The multi-talented Shannell Lewis takes the country show on the road with the 8 Track Favourites
She may not wear a coat of many colours, but Shannell Lewis certainly dons many different hats.
Fans of OZFM have no doubt heard her delightfully cheerful voice over the past six years on Jigs & Reels, or caught her filling in for one of her radio co-workers on a variety of OZFM programs. She’s been seen on NTV too, shining brightly helping out with hosting duties during the annual Janeway Telethon.
Lewis is also a star on the stage. When she’s not emceeing or hosting events on behalf of NTV, OZFM and The Newfoundland Herald, Lewis can be found with mic in hand belting out some great country and rock classics. Lewis, one of the divas with Women of Rock alongside OZFM’s own Stephanie O’Brien, is also the voice of the women of country music with fan favourite band 8 Track Favourites.
Lewis joined Larry Foley and the Favs over seven years ago and now they are hitting the road to tour Arts & Culture Centres throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
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INTO THE MUSIC
Lewis was born and raised in Ontario by Newfoundland-born parents. She returned to her roots after graduating high school. The 29-year-old says that as this province has, country music has “always stirred” her soul, but mostly, performing is about the audience’s reaction.
“It’s instantaneous for one thing. It’s immediate feedback. It’s just so easy to feed off the audience, especially when they’re loving it and are into the music,” she began.
Lewis, who has recently accepted a sales position with The Newfoundland Herald, says that hitting the road with the 8 Track Favourites and travelling for her passion is an opportunity to meet those she has spoken with, at least over the airwaves or on the phone, in person.
“It’s a very big opportunity musically for my career, but it’s also a great one personally. I wasn’t born in Newfoundland, but I love the food and the people, and everyone’s so friendly and there’s always lots to do and see. This is my chance to see this island from almost every viewpoint and I’m so excited,” she said.
This year’s show is dedicated to one of the band’s greatest fans, Cyril “Skip” Heath, who never missed a show since the band started performing.
“Illness took away his memory, but he always remembered going to the Arts and Culture Centre for the 8 Tracks. He will be missed this year and every year.”
Lewis kills it when she belts out tunes from country legends like Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn. She’s performed at the Salmon Festival, Eastbound Hoedown, Iceberg Alley, George Street Festival, and the Frosty Festival. She’s opened for Emerson Drive, Aaron Pritchett, Randy Houser, Terri Clark, Kim Mitchell, Our Lady Peace and Randy Bachman.
‘ABOUT THE FANS’
Her radio interviews have included Carl English, Jim Cuddy, Paul Brandt, and The Road Hammers. Lewis also spent nine years with Miss Conduct and recently has been performing a solo acoustic set accompanied by Mike Dray, a Stirling Communications co-worker.
What does she love most about performing? “I love to sing. I love being on stage. I love the music, but it truly is all about the fan’s reaction. Feeling the energy, and getting that response back when you’ve done something the audience loves, is just the best feeling of all.”