Laurie Lewis premieres “Troubled Times” with guest vocals from Leah Wollenberg ahead of her upcoming album. Considered the grande dame of Bay Area Bluegrass, Lewis is a purveyor of American folk tradition. First exposed to this genre at the Berkeley Folk Festival at the ripe age of 14, Lewis has become increasingly influential over the last four decades in the West Coast Bluegrass scene.
Before releasing her first solo album at 36, Lewis explored alternative paths such a college, gas station attendant, and violin shop manager. Once she committed to her musical career, over 20 records followed. She recorded these with various labels, including Rounder, Kaleidoscope, and her own label, Spruce & Maple Music.
“Troubled Times” off of her upcoming album and Laurie Lewis, due March 27th via Spruce & Maple Music. The melodious chorale presents a stunning acapella performance lead by Lewis and lifted by the wide-ranging vocals of Wollenburg. The soaring vocals lend advice to sing away the things that bring distress.
“I wrote this song many years ago, and I guess it has just been waiting for the right voice to sing in harmony,” Lewis shared, “I had known Leah since before she was born, and our voices fit like family.”
The record is a compilation of thoughtful duet pairings that pay homage to her career and the friends who have brought her to the present moment.
“There are things that you can communicate musically together, which are hard to put into words,” Lewis explains. “To have those conversations with people I love and who have been so significant throughout my career is a beautiful thing.”
Lewis took the opportunity with this retrospective record to pass the torch and support the young musicians who will help carry her legacy into the next generation of American folk music. Both “Troubled Times,” with Wollenburg and her previous single release, “You Are My Flower,” featuring Bluegrass prodigy, Molly Tuttle, are examples of this.
All hailing from the Bay Area, Wollenberg and Tuttle have cited Laurie Lewis as a musical role model. Both of their families are steeped in the music scene that cradled Lewis as she rose through the ranks. The familial tradition of their music community created an endearing sense of responsibility for the next generation. Taking these talented young women under her wing is Lewis’s way of contributing to the future of a revered tradition.
Listen to Laurie Lewis’s twelfth track, “Troubled Times” from her upcoming album and Laurie Lewis.
Catch Laurie Lewis On Tour:
April 1 – Santa Cruz, CA – Michael’s on Main-
April 2-5 – Berkeley, CA – Berkeley Bluegrass Festival*
April 8-11 – Corbett, OR – Bluegrass In The Gorge Music Camp^
April 17 – Mamaroneck, NY – Emelin Theatre*
April 18 – Germantown, MD – BlackRock Center For The Arts*
April 26 – Herdon, VA – Frying Pan Farm Park*
May 1 – Sebastopol, CA – Sebastopol Community Center%
May 2 – Kelseyville, CA – Fore Family Winery%
May 3 – Willits, CA – Willits Theatre%
May 8 – Haag am Hausruck, Austria*
May 14 – Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany*
May 15 – Willisau, Switzerland*
May 16 – Bühl Bluegrass Festival, Bühl, Germany*
May 18 – Chichester, England – Chidham Village Hall, Chidham
May 20 – Halifax, West Yorkshire, England – Square Chapel Arts
May 21 – Selby, North Yorkshire, England – Selby Town Hall
May 22 – Basingstoke, Hampshire, England – The Forge
May 23 – London, England – The Green Note
May 24 -Pulborough, West Sussex, England – Music at the Buildings
May 28 – Berkeley, CA – Freight and Salvage – River Of Song benefit#
June 11 – Wray, CO – Main Listening Room*
June 12-13 – McCook, NE – Buffalo Commons Storytellers Festival*
June 14-17 – California Bluegrass Association Music Camp – Nevada County Fairgrounds*
June 20-21 – California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival – Nevada County Fairgrounds*
June 25 – Sebastopol, CA – Kate Wolf Festival
July 2-6 – Hood River, OR – Rogue River Bluegrass+
July 9 – Snowmass, CO*
July 10 – Telluride, CO*
July 11-12 – Westcliffe, CO – High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival*
-Laurie Lewis and Missy Raines
*Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
^Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Brandon Godman, Justin Hiltner, Eli West, Haselden Ciacco
#Laurie Lewis, Suzy Thompson, and Friends
+Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum
%Laurie Lewis and Nina Gerber