Want to step back in time with a night of rock ‘n’ roll from some of the most talented artists around? Be sure to check out One Killer Night on September 23rd, which brings together 11 incredible acts to pay homage to Jerry Lee Lewis after his passing last year – including Kenny Lovelace, who played guitar for Lewis over the course of several decades. Taking place at The State Theater of Havre de Grace in Maryland, a portion of proceeds from the show will go to Nashville’s MusiCares, a foundation hand-picked by Lewis himself that helps support members of the music industry who need financial assistance, help recovering from addiction, and more.
Lewis left behind a complicated legacy, with his contributions to the rock scene being clouded by his marriage to his cousin’s then-13-year-old daughter, who later cited abuse and infidelity as her reasons for filing for divorce. He fell from grace as the relationship became public knowledge, but his music has still made its mark and influenced rock ‘n’ roll and artists today, including Josh Christina, the evening’s host.
“I’m very excited about this show!” Josh tells TREMG. “Jerry Lee Lewis was the driving influence for me that got me into piano when I was younger. He’s truly a legend in the music world and one of the finest entertainers to ever live. There were a lot of moving parts for this concert in regards to coordinating all the different artists, putting the show in order, selecting songs. I’m so honored to get to share the stage with these amazing musicians for a night.”
Josh has carried on the rock ‘n’ roll spirit in his own right, drawing from influences like Chuck Berry and Little Richard while also adding a fun modern flair that only he could deliver. He’s been a student of the greats, but he’ll be a teacher to future artists as well, showcasing the perfect balance of continuing the classics and channeling your passion to create your own piece of history.
“That rock and roll sound is just the best, it’s so raw and live,” Josh says. “I’ve always tried to put my own spin on it by just being authentic to who I am and not trying to copy. Sure, you can hear the influence, but I like to put a few spins in the lyrics or music of the songs that gives it that contemporary edge.”
You can catch One Killer Night in person by grabbing tickets here, or online by purchasing a stream ticket here! Get to know Josh Christina on Facebook, Instagram, and his website, and keep reading for more from our conversation with this talented artist.
Hi Josh! This month, you’ll be hosting One Killer Night, a tribute show dedicated to Jerry Lee Lewis! What has it been like preparing for the event, and what does it mean to you to get to celebrate Jerry’s legacy in such a powerful way?
Yes, I’m very excited about this show! Jerry Lee Lewis was the driving influence for me that got me into piano when I was younger. He’s truly a legend in the music world and one of the finest entertainers to ever live. There were a lot of moving parts for this concert in regards to coordinating all the different artists, putting the show in order, selecting songs. I’m so honored to get to share the stage with these amazing musicians for a night and this is the kind of tribute The Killer deserves!
One Killer Night will have so many amazing artists on board, including Kenny Lovelace, who led Lewis’ band in the 60s and spent decades playing guitar with him. What has it been like for you to curate this lineup and get such legendary acts involved?
Having Kenny on this show is such an honor for me. He toured the world with Jerry, playing on over 30 of his albums, and worked on television specials with him and tonight shows. He was there throughout his career and it’s so cool to get to share the stage with someone like that. When I was learning piano and listening to all those records, I was hearing his guitar lines, his fiddle lines. To have him there just makes it all that much more special.
Is there a certain part of the One Killer Night show that you’re especially looking forward to?
Probably hearing all the other artists do these songs. I know just about all of them front and back and have covered many of them over live shows over the years so to be able to hear other artists do them will be so cool.
You’ve kept the rock ’n’ roll spirit alive in your own right, and you can hear your passion for what you do so clearly in songs like “Old Piano.” How have the greats like Jerry Lee Lewis influenced you over the years, and how have you approached putting your own spin on the genre?
For me it all started with Elvis, and from there, moved to Jerry Lee and Chuck Berry, Little Richard. That rock and roll sound is just the best, it’s so raw and live. I’ve always tried to put my own spin on it by just being authentic to who I am and not trying to copy. Sure, you can hear the influence, but I like to put a few spins in the lyrics or music of the songs that gives it that contemporary edge.
You’ve also performed on several cruises, which must be such a unique experience! Is there anything you’ve learned from your cruise line shows that you’ve carried with you, or that have changed your perspective of live music?
I start performing on cruise lines in November, but that style show I’ve done many times. I love all the aspects of live performing, whether it be a club or a theater, but to me, theater shows are the best. I love a listening audience and I know on the cruise ships that’s what they’re there to do, so I’m looking forward to that. Of course the trip will be nice too!
For anyone who isn’t familiar with your music already, which of your songs would you recommend to them to get a feel for who you are as an artist?
Probably out of all the songs I’ve recorded, my favorites are “Friend Zone,” “Old Piano,” “Kiss Me When You’re Sober,” “Weekend Night in America,” and “Letters.”
We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?
Always an interesting question for me because there aren’t a lot of current artists I listen to, and the few I do listen to I wouldn’t say are underrated. I will say, circling back to Jerry Lee for a second, I think in today’s world, he has been overlooked by many when it comes to talking about the rock and roll pioneers and some would underrate him. He’s truly the reason why guys like Elton John and Billy Joel came along, really showing us all how to front a band behind a piano. Kind of wrote the rule book in it, so to speak. But I think due to some personal life decisions and parts of his career, he’s underrated by some in regards to just how important he was in the development of modern music and the artists that have come after him.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention or say to your fans that the questions didn’t touch on?
Thank you all for this great interview and shout out to all my fans for their support and to all the Jerry Lee fans for their support of this great show! Means a lot!
By Madison Murray
Featured Image: Courtesy of Present PR