Top Shelf Music has partnered with Eclectic Soundtrax to bring you a new feature series of podcasts, hosted by Skunk Manhattan and Victor Ramos! “Music inspires and connects people, help(s) us capture moments in time and recollect events and milestones in life. Join us for a conversational podcast that discusses music, sounds and everything in between!”
Trumpet maestro and Moonlight Studios co-owner Jeff Lewis takes us through 40 years of history, playing with industry heavyweights like Michael Jackson.
Lewis shares stories from touring, recording and producing legendary bands and artists. This one-time biology major, who played with bands on the Los Angeles music scene early on, got a call to tour with The Jacksons in 1977 and has been working as a professional musician ever since. After touring with Michael Jackson and siblings, the gigs came flooding in and Jeff was on the road with Lenny Williams (of Tower of Power), Tom Watson (of The Doobie Brothers) and Johnny “Guitar” Watson into the early 1980s. At that time, Jeff and musical colleague partner David Vasquez started recording four-track demos for aspiring songwriters in the LA area. With their combined musical network they had access to a wealth of high-caliber musicians and soon “moonlighting demos” became Moonlight Studios.
Currently, Jeff plays with the long-running LA-based Latin R&B group Tierra, the first Latino band to have four songs simultaneously on the natural charts, and stays busy as a producer, recording engineer and session player. Skunk was fortunate enough to meet Jeff through longtime musician friend Sukunya, when they recorded live acoustic cover songs at Moonlight as Suki & Skunk. Jeff lended his talents with a flugelhorn solo on an Ozzy cover for the duo and contributed trumpet and valve trombone on A Good Rogering’s funk anthem, “Mr Peanut”.
In this episode of Eclectic Soundtrax, Lewis shares with us some expertise and insight into studio gear, we listen to some samples of Jeff’s latest recording projects and get a rundown on various brass instruments and the differences between trumpet, coronet, valve trombone and flugelhorn. Lewis demonstrates playing each instrument and we get a lesson in the harmonic series… all from a guy who started out blowing on a garden hose!
About the podcasters:
Skunk is a musician, primarily known as the frontman and guitarist for eclectic heavy-rock band A Good Rogering. Since moving to Austin in 2004, he has recorded and performed with a wide variety of bands and solo artists over a career spanning more than 20 years and has shared the stage with notable acts, such as Skid Row, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, George Lynch and Metal Church among others. Skunk not only works as a performing musician and recording artist, but also as a producer and music teacher. With two decades of insight into what it means to be a professional musician and a passion for not only music, but comedy and general chatter, Skunk was quick to jump at the opportunity to co-host a podcast with longtime friend, Victor Ramos.
A Texas native, Victor’s early musical influences are a mixture of classic rock albums played by his Vietnam vet father and a whole lot of ‘the Fab Four’ via his Beatles-loving mother. Sprinkle in some classic country and Motown, and you have a man that would say “¿que?” when other Tejanos would ask what his favorite cumbia was. After a stint in the Marines, Victor moved to Austin in 2000 and began working in the tech industry. He met Skunk in a Spanish class in 2005 and the two discovered a shared passion for not only beer, but music. After years of collectively attending concerts and talking music, the idea to start a podcast centering around such topics seemed like a logical endeavor.