Lewis Melville

Lewis Melville is a Guelph, Ontario multi-disciplinary artist. His work as an illustrator, writer, composer, music producer, recording musician, and plant biologist has taken him on numerous adventures throughout  Canada, South and North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. As a research scientist at the University of Guelph (Dept. Of Botany––now Molecular and Cell Biology) he specialized in studying anatomy of mycorrhizas (the mutualistic interactions between soil microorganisms and the roots of plants). He has published or co-published numerous scientific papers and several books on the subject. He recently  illustrated Storyteller Guitar, a book for ecologist Doug Larson, and his artwork and illustrations have appeared in scientific works and on the covers of many albums. A veteran of the Canadian alternative music scene, he is well-known for his multi-instrumental (guitars, banjo, pedal steel, dobro, mandolin) performances and recordings with iconic Canadian bands (Skydiggers, Rheostatics, Grievous Angels, and Pat Temple and the High Lonesome Players, Cowboy Junkies, Bird Sisters, Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Waltons, Kim Stockwood, 13 Engines, Tannis Slimmon, and the like.), including the multi-million selling album "Gordon” by barenaked ladies. He was the co-organizer and guitarist for two national tours with Malian musician Jah Youssouf in 2007 and 2009. He has maintained a keen interest in experimental music since the early seventies, and is an original member of the Woodchoppers Association, a Toronto-based free-style jazz orchestra, and Guelph’s Vertical Squirrels quartet. Lewis can also be found performing with regional/roots bluegrass band the Hoofbeats, supporting Guelph singer-songwriter Tannis Slimmon, playing pedal steel with Michael Johnston, or deconstructing the works of Shakespeare as post-modern popular song in the neo-Elizabethan pop band the Williams. He solo albums are available in Canada and worldwide through MapleMusic ( or for download at Melville is a strong believer in the positive influence of music in the world, and has been called a "music-in-development activist” for his work bringing together hundreds of artists on albums to raise money for international relief (Music For Peace, You Buy From Me, Work Songs, 60 Second Songs). Lewis has produced recordings in Canada, and for artists in Bhutan, West Africa, Germany, Cuba, and refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border. His work with Malian musicians is the subject of a documentary film on the role of music in development (The Road to Baleya, 2008) by Canadian filmmaker Bay Weyman.