Jona Lewie TSP

Illustration of Jona Lewie for Velvet Sheep by Tessa Sillars-Powell

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.

Today, for the hundredth “song for ewe”, is a singer songwriter whose Southern English brogue brings to life his kitchen sink party poetry and whose electronic undertones mean that he’s both a timeless musician and a bona fide national treasure. A Stiff Records stalwart, who’s still ultra relevant, played on Steve Lamacq’s 6Music show only a day ago. Not just for Christmas, but for life, it’s the legendary Jona Lewie!


I originally got in touch with Jona via FB and found him thoroughly and reassuringly charming.

He also put me onto his manager Greta who is also lovely & disarming. Turns out she also represents Velvet Sheep buddy, The Fall producer Mike Bennett too, so it’s a small world after all.

Greta informatively says of Jona’s current activity:

“Jona has a string of gigs planned in the UK in December 2015. One may be involving Donovan at The Great Folk Festival.

Jona is also extending one of the numbers on his upcoming album. It is a double album and has a few remixes of old songs like “Hallelujah Europa” etc but in the main brand new songs.

Jona is very very happy for anyone to talk about his past in blues and working with Arthur Crudup (and playing on Crudup Album) when we get a chance rather than Stop the Cav and Kitchen at times albeit he loves those songs. His massively big loves are Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley and his first record was Fats Domino at the age of 11. He also supported T Rex when in Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts.

Finally Jona is developing a birds eye view of the music industry approaches to making music available to the Public.”


And in a perfect segue-way to taking a bird’s eye view, Jona has chosen an avian “song for ewe”, so without any further ado, it’s over to the masterful Jona…

“You’re So Fine” by The Falcons.

“As an 12 year old boy, I was bowled over by what seemed to me at the time to be a violin solo in the middle which had a crazy feel about it and it seemed like a strange thing to have in the middle of a pop rock record in 1959 which is when I bought it.

Looking back now it could have actually have been a saxophone playing the solo but at the time it seemed like a crazy violinist to me.

I thought a violin belonged to classical music at the time and this violinist was just so crazy and rocking the blues.

In addition there was something about the vocal that was captivating and sincere which was a rarity in pop records in 50s Britain.

I realised in later years that the key to that feel was essentially a black/blues thing”