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Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands

Sunday June 24th at 3pm

Quintessential Bluegrass

  • Laurie Lewis-- Quote from Darol Anger:It is possible to be a strong female presence in the Bluegrass music world, but you have to be really strong. Laurie is one of the greatest Bluegrass artists, woman or man, because of her consistency over decades, the depth and width of her subject matter, her commitment to the Bluegrass form, and her technical command. Oh yes, and her strength. Laurie’s strength manifests in many ways: her commanding presence on stage combined with an emotional vulnerability, the truths in her lyrics, her physical voice which transcends gender, her strong commitment to causes and issues in which she deeply believes, which all resonate with a respect for the land, the natural world, and human mercy and justice.
  • Tom Rozum --Since joining forces with Laurie in 1986, Tom's versatility and diverse musical influences come to the fore every night on stage with the band. He plays primarily mandolin with the band, but is also an accomplished fiddle, mandola, and guitar player. His background as a rock and swing musician adds a uniquely satisfying flavor to the band. His rhythmic approach to mandolin especially punctuates the band's repertoire, adding to their on-stage shows a verve and excitement that has become a distinctive feature of their performances. He is a fine lead vocalist, the ideal harmony partner for Laurie (it's not for nothing that their duet collaboration The Oak and the Laurel was so highly regarded that it was a Grammy nominee for the Best Traditional Folk Album of 1996), and occasionally functions as the comic foil for on-stage goings-on whenever things get too weighty. Tom can be heard on most of Laurie's recordings; their other duet albums, Guest House and Winter's Grace; and the band's The Golden West and Live. Originally from New England, Tom moved to Berkeley from Arizona, where he played many kinds of traditional and original music with Summerdog and Flying South; and San Diego, where he honed his swing chops with the Rhythm Rascals.
  • Chad Manning --Chad, who has won plaudits as the fiddler with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, is a much-sought-after teacher, and greatly in demand as a session player. Chad has been playing fiddle since the age of 8, and toured the Northwest extensively with his family's band, Homeward Bound. As a teenager Chad twice won Washington State Junior Fiddle Championships. He also placed in the top five in the Junior and Adult divisions at the National Old Time Fiddler's Contest in Weiser, Idaho. Through adolescence and his college years, Chad immersed himself in the styles of fiddle masters from different genres (including old-time, Western Swing, and bluegrass). After graduating from college with degrees in Creative Writing, Literature, and Philosophy, Chad moved to San Francisco to pursue his writing and continue playing music. Since his move to the Bay Area, Chad's writing has appeared in a number of literary journals and he has recorded two solo albums: In the Midst and Old Gnarly Oak. In the late 1990s, Laurie heard Chad playing at the Berkeley Farmers' Market, and they've been scheming on a way to play music together ever since. Their hopes are finally realized with this edition of The Right Hands. Chad's fiery yet sweet fiddling is a perfect addition to Laurie's music. He can be heard on Laurie's CD, Blossoms.
  • Andrew Conklin --Andrew is a composer, guitarist, double bassist, sound artist, and teacher. Andrew grew up near Philadelphia, in Wyndmoor, PA, and studied jazz guitar with Philadelphia shredder Ed Scott. He attended Oberlin College, emerging with a bachelor's degree in jazz guitar. He has written pieces for orchestra, chamber ensemble, jazz band, and choir, and his music has been performed across the nation by groups ranging from the Oberlin Jazz Septet to the Germantown Friends School Choir. His bass-playing combines perfect timing with a playful sensibility that allows him to craft lines that knit the ensemble together seamlessly; his occasional solos are real gems of melodic invention and rhythmic intensity. Andrew is a much-sought-after bassist; besides gigging with The Right Hands, he performs with other Bay Area acts, including Quinn, Timosaurus, and Host Family. As if his plate weren't full enough already, Andrew is currently pursuing a master's degree in composition at San Francisco State University. He can be heard on Laurie’s CD, Blossoms.
  • Patrick Sauber --Patrick, a native of Arcadia, CA, has been playing old-time, Cajun, and bluegrass music ever since he can remember. His introduction to performing came at the knee of his father, old-time master fiddler and claw-hammer banjo player Tom Sauber, a stalwart of the traditional music scene in Southern California. Patrick's first gigs found him playing triangle, and, at 10 years old, he was playing accordion in a Cajun band with his dad. Under the guidance of his father (with whom he still performs), Patrick has developed a keen ear, unusual depth to his playing, technical expertise, and an encyclopedic knowledge of traditional music forms that is rare in one so young. Patrick has recorded or performed with many artists, including Doc Watson, Herb Pedersen, Weird Al Yankovic, The Limeliters, Richard Greene, Christ Stuart & Backcountry, Dirk Powell, and many others. In 2003, Christopher Guest asked Patrick to be the banjo player in The New Main Street Singers in the folk-music satire movie, A Mighty Wind. Patrick also played on the soundtrack CD and toured with the film's cast. A formidable talent on banjo, Cajun accordion, mandolin, and guitar ("He's the kind of guy who could probably get music out of anything he puts his hands on," says Laurie), he primarily plays banjo in The Right Hands, also taking a tasty turn on guitar and accordion on selected numbers. Patrick can be heard on Laurie's CD, Blossoms.
  • CDs: Over 25, including Laurie Lewis' new CD, SKIPPIN' AND FLYIN', a personal tribute to the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. This CD mixes songs from the bluegrass repertoire and contemporary writers and Lewis' originals. In turns lively, exciting, deep and heartfelt, the songs feature Lewis' expressive vocals and instrumentation by GRAMMY Award-winning bassist Todd Phillips, the legendary Craig Smith on banjo, and mandolinist/vocalist Tom Rozum. Linda Ronstadt is among the special guests.

    Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands




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