Every month or so we email a newsletter to our fan base/mailing list with news and to give a perspective from traveling musicians. The archieved newsletters are available from the drop-down menu.
DEAR COMPANIONS, Imagine my surprise when it was brought to my attention that I am the cover girl for the August 2014 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine! I knew that they were going to run an article, but had no idea it'd be the cover story. They really know how to keep a secret over there! This venerable publication is the longest-running specifically-bluegrass mag in history of the music. Very special thanks to writer Bill Conger for an excellent article and getting all the quotes right, and to Mike Melnyk for cover-worthy photography. Read all about it here.
Tom Rozum and I just returned from two weeks of teaching, first at RockyGrass Academy in Lyons, CO, and then at the Augusta Heritage Workshops in Elkins, WV. Both weeks were exceptional: well-run and with great students. At Augusta, I was reminded of writing The Wood Thrush's Song there back in the late 20th Century, when the college cleared a lovely deep woodsy area to build a new library. That, in turn, reminded me of a commercial that I sang for the California Fluid Milk Processors Board (a catchy title!), where I stole my own recently-composed Wood Thrush melody for the spot. Thanks to our talented Google Queen Amy Sheon for finding the commercial posted online.
Got Milk Drysville (commercial, 1997)
BILL MONROE'S 103rd BIRTHDAY
This will be the fifth year that we have gathered to wallow in the repertoire of the Father of Bluegrass music. Bill was born on Sept 13, 1911. We will once again be joined by Chuck Poling, who will MC the festivities and tell stories from Monroe's life. The repertoire is so deep that over the years we find we are just barely scratching the surface. Of course, there are the perennial favorites, but also many gems to uncover and reinterpret. Please join us at the Freight for this very fun evening! Details listed in the right-hand column.
ONE MORE RIVER TRIP We are down to the last few spots for both of these trips, so if you have been sitting on the fence, thinking you'd like to go, now is the time to ACT!
The Tuolumne is particularly near and dear to my heart. I am looking forward to seeing what the area looks like one year after the Rim Fire. I understand that our favorite camps, on the confluence of the Clavey and North Fork Tuolumne are unscathed.
Come join us for days on the water and nights of music under the stars, delicious food and the best of company! We have been rafting every summer for over 20 years now, and every trip creates some of the highlights of our year.
On/in the Rogue River last July
THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL!!! Next week, I will start walking the JMT in the high Sierra, from Yosemite Valley to the top of Mt Whitney (highest summit in the Lower 48 States), some 200+ miles over high mountain passes, through summer thunderstorms and clouds of mosquitos, carrying my food, water, tent, sleeping bag, clothes, journal and camera. I have gotten some great advice and feedback from many of you, have successfully completed my map and compass-reading classes, and am looking forward to this with equal amounts of eagerness and trepidation. I will be out of reach of cell phone and internet for almost a month, so don't try and get in touch with me after August 12 until sometime in September, OK? I have wanted to make this trip since I was a teenager and am finally getting the opportunity, thanks in large part to my hiking companion Betty Wheeler. Wish us well!
Don't forget to sing and play
as often as possible.
It's good for what ails you. Thank you for your support
of live music. ~Laurie Lewis
THU, AUG 6 Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum Boathouse Theatre Valhalla Tahoe South Lake Tahoe, CA
FRI--SUN, AUG 7-9 Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum Tuolumne River Bluegrass and Whitewater ARTA River Trips Groveland, CA
THU, SEP 11 Bill Monroe's Birthday Celebration An evening of repertoire, tales and reminiscences of the Father of Bluegrass with Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Patrick Sauber, Chad Manning, Max Schwartz, Butch Waller, Jim Mintun, Melody Walker, Jacob Groopman, and emcee Chuck Poling, and more! Freight and Salvage 2020 Addison St Berkeley, CA 510 644-2020
LAURIE & KATHY SING THE SONGS OF VERN & RAY
Here it is! Kathy Kallick and I have been planning this tribute to our early bluegrass heroes, Vern Williams and Ray Park, for a number of years now, and it is so wonderful to have the CD in hand, finally. With 18 songs, we didn't have enough time to fit in all our favorites from their vast and varied repertoire, but this is a good start. Maybe there will be Volume 2 sometime.
The album features beautiful photos by Irene Young, informative liner notes from the pen of Randy Pitts, and an all-star cast of supporting musicians, including Tom Rozum, Keith Little, Patrick Sauber, Annie Staninec, and Sally Van Meter.
The CD hasn't been out long enough for the reviews to start coming in, but here's a little quote from a Facebook sneak preview:
"It's just stunning. From the first notes of 'Oh! Susanna' you know it's going to be a doozy. Their voices are as powerful and precise as when I first heard them: perhaps even more so. They are such masters of their voices. We know they are as versatile in their vocal stylings as they are in their songwriting. But it's still surprising how well they have nailed the clean intensity of the genre they way they learned it from their early mentors, Vern & Ray."
JUST ADDED! NOV 7-9 Band Sessions Personal Mentoring with Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands with special guest, fiddler Blaine Sprouse Yosemite Bug Resort Midpines, CA (near Yosemite National Park)
A weekend gathering with the band that includes a live concert; instruction on fiddle with Blaine Sprouse, guitar with Laurie Lewis, mandolin with Tom Rozum, banjo with Patrick Sauber, string bass with Andrew Conklin, vocals with Laurie, Tom and Patrick, and general bandcraft; fireside chats; sound system workshop with Paul Knight; open mic and jamming -- all in a relaxed atmosphere with great food and a spa. You won't want to miss this one!
These camps are quite popular and tend to fill up quickly. Space is limited, so if you are interested in honing your chops and having a great time, I suggest you sign up right away!
Laurie and Tom and Bluegrass Week vocal class, Augusta Heritage Workshop, Elkins, WV photo by Russ Barenburg
Visit Spruce and Maple Music for our latest recordings, plus some highly-recommended new music from our burgeoning roster of musicians we love! www.spruceandmaplemusic.com