Velcro Lewis Group band led by legally blind musician

One of the hottest band in the Chicago area is the Velcro Lewis Group, named for the founder who is legally blind.
November 19, 2013 8:11:06 AM PST
One of the hottest bands in the Chicago area is the Velcro Lewis Group, named for the founder who is legally blind.

Andy Slater, known as Velcro Lewis, has been blind since he was 6 years old. He's a talented singer, musician and recording engineer.

Velcro Lewis Group came together eight years ago.

"One of them was a roommate. The other was an old friend. The others just old friends. I guess I've known them all for a pretty good chunk of time," said Andy. "I sing, and I play percussion, and I record the albums. I think the best way to describe the band is kind of a heavy soul sound, and sometimes, psychedelic and rockin.'"

Andy's blindness is caused by RP - retinitis pigmentosa

"Over the past 15 years, it became worse, gradually worse, and it hit a point where it would go downhill. Now, my vision is probably at the worse point it's been, and it's getting harder and harder to get around and to see the work and hear," said Andy.

When not playing with his band, Andy has his own recording engineer business.

"I use the computer. I use the Macintosh, and there's a lot of zoom features and contrasts, and, you know, color changes that I can make to make it easier on my eyes to work. I also work hands on with the mixer. I rely mostly on zoom and also with having an assistant engineer," Andy said.

"I do have clients, and I record bands. I'll record rock bands, country bands, soul bands, experimental -- anything that I can that I can produce in this room. I've had a pretty good time doing it," he added.

The second Velcro Lewis Group album has been released, and they will celebrate this week.

"People come out and dance, which is really kind of amazing when you listen to the music we play, and we're not young and sexy, but you know, people still come and have a great time," said Andy.

They will be performing their new album Monday night at Empty Bottle. Their albums are available at www.velcrolewisgroup.com.


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