Steve Miller Band bassist speaks on joining up with Steve, Rock Hall reactions and more
By David Sands
Kenny Lee Lewis has been flying like an eagle with the Steve Miller Band —as a bassist, guitarist and background vocalist—for over 35 years now. But the multi-instrumentalist’s role as a member of that iconic rock group is just one facet of a remarkably accomplished musical career. For many years, he’s also been a high-flying studio musician, whose credits include working with artists like Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Money, Peter Frampton, Boz Scaggs, Brian Wilson, and Steve Stills, Wayne Newton. He’s even shared the stage with the likes of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and even the late great comedian Milton Berle. Add to that the fact that he’s also a songwriter and producer, composed for movies and television, written articles for Guitar Player Magazine and worked doing artist relations and sales with Guitar Center, and it’s clear Lewis is a guy who’s seen just about every side of the music business.
Born in Pasadena, California and raised in Sacramento, Lewis is a self-taught musician, who started off playing the ukulele at seven years old, before moving onto acoustic and then electric guitar. By age 15, he was already playing music professionally and two years later he was touring with his band Sand Castle. Not long after that, he established himself as a studio bass player. Prior to joining with the Steve Miller Band, he played with Gerard McMahon’s band Kid Lightning. In addition to working with Mr. Miller, Lewis plays in the cabaret-style quintet Barflyz with his wife, Diane Steinberg-Lewis. He’s also released the smooth jazz instrumental guitar CD New Vintage through the New Folk/Allegro record label.
FBPO’s Jon Liebman caught up with Lewis in Sterling Heights, Michigan at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill and got an opportunity to speak with him about how he made the jump from studio musician to touring with Steve Miller, an upcoming book on the roots of rock and roll and more.
Watch our interview with Kenny!
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