Laurie's Bio



Peers Sing Laurie Lewis Praises


“Laurie is a tremendously gifted writer with a unique vision, the possessor of an exquisitely lovely voice, a whiz on fiddle and acoustic bass, and a good producer.”
- Billboard


“One of the contemporary acoustic music scene’s most skilled and enduring performers”
- Acoustic Guitar


“Laurie Lewis is an excellent performer and entertainer. But what sets Laurie apart from the pack is her songwriting and that voice. That voice can soar like an eagle. It can bring a tear to the hardest heart. Damn fine acoustic music.” 

- Cub Koda, All Music Guide 


“The past three decades have seen Laurie Lewis establish herself as one of the leading lights of American acoustic music, a genuine national treasure. Though best known for the bluegrass she’s performed with her various bands over the years…it’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that if the ‘Americana’ format wasn’t invented for her, it should have been.”

- Sing Out


“Lewis is a multitalented artist whose music is eclectic, elegant and wholly her own…Bluegrass, folk, country—she blends them all with a ‘music without borders’ openness that has earned her two top female vocalist awards and a Grammy Award.”

- Raleigh (NC) News & Observer


“Laurie Lewis continues to successfully walk the high wire above esoteric country, combining elements of bluegrass, folk and pure country to form her own seamless mix…Lewis is impossible to categorize.”

- Billboard


“Laurie Lewis has always been good at adding her own twist to the familiar.”
- Country Standard Time


“Laurie Lewis, a key figure in helping female musicians break into the traditionally male-dominated bluegrass genre, is an exceptional, versatile fiddler and a singer blessed with a smooth, musical voice. Her music is both understated and striking, played and sung with devotion and urgency.”
- Maverick


“Wow! You just can’t beat Laurie Lewis.”


“There was a time when Laurie Lewis was seen as the queen of West Coast bluegrass, as if it was a different animal from Southern bluegrass. It’s not, of course, and these days Lewis is recognized as one of the music’s major practitioners.”
- All Music Guide 


“Singer-songwriter Laurie Lewis has long been a purveyor of some of the most artful and sophisticated folk and bluegrass music.”

- Relix


"... Then there was a perfectly luminous set by Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. I confess that, while Iíve played Laurieís music for many years, I have perhaps taken it for granted. Maybe itís that the records donít quite do her justice. Thereís something about a live performance, even from the middle of the auditorium, that can bring an artist into focus. It just seemed to be a special moment. I saw Jim Rooney after Laurieís set, and he clearly felt it, too: 'That alone was worth the price of admission,' he said; there might have been a tear in his eye."
- Lynn Joiner, Hillbilly at Harvard report on the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, 2/2015


"I heard Laurie sing last night, first time in twenty years Singing songs she had written, near brought me to tears She sang straight to the heart like all great singers do- She knows that when you sing a song, some way you've got to mean it, too."

- David Bromberg

from "You Have To Mean It, Too"


"I first knew Laurie by her considerable reputation as a fiddle player and a writer of songs. When an opportunity came along to sing with her I seized it. Getting to know her as a singer and a person has been pure pleasure. Her voice is a rare combination of grit and grace, strength and delicacy. Her stories are always true."

- Linda Ronstadt


"Laurie Lewis' songs combine passion and sheer craft in a way you don't hear very often. Whatever country music is supposed to be, she's at the center of it."

- Utah Phillips


"She is newgrass in the truest sense of the word, in that she uses bluegrass instruments to create new original music: it's music for now, Laurie is very genderless to me. I know that's not the right way to put it, but I just think of her as an artist: a great singer, terrific fiddle player, fine songwriter, and one very good band leader. As a fiddler, she could be from the 1940s or from 2010; it's timeless, As a singer, she knows the rules of bluegrass and how to sing in her own voice. She's probably one of the few female singers who really knows the nuances of the Ralph Stanley vocal style."

- Sam Bush


"Laurie Lewis' true songs make this planet a better place. They help us grab what's important in our lives. Over the years her original voice has consistently carried the torch of tradition, beautifully updating it with a rare care and responsibility."

- Tim O'Brien


"I am happy to count myself one of your admirers. Haven of Mercy touches me right to the quick."

- Wendell Berry

from a letter to Laurie


"It's possible to be a strong female presence in the Bluegrass music world, but you have to be really strong. Laurie is one of the greatest Bluegrass artists, woman or man, because of her consistency over decades, the depth and width of her subject matter, her commitment to the Bluegrass form, and her technical command. Oh yes, and her strength. Laurie's strength manifests in many ways: her commanding presence on stage combined with an emotional vulnerability, the truths in her lyrics, her physical voice which transcends gender, her strong commitment to causes and issues in which she deeply believes, which all resonate with a respect for the land, the natural world, and human mercy and justice."

- Darol Anger