Prescription Bluegrass Presents: Laurie Lewis In Concert!

In our ever-growing quest to make auditory therapy for the relief of bluegrass fever more available to the masses, Prescription Bluegrass is proud to announce a new development in our structure.Image634983629592120388

Beginning this Friday, Prescription Bluegrass will enter the concert promotion arena with the Laurie Lewis concert at the Higley Center For the Performing Arts in Gilbert, AZ

Along with our Prescription Bluegrass affiliate clinic in the area, AMAZ RADIO, and The Higley Center,  we’ll be holding what we like to call a really large Group-Therapy Session.

Like any concert there are sure to be first-timers there. Folks who’ve not heard how wonderful Laurie’s music is or who have not had an opportunity to see what a fine entertainer she is on stage.

Prescription Bluegrass Radio host, Brian McNeal who will serve as Emcee for the evening  says. “Laurie’s talents go well beyond what many refer to as the “Triple Threat” when a person plays, sings and writes.”

Laurie began playing guitar and fiddle as a young teenager but fell away from it for a while.  It was the San Francisco Bay Area Bluegrass scene that caught her while she was in her early 20’s and introduced the West-Coast strain of bluegrass fever into her system and she hasn’t been able to get away from it since.

In the mid-1970’s she co-founded an all-female bluegrass band with Kathy Kallick known as GOOD OL’ PERSONS setting some pioneering ground in a field of male dominated entertainment.

She’s a fiddle contest champion, a Grammy winner, a world-class songwriter and if that’s not enough, she also finds time to produce records for other artists.

To help you get to know Laurie just a little bit better, we asked her a few questions via Email  and she responded.

PB:     You've played in Arizona several times. What do you like about Arizona or Arizona fans?

LL:     For one thing, Tom Rozum has a long history of playing in Arizona, both with the band Summerdog in Tucson, and with Flying South in Flagstaff. So we may have a little leg-up with fans because of those connections. I also love the desert and mountains, and never tire of exploring the countryside and resting my eyes on the expansive vistas. Then, on top of that, we have always been so warmly welcomed by Arizona audiences. I don't know that they are different, as a group, from audiences in other areas of the country, but I sure feel like they relate very readily to Tom and me, and make us feel like old friends.

PB:     You recently took a month-long songwriting retreat. How important is that type of thing for songwriters? Will we hear any of your new songs at your show at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts ?

LL:     I am sure we'll be playing some of the new songs in our concert. I had never done a retreat like that before, and I found it to be truly amazing! I didn't have anything to do for the month except concentrate on the voices in my head. I was able to use the time to finish up some songs that I had started writing long ago, and to explore new directions. I think that having that ability to disengage with everyday cares and to be taken care of (they fed and housed me for the month) is something that everyone should be able to experience. It would probably make artists out of lots of us who just don't otherwise have the time and space in our lives.

PB:     You were a co-founder of the 1970's all-girl band, Good Ol' Persons long before it was cool to do that. Do you think you and the ladies you played with helped to blaze the trail of success currently enjoyed by today's female bands like Della Mae, Red Molly and of course the Daughters of Bluegrass?

LL:     Yes, I do feel like we were trailblazers for some, though I was following in the footsteps of Hazel and Alice and the many women musicians here in the Bay Area, so I was unaware at the time that what we were doing was "groundbreaking" in any way. We were just having fun! I do know that members of Della Mae have been influenced by my music, and that makes me feel like a very proud parent, indeed!

PB:     Quite some time ago we heard a quote that was attributed to you that went something like; “They must not like the song if they're in such a hurry to get it over.” Was that actually something you said and if yes, would you explain what the statement was about?

LL:     Hmmm... I can hear myself having thought that about any number of situations/performances, but I really can't recall whether I said that out loud or not. I may have said that. I do think that many young bands try and make up for a certain lack of "soul" or authenticity often by speeding up the songs, using them as a springboard to show off technical chops. I have been guilty of playing some songs too fast in my life, so I point the finger at myself, too. Sometimes it can be difficult to just allow yourself to sink into a song and really take the chance to feel it. There are other ways to get something else out of a well-worn standard than by just speeding it up.

PB:     You've worn quite a lot of different hats in your career – from performer to songwriter to producer to mentor. Of which accomplishment are you most proud?

LL:     I love the fact that I have been able to play with and support some of the elders of the music, being in a band with Vern Williams, and getting to be a Clinch Mountain Boy with Ralph Stanley and tour with him on the NCTA tour, Masters of the Banjo. I am very, very happy to have been able to collaborate with Alice Gerrard on her new CD, Bittersweet, which should be out within a couple of months. I am lucky enough to have been able to share music with some of my heroes, and that is a wonderful feeling. I also greatly appreciate the fact that I have been able to have such a fruitful and long-running musical partnership with Tom (Rozum). There's nothing like having a singing partner like that!

Concert Information:

WHEN:   Friday, March 15th, 2013

TIME:     7:00 PM

WHERE:  Higley Center for the Performing Arts

     4132 Pecos Road, Gilbert, AZ   (MAP)



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