Leaving the Castro Band without an alternative plan for my professional life made my first few months at home a strange combination of relaxation and terror. Work was scarce, faith frequently wavered, but we held the course and everything eventually fell happily into place.

As many of you know, I left the band and the road to devote myself to family life. Almost a year to the day from my last Castro gig, our son, Will, was born. As of this writing (8/12/04), he's four months old, happy, healthy, and as good a kid as one could ever hope for. I, being 634 months old, am feeling the ravages of first-time parenthood, but thanks to the maternal (and spousal) dedication of my child bride, singer/songwriter Jessie Turner, I'm not only surviving, but am profoundly enjoying this indescribably wonderful new chapter in my life.

After a few months back at home, work began trickling in, and soon reached a satisfactory level. For the last several months, my primary gig has been with the world-renowned slide player, Roy Rogers. Roy keeps the touring to a minimum and the music to the maximum, which is exactly what I had hoped to achieve. His sets are challenging and exciting, and I wholeheartedly invite you to check it out. I've been fortunate in securing a fair amount of studio work, both producing and playing for a number of Bay Area artists, and do several live dates each month with some of my favorite players. Carrying through on my threat to teach drums to innocents, I've given a few lessons in a sort of "house-call" fashion (I go to them), and, schedule permitting, would consider adding a few more "students" to my roster.

I still have my regular column, "The Road Worrier" in DRUM! magazine, which aims to enlighten young musicians in the "drill" of life on the road, and how to live through it. For those of you interested in discussing a project, or others who just want to say "HI!", I can be reached at correcttime@earthlink.net.

As always, while out there on the road, or here in the Bay Area, I look forward to the pleasure of reuniting with old friends, as well as making new ones.

510-536-6767 Billy Lee Lewis phone
Billy Lee Lewis e-mail

Will in gold chair... need we say more?


Subject: Fw: he's loose
Date: Friday, April 18, 2003 12:18 PM
From: billy lee lewis <correcttime@earthlink.net>
To: Rich Piellisch <peach@sanfranciscoblues.net>

I hope you'll forgive the brevity of this letter (coming from me it's probably a relief - who am I kidding?), but I'm letting my musically connected friends and associates know that I've resigned from the Castro Band. There are several reasons, but primary among them is my desire to spend more time with Jessie: my wife, my life.

Naturally, this can't be accomplished when one is touring nine out of every twelve months, so, with no little trepidation and regret, I've left the fold of Los Castros and plunged headlong into the icy and forbidding waters of middle-aged unemployment. I've been writing some articles for "DRUM!" magazine and hope to parlay those published works into more of the same with different publications; aside from that, local gigs, sessions, and perhaps a stab at teaching are my immediate options. SO, to that end, I'm contacting folks like yourself to publicly place myself upon the block, so to speak, in hopes of reintegrating myself into the local scene. I'm willing to go out on brief tours, but for the next year or so, would prefer not to get back into a constant touring situation.

If you should hear of, or personally need the services of a cheerful, willing, and extremely seasoned side-man, I hope you'll give me a call. In fact, if you've got a groovy gig coming up that you'd just like to have your pals attend, let me know. Now that I'm home, I want to get out and get reaquainted with my friends. I also have, I am indeed extraordinarily blessed to have at my side Jessie Turner, a groovy wife who's a great hang, whom I owe about 1,000,000 dates, and I need more destinations than just dinner and a movie. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your pal,

PS I guess this e-mail wasn't so brief after all...what a surprise.


510-536-6767 Billy Lee Lewis phone
Billy Lee Lewis e-mail


she is Billy's most bodacious, and bodaciously talented Babe


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