- November 29, -0001
The name Laurie Lewis is one of the most recognizable in bluegrass today. Singer/ songwriter/ fiddler/ bandleader/ educator - Lewis understands the multi-faceted role that artists specializing in tradition-based music must play to ensure that bluegrass passes to new generations. Sam Bush warns against calling Lewis influential merely because she is a female fiddler from the West Coast. He says, "I just think of her as an artist: a great singer, terrific fiddle player, a fine songwriter, and one very good band leader." A San Francisco native, Lewis was drawn to the bluegrass music that was part of the city's folk scene in the mid- to late-1960s and she started to develop a reputation for her fiddle playing while still in her teens. Her decision to study the vocal style of Ralph Stanley brought her more attention, establishing Lewis in the growing newgrass camp. Lewis remains a favorite on the roots music concert circuit, adding master classes and workshops to her schedule when she can. She is lead instructor and program coordinator for Bluegrass at the Beach, a week-long bluegrass instructional camp on the Oregon coast. A West Coaster, protecting the environment and preserving nature for generations to come has also become an important issue for Lewis to champion.