Lori "Low-reen" Lewis is the Assistant Director and Talent Manager for Chicago Blues Camp.
Lori was exposed to music from an early age with her father Dennis on accordion, drums, & banjo, as well as her uncle an accomplished keyboard player, and the family would have regular sing-a-longs. Her dad was a drum instructor in Scarlet Knights Drum & Bugle Corp, as well as a marching member on snare in the Kingsmen Drum & Bugle Corps, and Lori played cymbals and later baritone horn with the corps. Music was always a huge part of her life. As a kid, she would mow lawns, then head straight to the music store, first to buy 45s & later to buy albums, assembling a huge music collection, and soon attending live music events took priority over just about everything else. Her first exposure to the blues happened at Chicago Fest, hearing Koko Taylor & Muddy Waters. Off at college, Low-reen spent many a night at PK’s & The Club watching & learning the blues from Tawl Paul.
Lori got her first guitar at age 12, but had many failed attempts trying to learn guitar. It wasn’t until her 40s that Lori picked up the guitar and it “stuck”, this time influenced by her friendship with David Honeyboy Edwards. Lori spent about 10 years with Honeyboy, getting together about once a month to drink whiskey, tell stories, & play guitar. Around that time, she took a few classes at Old Town School of Folk Music, then started hitting some jams. As a regular jammer, Low-reen learned a lot from her Lake County & Chicago fellow musicians, most of whom were extremely patient & nurturing with new musicians. She eventually formed her first band in 2010 with folks she met while playing out at the market, Low-reen & the Maxwell St Market Blues Band. Lori also plays with Low-reen & the Lazy Dogs, and in several blues duos in and around the Chicago area, performing and hosting jams several times a week, including a long-running weekly jam at Polk St Pub, Lee’s Unleaded Blues, and now Water Hole Lounge.
Low-reen worked with the Wisconsin Blues Society, roaming WI & working at Blues Fests every weekend for over 10 years, as well as photography & writing for their newspaper Tell It Like It Is. She is a founding member of the Windy City Blues Society and was active in the organization 2009-2015 as a board member, organizing fundraisers, & managing the WCBS stage at Chicago Blues Fest. Lori has maintained a jam listing website since 2009, does occasional booking, blues photography, and supports the Chicago blues scene. In 2015 she was recognized for this work and inducted as an ambassador into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. Besides the Chicago Blues Camp, she is currently involved with Low-reen's Live Blues, Chicago Blues News, & Friends of Chicago Blues.