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.

Feb 2016: New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington
Laurie Lewis, Lovin' Spoonful

A Lovin' Spoonful of John Sebastian: Mark Graham, Laurie Lewis, Todd Phillips, Tom Rozum, Orville Johnson 
Photo by Nathan Phillips
Dear Companions, 

I am still bopping to the Lovin' Spoonful songs of last weekend, and wondering when we might be able to do that show over again somewhere. Tom RozumTodd Phillips, Mark GrahamOrville Johnson and I had a great time with the material, and nobody got hurt.  And much of it was downright right! What fun songs! I loved 'em when I was a teenager, and I still do.

A couple of weekends earlier found Tom, Andrew Conklin and me playing with one of my fiddling heroesDarol Anger and four-finger banjo dynamo Greg Liszt in MA. Such a treat to play with those guys!

Between those weekends, Kathy Kallick and I had a very fun couple of shows performing the ever-uplifting repertoire of Vern & Ray with TomPatrick Sauber, and Cary Black.

But this week is something altogether new for us: Tom and I will be joining the remarkably facile and gifted vocalist Mollie O'Brien and her equally talented multi-instrumentalist partner Rich Moore for a series of concerts stretching from Corrales, New Mexico up to Loveland, CO, all along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. I am really looking forward to trying to match my voice to Mollie's, and collaborating on the material. 

And finally, before the month is out, we will be reunited with Andrew and Patrick for concerts in Oregon, and celebrating the release of our latest CD, The Hazel and Alice SessionsWhew!

Wish us clear roads, a tailwind, and healthy immune systems. Come out and cheer us on, if you're nearby.
Laurie Lewis
Lexington, MA: Darol Anger, Andrew Conklin, Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Greg Liszt
Lexington, MA: Darol Anger, Andrew Conklin, Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Greg Liszt    
Photo Courtesy of RB Dixie Tourangeau

Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum 
with Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore 
The Old Church 
Corrales, NM

SAT, FEB 6, 7:30 PM
Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum 
with Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore
The Strater Hotel Theater 
Durango, CO
KSUT Community Radio 40th Anniversary Concert!

THU, FEB 11 
Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum 
with Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore 
Private Concert, Western Jubilee Warehouse 
Colorado Springs, CO 
Reservations Necessary 719-635-7776

Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum 
with Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore 
Swallow Hill 
Denver, CO

SUN, FEB 14, 7:30 PM
Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum 
with Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore
An Americana Valentine
Rialto Theater
Loveland, CO
What could be sweeter than hearing us sing for you in the Land of Love on Valentine's Day?

Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
House concert 
Eugene, OR or
541-222-0632 for reservations

SAT, FEB 20, 7:30 PM 
Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Official CD release show for The Hazel and Alice Sessions 
Sponsored by the Oregon Bluegrass Association
St. David of Wales Church
2800 SE Harrison St.
Portland, OR 97214

SUN, FEB 21, 2:00 PM 
Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Monday Musical Club of Tillamook
Don Whitney Auditorium 
Tillamook High School
2605 12th St. 
Tillamook, OR

WED, FEB 24 7:30 PM
Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
Key City Cabaret
419 Washington Street
Port Townsend, WA

SAT, FEB 27, 6:00 PM
Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
Dinner concert, Equus Restaurant Hyatt Regency Hotel 
900 Bellevue Way NE 
Bellevue WA 98004

See our full schedule here

We are thrilled to announce the release of our latest CD on January 21, 2016.  
Nashville-based music writer Randy Pitts has lots to say about it, and it's so informative and nice that we've crammed it all in here:

Every once in awhile, you get wind of an album--a title, a concept, an unusual mating of artists, that seems so obvious one you've heard of it, that your first response is to kick yourself for not thinking of it yourself. Then you hope it's as good as the idea sounds. Well, here's exhibit A for that proposition, and early in the year. Laurie Lewis --and her crack band The Right Hands (Tom Rozum, Patrick Sauber, and Andrew Conklin)--perform music from the repertoire of Hazel and Alice on this album, and I don't expect to hear anything better in the near future.

Back when I worked for him, Chris Strachwitz was fond--when asked what kind of music he liked--of quoting clarinetist George Lewis, an early hero of his, who evidently said that his music needed to be "rough but sweet." That description could just as well have been written to describe the music of Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard as well.The musical legacy of that pioneering duo doesn't have any bark on it, and is all the more compelling for that. 

