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.

March, 2019
Laurie and Claire Lynch at Wintergrass
March Winds
Dear Companions,

It has been another eventful month. Thanks to everyone who came out to listen and cheer us on our way up the Eastern Seaboard. Please know that you were/are greatly appreciated. We missed the worst of the weather, and mostly had clear roads for the trek from Carrboro to Framingham.

We had a day off in Washington, DC, and I took that opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I made it through the first floor of the 6-story structure, and had to stop. It was so heavy and heartbreaking. After sitting for awhile in the foyer collecting my emotions and my thoughts, I ventured onto the top floor, and was buoyed up by the fantastic music and culture. It is well-worth a visit. But please plan on a few days to take it all in. One day was debility not enough.

This month, we have to deal once again with Siskiyou Pass, over the Siskiyou Mountains on the Oregon/California border. I just drove over it headed north last Thursday. About a half mile before the summit, I was stopped and informed that I would have to go back down the road, wait for an hour, and put my chains on before I tried to come back up. Of course, I did as told. But on installing the chains, I inadvertently ripped out one of the hard plastic front wheel mudflaps on my Toyota van. That left a jagged, pointy piece of plastic dangerously close to the cables on the wheel. So I asked a friendly truck driver to help me out and cut the plastic. He did that, but also decided that my chains were too loose, so he tightened them with a bungee cord on the outside of the tire. I continued up the mountain, past the final chain inspection station, until I was alone on the dark heights. Suddenly, the reassuring thump-thump-thump of the chains ceased. I stopped the van to have a look, and discovered that the passengers-side chain was just being dragged along in the snow, unraveled and unhitched. So I donned my snow gloves and commenced to try to cinch it on again, to no avail. The inside fastener was stretched out of shape and wouldn't hold (due to the pressure of the bungee cord on the outside of the tire). Eventually, I retreated to the driver's seat of the van, and proceeded to call AAA roadside assistance. But just before i hit "send," a vehicle pulled up behind me. It was a snowplow. The driver asked what the problem was, and after ascertaining that my assessment of the situation was correct, he suggested that I remove my chains and follow him. I did, and all was well.

I must give a shout-out to Les Schwab Tires of Ashland at this point. They fixed my broken and mangled chains at no charge, and I was on the road again in no time. Thank you, guys!

The rest of the trip north was uneventful and the roads were clear. Wintergrass was, as always, an inspiring few days of music and visiting with friends, and I loved having the chance to sing and play with Vicki Randle. You TV viewers may recognize her as the fiery woman percussionist and vocalist in the Tonight Show Band for many years. Since then, she has been on tour with Mavis Staples for the last 8 years, and, luckily for us, was available to fill in for Linda Tillery in Hills to Hollers at Wintergrass. She was amazing. As was Barbara Higbie. And our bassist Joshua Zucker.

I filled in on bass with Tom Rozum's band, Tommy and the Rozumatics, at the festival, as Simon Chrisman had taken a spill on his mountain bike and chipped a bone in his wrist. Ouch! Tom, Brittany Haas, Tristan Clarridge, and Simon (who was still able to play hammered dulcimer and some bass) were fantastic, as usual, and I just managed to not make a fool of myself.

I happened to visit the Preston Thompson Guitar booth at the same time as Claire Lynch, and we took the opportunity to play and sing together for a bit. The photo above is proof. I am playing my beautiful OM28-style Thompson guitar in the photo.

On the way home form the festival, I got caught in the aftermath of a big and sudden snowstorm in central Oregon, which deposited 12 inches of wet snow in a very short time. That resulted in many, many fallen trees, which looked like Pick-up-Stix along the roadway, and downed power lines. And that, in turn, resulted in hundreds f vehicles stranded on I-5 for hours while it was all cleared up. A drive which should have taken 5.5 hours took 12.5 hours. But I was fine, there was no pressing deadline, and I had a lot of time to myself. I really can't complain. I kept thinking about how great it was for the water table to have so much snow. Yes, I am a Pollyanna if there ever was one.

Now this weekend, we retrace my tire tracks to drive to Redding and Ashland, up and over Siskiyou Pass once or twice again. Come join us!

Thank you for taking the journey with us,
Laurie Lewis
Driving Winter Roads
Tom Rozum, Brandon Godman, Patrick Sauber, and Haselden Ciaccio

Pilgrim Congregational Church 
2850 Foothill Blvd. 
Oak Run, CA 96001 

205 North Phoenix Rd, Suite 3
Phoenix, OR 
3850 Doris Murphy Ct  
Occidental, CA 95465

The Barn Concerts 
Private House Concert
Gilroy, CA 95020

FRI, MAR 15 
13 Main Street  
Winters, CA 95694

400 Idaho Maryland Rd.  
Grass Valley, CA 95945

Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum and Brandon Godman:

Laurie Lewis, with Tom Rozum and Brandon Godman
401 Old Santa Fe Trail  
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Laurie Lewis, with Tom Rozum and Brandon Godman
Space 210 Yale SE PO box 4543
Albuquerque, NM 87196

Phoenix, AZ

SAT, APR 13 
Laurie Lewis Trio with Tom Rozum and Brandon Godman 
1200 West Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85745

SUN, APR 14 
Laurie Lewis Trio with Tom Rozum and Brandon Godman 
2300 N. Fort Valley Road  
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

APR 17-20 
Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Brandon Godman, Justin Hiltner
Menucha Retreat and Conference Center 
Corbett, OR (near Portland)
Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
L-R: Haselden Ciaccio, Patrick Sauber, Laurie Lewis, Brandon Godman, Tom Rozum
photo by Jessica Eve Rattner
Laurie Lewis at the Columbia Gorge
I will be teaching at four separate and very different music camps this year. These camps are an excellent way to accelerate one's pace of learning, and to have lots of fun living the music life. Check them out!

APRIL 17-20
Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
Corbett, OR (near Portland)
Tom Rozum, Brandon Godman, and Justin Hiltner will be joining the staff again this year. Last year (our first here) we had such a wonderful time, and are looking forward to making music in this beautiful, relaxed atmosphere again this year.

NEWS FLASH: we still have some spaces available for fiddle and banjo. I must say, from personal experience, that both Brandon and Justin are exceptional teachers. You can't go wrong learning from either of them!

JUNE 9-12
I will be teaching harmony vocals at the
Nevada County Fairgrounds
Grass Valley, CA

I will be teaching bluegrass fiddle at
Olivebridge, NY
This camp will be hosting bluegrass week for the second year. I am excited about visiting this legendary camp, where so much incredible music has been made!

Harmony Vocals with Tom Rozum
Walker Creek Ranch
Marin County, CA
Laurie going down the river

Tom Rozum and I will be continuing our quarter-century tradition of taking at least one musical river trip a year. This year, we have confirmed two of our favorites, keeping in mind that, as Heraclitus said, you cannot step into the same river twice.

JULY 2-6
Five days and four nights on the wild and scenic Rogue River, in southern Oregon, with Northwest Rafting Company THIS TRIP IS SOLD OUT.

JULY 23-25
Three days and two nights on our beautiful, steep and wild Tuolumne River here in California, with ARTA

On each trip, we will spend the days exploring the river and it's tributaries, eating fantastic food prepared by our most excellent guides, and playing music around the camp in the long summer evenings. We invite you to join us on one or both rivers this year!