THE WAY PAIGE LEWIS SEES IT, HER WHOLE CAREER HAS BEEN A SERIES OF TURNS LEADING HER TO THIS VERY PLACE IN TIME: ON THE BRINK OF RELEASING HER DEBUT COUNTRY ALBUM.
A seasoned performer and a notoriously hard-working musician, this is a debut unlike most. And with the places her career has already taken her, Paige could tell you stories that just make for a good country song. Yet, until now, she’d never thought to write one. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Raised in Katy, TX, much of Paige’s youth was spent playing softball to the soundtrack of 90s Country’s greatest hits, rocking out to Shania and Reba, and being serenaded by Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson through her dad’s truck radio. When she picked up her mom’s old guitar and began writing songs at the age of 14, Paige was quickly signed to Warner Chappell Publishing, and away she went.
But as much as she loved it, it wasn’t country music that called Lewis’s name back then. “I was writing songs to sing at my church, where I was a worship leader, so naturally my first album was a Christian pop/rock album”, she remembers. Nashville, Los Angeles, and Austin, TX, have all at one point been “home” for Lewis. After signing to Word Records and releasing her (first) debut album, Paige toured nationally and performed at noteworthy venues such as the Ryman, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, Tacoma Dome, Viper Room, and Reliant Arena. Leaving Nashville, Lewis headed to the west coast where she partnered with a team of producers in L.A. to record and release her mainstream sophomore album, “The Best Thing”, which had two tracks featured in the Ridley Scott film Matchstick Men. Over the course of her career, Paige has shared the stage with talented artists such as K.T. Tunstall, Zach Brown Band, Katy Perry, P.O.D., Guster, Switchfoot, and many more. She was awarded an ASCAP songwriting award for her cowrite of “I’m All Yours”, a CCM radio chart topper performed by Rachael Lampa. She has been featured in an Uber commercial, seen on the pages of Fast Company magazine, and has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live as a background singer for Jose Gonzales. After a move back to Houston, TX, in 2017, Paige was returning home in more ways than one. And though she didn’t quite know it yet, the wheels of country music fate had begun to turn.
It was a not-so-long-ago summer night in Fredericksburg, TX, and a few empty bottles of wine sat on a table where Paige Lewis and her friends were living it up for a weekend in the hill country. Laughter filled the air as a mild breeze blew through and, despite being September in Texas, they all complained that it was cold out. (It wasn’t). Naturally, for Lewis a song idea was born. “If I had a jacket, I’d be happy happy happy”, they all sang. And there, set against the rural backdrop and stomping grounds for some of Texas country’s greatest songwriters, this twangy tune sparked an idea in Paige’s head. Looking back, Lewis claims “this is the career-changing moment that set things in motion” for her new album. “Go figure,” she jokes. And that, so the story goes, was the night her Texas Country career was born.
Reflecting back on that time, Paige says she “suddenly realized that writing songs like ‘If I Had a Jacket’ and ‘Manager (The Karen Song)’ was FUN. Like REALLY fun. And with the ups and downs of the music business being what they are, it had been really a long time since I’d had fun writing music.” So when the spark of inspiration hit on that fateful night in Fredericksberg, Paige made up her mind that country music was calling her name. And she answered that call. She set out not only to write the best country album she could, but to have as much fun doing it as possible. Lewis hunkered down in her home studio in Houston and wrote several dozen songs to potentially fill the album, the results surprising even Lewis herself. “I made myself write anything and everything that came to mind. Like, I forced even the most ridiculous of ideas to be explored because I didn’t want to limit what this record could be.” With references to the Houston Astros, floating the Guadalupe River, drinking down on 6th Street in Austin, and even Buccee’s and Whataburger, Lewis hits all the sweet spots on the record that only a native Texan could hit.
Armed with an album’s worth of infectious tunes, Paige partnered with Houston’s own Edgewater Music Group to make the record a reality. After raising more than $25,000 in an overwhelmingly successful crowdfunding campaign, she hit the studio over the summer of 2022 to record her first full length country album, entitled “Under The Texas Sky”. Featuring a stellar backing band, the record is fun, heartfelt, and just plain good. The album is set to release in 2023.
If Paige Lewis has learned anything over the course of her career, it’s that it’s not always the fastest way home that’s best. The twists and the turns are where the journey gets interesting, and sometimes you gotta take the scenic route to get you back where you belong. And now that she’s here, home’s right where Paige aims to stay.