Laurie Lewis, living in the Bay Area in the '70s, was already deeply into the hard core by the time Hazel and Alice became icons of a sort to a growing cult of forward thinking musical revivalists like herself and her musical friends through their duet albums for Folkways and Rounder. Those albums, which featured a goodly amount of traditional old time country string band music and bluegrass--along with acoustic blues and gospel--also featured the early original compositions of both women. And--as Laurie explains in her remarks in her notes--they "sang in the more hard edged, gritty style of their male counterparts, (as opposed to sounding high,warble-y and sweet.)." Laurie had already by then been exposed to northern California heroes Vern and Ray, and had performed with fellow young pioneers in the Bay Area scene as Pat Enright, Paul Shelasky, and many others, and was herself a founding member of the great and influential Good Ol' Persons. Hazel and Alice's songs prove definitively here, as they have in performance for years, just how well suited they are for Laurie's rich, evocative vocal style, powers of lyric interpretation, and fiddlistic (sounds like a Woody Guthrie word) and guitar prowess. More simply put, these songs are in Laurie's wheel house.

Hazel, without setting out to be, early on became a champion for the downtrodden, the dispossessed, and the undervalued, reflecting her working class West Virginia roots--and both women have by now become iconic figures in the struggles for women's and worker's rights as well. Hazel left us a few years ago, leaving a catalogue of many of the finest compositions in the traditional vein of any American songwriter, along with her many great recordings with Alice and as a solo artist. Alice continues to perform at festivals and in concert;the power and beauty of her vocals is unabated, and her songwriting has, in my humble opinion, continued to grow. She joins Laurie and the Right Hands on their version of Hazel's "Working Girl Blues" here, and contributes one of her post-Hazel and Alice compositions, "Farewell My Home," a composition co-written by the great Tony Ellis that recalls her youth on a California Ranch, as well as "Mama's Gonna Stay," which appeared on a Hazel and Alice album.

"Cowboy Jim" is a Hazel song that sounds like one of those traditional bunkhouse numbers many remember from youth, perhaps because it's genesis is a fragmentary scrap of a song Hazel remembered her dad singing. "James Alley Blues" is an acoustic blues from Rabbit Brown, gleaned by H & A from a 78."Who's That Knocking," "Walking In My Sleep," "Darling Nellie," and "Train On The Island," are all beloved numbers from the tradition and are widely associated with Hazel & Alice from their active days of performing, as is Emry Arthur's "Let That Liar Alone," and Bill Monroe's"I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling," sung wonderfully well here by Laurie's longtime partner and musical cohort--and ace mandolinist--Tom Rozum, with Laurie harmonizing on the chorus.Hazel's "Pretty Bird" is a special treat, as on it Laurie is joined--a cappella--by Linda Ronstadt.The track was cut as part of a proposed Rounder All Star Tribute which has to date failed to materialize, I'm told, due to some intransigence on the part of The Judds' management--not the Judds themselves, I should hasten to add. The richness nd diversity of this tribute is heightened further by the Hazel Dickens classics "Won't You Come And Sing For Me,""You'll Get No More Of Me," sung by the multi-talented Patrick Sauber, and "Working Girl Blues."If you like your music rough but sweet, you need this outstanding new album.

Want a copy? Order online at

If you would rather send a check or money order, please make it payable to Spruce and Maple Music and send it to PO Box 9417, Berkeley, CA 94709
laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum
Photo courtesy of RB Dixie Tourangeau

We are happy to announce that we now have two river trips on the books for the 2016 season. 
Tom Rozum and I have been rafting rivers and playing music under the stars for a long time, now, and we keep doing it because we love it. It's the best way to "unplug" from the industrialized world, get in touch with the natural one, and recharge your batteries with water, sun, and music. Please join us!

August 18-20 Three days on the mighty Tuolumne River, in Central California, with ARTA River Trips,
This has long been my favorite river experience, I think. It's so quintessentially California; the steep and rocky course creates a series of tiny oases in a sere, rough landscape. And it's easy to get to from the Bay Area!
For information and reservations: 800-323-2782

AND right on the heels of that trip, because we can't get enough:
August 23-27 Five days on the Rogue River in southern Oregon, with Northwest Rafting Company
The Rogue abounds with wildlife and lush scenery, and in August many great opportunities to swim.
For information and reservations: INFO@NWRAFTING.COM / 541-450-9855

The guides on both rivers are really top-notch: they are knowledgeable about their surroundings, excellent water-readers, fun-loving, generally gorgeous to look at- and man, can they cook!

Bluegrass river Trips with Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum