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Lewis Ray Cammarata / Bio

Cammarata grew up playing in club bands in the Baltimore-Washington DC area hacking away at the Stax/Volt catalog. At 17 he was afforded the privelege of recording 2 singles on the local Bay Sound label with legendary producer George Massenberg, In 1974 he packed-out to Los Angeles looking for inspiration.

Not a particularly practical move, but as Cammarata remarked in a 2012 interview, "If you wanna be practical about your expectations, you gotta realize everybody's heart is about two sizes too small". Words that resonate even 25 years after leaving the LA music scene.

Providence and 'girl-friend intervention' led him to form LA pop-meisters The Zippers (1976 to 1981) with Bob Willingham, Danielle Faye and Bill Willett. This was 'anti-disco/corporate hair band time' in LA. The best description of The Zips is they were kinda the unholy offspring of The Kinks and Cheap Trick (before there was a Cheap Trick that anyone knew of). The band released a single on Backdoor Man Records in '78, and a subsequent Ray Manzarek produced 6 song EP on Rhino in '81 just before they (the band) imploded.

Somewhat disillusioned (re, previously mentioned small heart business), Cammarata spent the next 5 years immersing himself in the weird anti-personal business spectrum of production and musical mercenary-ism. This afforded him the opportunity to work with new and established artists; playing guitar, doing background vocals, arranging... whatever. And out of it grew a nice referral list of hotshot players he'd worked alongside doing 'one-shot' projects. The result being a succession of reciprocal session work with cats like sax man Cornelius Bumphus, violinist David Green, pianist Mike Garson, and a whole boatload of interesting and 'art-for-art's-sake' musicians.

After a self-imposed 20 year hiatus Cammarata found himself in Phoenix with a 1947 Supro Lap Steel, a cheap PC, and a free download version of Audacity...

Starting in 2007 (and eventually with real recording software by this time) he laid down the tracks for 33 songs over the course of the following 2 years. The initial 'batch' of 13 songs resulted in his first release, "Lemme Outa Here", on Tucson based Funzalo Records, a label whose business is to place songs in indie film and tv. There's a new album, "One Less Dead Man", in the can, and ready to go.

These days Cammarata performs with partners The New Brothers; a stripped-down, 3 man, guitar/vocal trio. The songs have taken on a new interpretive persona live; mostly because, as Cammarata puts it... "The songs are what they are; Bags of bones. I expect my band-mates to dress them as the situation demands. Obviously, playing with guys like Charlie (Dickens) and Reggie (Chavez) makes this intuitive.... it's intentional."

The crux of his career though is performing the songs from 'Lemme Outa Here" and the as-of-yet-unreleased 'One Less Dead Man' during his solo acoustic showcases. These performances are the heart and soul of what Cammarata offers.

His music has been described as "An amalgam of gutter-blues, spaghetti-western mastication, and late night innuendo". No one knows what this means, but it does seem somewhat appropriate.

General Info

Band Members
Lewis Ray Cammarata
Artist Name
Lewis Ray Cammarata
Home Page
Americana / Singer, songwriter, guitar player

Contact Info

Mesa, AZ