Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis News



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.

Berkeley Hills
Dear Companions, 

I took a walk earlier this week in the Berkeley hills. I chose the closest point of egress from the city, and was pleased to see that someone had decided to hang new prayer flags in the trees, in honor of and in hopes for (I would guess) the New Year. From this point I could, if I had the time and inclination, walk for miles on trails through the hills -- crossing paved roads very infrequently -- 22 miles NE over to Martinez, or 20 miles SSE to Castro Valley, all through parklands or protected watersheds. I give deep thanks to the powers-that-were for our East Bay Regional Parks system for making this possible. If I happen to be in the hills toward evening, I will most likely hear coyotes calling, and see an owl on the wing. But these days I tend to avoid being in the deep parklands in the crespucular hours for fear of cougars, which have been sighted on occasion. And I no longer take midnight hikes, as I used to before the return of the lions. On the day of my walk, all was calm and the trails nearly empty of people. The earth was dry and concrete-like, but in the evening we got a little bit of precipitation, and while it's not nearly enough, it does slightly soothe our drought-and-fire-frayed nerves. And today, there is a lovely soft, steady mist falling.

I must say that I am glad to see 2017 behind us, but as I gazed at the super moon on New Year's Eve with a gathering of friends, the ragged, clotted clouds that alternately obscured it and allowed it to shine through appeared very ominous to me. I couldn't shake the feeling that 2018 is going to require a whole heap of both work and luck to get through unscathed. One of the things I will be doing this month, to fight this despair that I feel, is to take part in a river advocacy training program here in California. I hope to be better prepared to discuss water rights and water policy with others and to learn important skills like effective canvassing and letter-writing. I find this daunting, and must confess I am a bit afraid of putting myself out there, but I also feel invigorated and hopeful that I will be able to be a voice for sanity and a brighter future.

Tom Rozum's December tour with the Rozumatics was a resounding success, with sold-out shows and ecstatic audiences, and stellar playing from Tristan Clarridge, Brittany Haas and Simon Chrisman. Both Tom's song selection and the singing were superb. I loved it, and look forward to whenever the next time is that they can play together. Andy Gilbert, local music journalist, wrote a lovely article in the Berkeleyside. Read it here(note: the videos included in the article have little or no relation to the music of the Rozumatics)

In honor of this tour, and the 20th anniversary of its initial release, we have re-released Tom's critically-acclaimed (and long out-of-print) CD, Jubilee. It really is a great recording! It can be ordered through PayPal by sending $15 (postage included) to
Tom Rozum and the Rozumatics
Brittany Haas, Simon Chrisman, Tom Rozum, Tristan Clarridge
         photo by Mike Melnyk

Our hearts go out to everyone dealing with snowbombs, wildfires, hurricanes, and the aftermath of those disasters. If you are anywhere near our traveling route, please come see us if you can. If you are far away, consider spreading the word to your family and friends. And fight for our clear water, clean air, and wild places.

Laurie Lewis

FRI, JAN 12, 2018
Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands:
Tom Rozum, Patrick Sauber, Brandon Godman, and Sam Grisman
Florence Winter Music Festival 
Florence Events Center 
715 Quince St 
Florence, OR 97439

Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Hilltop Music Shop
Phoenix, OR

Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
The Old Steeple
Ferndale, CA

And the annual Aloha Tour:
  FRI, JAN 26, 7:30 PM
  Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
  also appearing: Michaelle Edwards and Steve Dubey
  Church of the Pacific
  Princeville, Kauai, HI
  Email for More Information  808.652.3823

  SAT, JAN 27, 7:30 PM
  Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
  Aloha Theatre
  Kainaliu, Big Island, HI

  SAT, FEB 3, 7:00 PM
  Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
  Christ Church Uniting
  1300 Kailua Rd Kailua, Oahu, HI 


Tom Rozum and I will be spending six days on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho next summer. The Middle Fork is considered the "Champagne of Whitewater Rafting." Noted for its generally crystal-clear waters, abundant wildlife sightings, hot springs, fishing opportunities, and excellent campsites, this six-day, five-night trip is not to be missed. If you have been contemplating joining us on a trip for years, this is the one! If you have been on our trips in the past, we welcome you back.

August 20-25, 2018
Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Click below for details and reservations:
Bluegrass in the Gorge

Since the demise of Bluegrass at the Beach, I have been on the lookout for an opportunity to get together with music friends in the Northwest who want to hone their skills, and spend time just reveling in music. I have found that opportunity! Tom Rozum, Brandon Godman, Justin Hiltner and I will be spending four days in April at the beautiful Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. Come join us!

For more information and reservations:
Bluegrass in the Gorge
Call (503) 695-2243

Saying goodbye to Fletcher Bright is difficult. He was a big part of my life for many years. We first met in about 1987 in Cannon Beach, OR, where he flew from his home in Tennessee to attend a fiddle workshop that I taught. To have a fiddler of that caliber and with that depth of knowledge there was daunting, to say the least. He enjoyed it, and kept coming back, as a student at Augusta. I got smart and asked him to be my assistant, and he jumped at the chance. Then, when I backed off teaching so that I could run the bluegrass week more effectively, I asked him to be the fiddle instructor. That was his first teaching gig, and he excelled. His love for the instrument and the repertoire was unsurpassed, and his generosity to the students is legendary. When I started Bluegrass at the Beach in Manzanita, OR, I asked him to come teach out there, which he did until we closed up shop.

I didn't get a chance to see Fletcher very often after that, but we would always send each other our latest recordings. I think when I stopped playing fiddle regularly in my band and switched to mostly guitar, he was pretty disappointed in me. But that allowed me the best seat in the house to listen to some great fiddlers playing my songs, and have the luxury of fiddle backup behind the singing, which I very much appreciate.

Fletcher passed away after a long illness, at the age of 86, on Christmas Day. Last week, I flew to Chattanooga to attend the memorial and bid my old friend goodbye. Everyone who had the good fortune to work with or learn from Fletcher will miss him.

Fletcher Bright on Lookout Mountain
Fletcher Bright on Lookout Mountain

While searching the internet for more videos to share about Fletcher, I ran across this public service announcement he did for the Nature Conservancy. I just love to hear him talk!
If Trees Could Sing

Our neighborhood over-the-top Christmas house. 
photo by Tom Rozum

Interested in tracking us down to play for you? Please inquire through Quicksilver.
East of the Mississippi, contact Martha Dantzic, (202) 669-3818 cell
West of the Mississippi, contact Rob Miller, (970) 260-6493

Laurie Lewis/Spruce and Maple Music
 510.548-3021  PO Box 9417, Berkeley, CA  94709

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