Laurie Lewis - Blossoms

Laurie Lewis - Blossoms

LAURIE LEWIS
BLOSSOMS
Spruce & Maple Music
SMM2005

If you’ve grown accustomed to the usual bouquet of beautiful bluegrass from Laurie Lewis, then you’ll certainly want to pick the fragrant new flower from her garden of music.

“Blossoms,” however, provides a different kind of offspring from the two-time IBMA Female Vocalist Of The Year. Cultivated for this 14-cut spray of tunes is a cross-pollination of genres from bluegrass, folk, and country. Unlike many CDs that kick off with a driving number, Lewis opts for the a cappella cut, “How Can I Keep From Singing,” a tune she has loved since her teenage years when she heard Pete Seeger’s version. The singer/songwriter also showcases her wonderful writing muse on songs like “Chain Of Letter,” “Sirens,” and “Return To The Fire.” Tim O’Brien lends his vocal talents on “The Roughest Road,” a lovely song on the gift of forgiveness. She even solicits the help of Tom and Ray Magliozzi (Click and Clack from NPR’s Car Talk) for a spoken word part on her hip traffic-jammed inspired song “Cool Your Jets.”

Lewis showcases her fiddling chops on two instrumentals, “Sophie’s House” along with Suzy Thompson and the traditional tune, “Beaver Creek.” Bandmates—Craig Smith, Tom Rozum, Todd Phillips, and Scott Hoffman—joined her in the studio, as did a host of other musicians. Thumbs up on this mixed arrangement of songs. Long may they blossom in your CD player! (Spruce & Maple Music, P.O. Box 9417, Berkeley, CA 94709, www.spruceandmaplemusic.com.) BC