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.

Ucross, WY
A ghost of a once-upon-a-time forest, Ucross, WY. Bitterroot Range in the distance.

Dear Companions,

I was able to spend 11 days in May in Ucross, WY, at the Ucross Foundation writing retreat. This is such a beautiful place and I can't imagine a better retreat center. The food is delicious, the solitude is necessary, the pencils are sharp, and the views entrancing. Springtime in Wyoming was incredible to witness: the green shoots on the trees, the air alive with birdsong, the hills a brilliant Ireland-green. Well, I spent the first week sleeping most of the time, but that was necessary, too. I came up with at least one new song. Photos in this newsletter are from Ucross.

Yesterday, I am happy to say that I played a benefit concert for the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse here in Berkeley. It was a private affair for donors, but oh my goodness! It felt so good to be doing a sound check and getting together with Hills to Hollers(Barbara Higbie, Vicki Randle, and Joshua Zucker) for this show. About 100 masked and happy guests!

And on June 27, Brandon Godman, Patrick Sauber, Cary Black and I will be at one of my favorite casual music venues, The Roaring Donkey, in Petaluma. The rule of this gig is that we do not write any set lists, we try out things we have never played together before, and we never know what might happen next. That's the way I like it, and I think the audience appreciates watching—possibly the same way that people can't help but rubberneck at a crash scene (we have crashed and burned on occasion). Details below.

Re-emergence into the World is a little scary, and I feel like I have forgotten how to interact with other humans, but I am so looking forward to stumbling through some awkward social situations again. Those awkward situations are probably one of the main reasons I started playing music in the first place. I feel like I'm 14 again!

Stay well, get your shots, and call you mother!

I can't believe that I actually have something to list here!

JUNE 27, 3:00-6:00 PM Laurie Lewis, Brandon Godman, Patrick Sauber, Cary Black
The Roaring Donkey
146 Kentucky St, Petaluma, CA 94952
50% capacity. Vaccinations strongly recommended, masking encouraged. Let's be conscious of each other's safety as we reopen!

JULY 8, 6:30 PM Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Free Summer Concert Series
Fanny Hill Stage 
Snowmass Village, CO 81615

JULY 9, 5:15 PM Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Fridays on the Green Summer Series
Reflection Plaza
568 Mountain Village Blvd 
Telluride,CO 81435

JULY 10, 11 Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival
Westcliffe, CO

JULY 22 7:30 PM Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
Cotton Auditorium
500 North Harold St
Fort Bragg, CA

I guess that's all we are prepared to post right now. Rest assured, there are a few other events in the works, including a return to our beloved Freight and Savage, right here in Berkeley.

I will be teaching at a couple of in-person events this summer, and online at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, AKA "Fiddle Tunes."

June 13-20 Big Sur Fiddle Camp, Big Sur, CA
This is a live, in-person camp for young people, held at a ranch nestled above the wild and scenic Big Sur coast. It's very eclectic in its musical scope.

"Fiddle Tunes"—as it is referred to by the faithful who make the pilgrimage to Port Townsend, WA, every year—will be held online for the second year. The event had great reviews last year, and I am thrilled to be a part of the lineup. Come wallow in everything fiddle, from the comfort of your couch—or preferably,a good straight-backed chair, with your fiddle and bow in hand.

This is an in-person gathering of songwriters, bent on deepening our understanding of what makes a song tick, and sharing our ideas and inspirations.

Last year, we had to cancel, re-book, and cancel our annual rafting trips. This year, we are going to try again to spend some time on two of my favorite rivers: the Rogue in Southern Oregon, and the Tuolumne here in Northern California. I think it's going to work this time!

TUOLUMNE RIVER August 10—12, 2021
contact ARTA

ROGUE RIVER September 12-16
Wyoming sky
Wyoming sky. Big, open, constantly changing.


I am very happy to announce that I will be an artist in residence at beautiful Elkhorn Ranch, outside of Tucson, AZ, from November 28-December 5, 2021. I know, it's a long ways away, but hey! It's just so nice to have a little something on the calendar. Come join us!
alfalfa field, Ucross, WY
More Wyoming sky, over an alfalfa field, Ucross, WY

"And Laurie Lewis"
Here are some highlights from reviews of my latest CD, and Laurie Lewis:
Given the diversity of the material (inspired by everything from the Carter Family and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to a small mammal in the High Sierra), the consistently superior level of musicianship, and the emotional range, it’s impossible to pick out only one or two favorite performances. They change for me every time I listen to the CD. High on my list at the moment are the interweaving of Tuttle and Lewis’s voices and acoustic guitars on “The Lonely One,” the palpable, profoundly seasoned comradeship of Kallick and Lewis on “Old Friend,” and the ethereal wistfulness of the two tracks featuring Nina Gerber (longtime accompanist of the late Kate Wolf and current duo partner of singer Chris Webster) on electric guitar—Sorrels’s “My Last Go-Round” and the album closer “This Is Our Home,” a poignant, shimmering “lament for the planet.” —Derk Richardson, Peghead Nation

And Laurie Lewis is a collaborative effort that pairs her with pickers and singers who have been a part of her musical landscape. Laurie describes the collection as “intimate conversations” with Nina Gerber, Tatiana Hargreaves, Barbara Higbie, Kathy Kallick, Mike Marshall, Todd Phillips, Tom Rozum, Craig Smith, Molly Tuttle, and Leah Wollenberg. Material comes from a variety of sources including the Carter Family and the Monroe Brothers (she and Tom Rozum offer up a nice Monroe-inspired “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”), folk singer Rosalie Sorrels,and a hefty batch of Lewis originals. With Laurie as the common thread, the unique assemblage of artists effortlessly glide through a diversity of styles including old-time, bluegrass, blues, and folk. As with all of Laurie’s previous recordings, this one features musicianship and production values of the highest order. The accompanying booklet contains lyrics and commentary from Laurie on each track. Feeling that each musician’s instrument is an extension of themselves, there is a two-page description of the instruments used in the making of the project. Kudos to Tom Rozum for the cover illustration and to Lisa Berman for the graphically appealing layout and design. —Gary Reid, County Sales

...each of the 13 songs feels like a standout—like a subconsciously preordained compilation of hits, roughly half self-penned and the rest covered from elsewhere. —GuitarGirl Magazine

This is a landmark collection for Laurie with collaboration, cohesiveness, and contemplation joined in an amazing package.
—Brenda Hough, Bluegrass Breakdown

Laurie Lewis is a national treasure, one that keeps giving us fantastic music across the bluegrass and folk spheres of influence...Laurie's music is timeless, effortless, and enchanting. And we're all the richer for her releasing this project for the world to savor. — David McCarty, Bluegrass Unlimited

It’s as if she knew I needed to hear this collection of songs right at this time. Of course, that’s incredibly selfish for me to say. She is reaching out to all of us. — Chris Brashear, Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

Some albums provide a snapshot of a musician at a particular instant in time, capturing the mood and feel of the moment. “And Laurie Lewis,” the latest release by the Berkeley bluegrass icon, works more like a time-lapse montage, distilling a thick web of friendships forged over a lifetime.
—Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News

Mixing originals with covers (all but one are by women), Lewis’ brilliance shines in her reverence and quiet understatement. —Amos Perrine, No Depression

I loved getting the chance to record this duet with Laurie! She will always be a hero to me, and listening to her records on repeat was a big reason why I started playing music.—Molly Tuttle, Fretboard Journal

And Twangville, the online music zine, has a feature wherein they ask artists to answer the same set of questions. You can read my answers here

Ucross, Wyoming Weather
The weather changed every few hours in Ucross. We had rain! That's a blessing for a Californian.