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Zane Lewis is just about the most animated rising star in country today. Sure enough, when you first meet Zane you can't help but be impressed with his clear career path vision and his determination to keep rising. But his isn't the regular route most performers take to get to the pinnacle of success. A sixth-generation Texan, Lewis was born in the West Texas town of Lubbock and raised just north of Austin in the town of Round Rock. From Buddy Holly to Waylon Jennings and Ronnie Dunn, the region has given us some of Texas' most influential artists. With a pure country voice as big as the Lone Star state and a stage show that gives new meaning to the term "wild west," Lewis is already falling naturally into that prestigious country lineage.

Zane says, "When I'm onstage, I'm an in-your-face guy and I'm all about getting the crowd jacked up and enjoying themselves. Even my slow songs are like that; they still have power and drive. You work on an album in the studio over the course of several months and then you're out there playing those songs live. If the audience doesn't feel the music, you might as well just hang it up."

As a kid Zane was surrounded by the positive support of his family and the sound of country classics. He elaborates, ìDad had his own western swing band in college, and as a kid, I remember hearing him play 'Faded Love' and other Bob Wills' tunes on his fiddle late into the night. On family vacations, the car was stocked with all the ëright' 8-track tapes and we'd wear out the player listening to Willie, Waylon and The Eagles." Just like the rest of us, though, he had the great Southern rock influences of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, U2 and, naturally, Elvis.

About the growth of his musical skill Zane says, "I didn't start playing guitar until college," he admits. "For years I was a closet singer, really a 'shower' singer. I had the Strait, Garth and Haggard sound workin' those bathroom acoustics. It drove my roommates crazy. " And just like most of us, he did feed his learning experience with a good sprinkling of real world seminars on partying as well as country music.

After school, the graduate took his advertising degree and entered the magazine publishing business, eventually establishing Western & English Today, an equestrian publication that became so successful that in 2006, Zane and his business partner sold it to a larger national publication, Cowboys & Indians. With the money he made from that sale, Zane took the leap and entered the recording studio with LeAnn Rimes' road band, to cut his debut album, THIS TOWN. The disc delivered three Texas Music chart hits: the title track, "I Hate to See Her Go", and "Beer Drinkin' Women". That success has kept Lewis on the road steadily, headlinin g his own shows and opening for artists like Dwight Yoakam, Chris Cagle, Steve Holy and Deryl Dodd. "We don't call it touring down here because in Texas you're really just playing all the time," says Zane. "I'll play anywhere I can - every chance I get."

Zane believes that God presents us all with plenty of chances in life, but acknowledges that you have to have your eyes open to recognize those opportunities when they're put in front of you. Lewis says,"I've taken lefts when I should have gone right, but I really feel like I've been guided down the right road with this new album. My music is as natural as my accent; and I ain't ever gonna shake that no matter what."

Zane's self-titled (the word 'eponymous' makes Zane laugh) CD is a true, honest view of the world from Zane's perspective. Recorded in both Texas and Tennessee, the sessions made the most of both locales, and attracted an unexpected collaborator in superstar songwriter/producer Brett James (Jesus Take the Wheel, Blessed, When the Sun Goes Down). "Brett heard what we were doing," says Zane. "And we were fortunate to get him to produce three tracks. The 12-song collection strikes a rare balance - with from-the-heart ballads like "Come With Me", "This'll Be a Memory" and "Leavin'" offsetting undeniable barn-burners like Becky Brown's Daddy and Southland. Lewis co-wrote Bad Ass Country Band with producer Lex Lipsitz (Wade Bowen, Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings), and it epitomizes his own brand of "fuel-injected country."

Check out more on Zane, hear all the tunes, and find out where he's playing next by visiting www.zanelewismusic.com.