Guest House

Guest House

by Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum
     
 

An acoustic treat, Guest House is furnished with a blend of styles rooted in ancient tones but boasting a contemporary glow in the seasoned hands of bluegrass innovators Laurie Lewis (fiddle, guitars, vocals) and Tom Rozum (vocals, mandolin, mandola, guitar). The pair dip into gospel, folk, bluegrass, and country, positioning well-turned original songsSee more details below

Overview

An acoustic treat, Guest House is furnished with a blend of styles rooted in ancient tones but boasting a contemporary glow in the seasoned hands of bluegrass innovators Laurie Lewis (fiddle, guitars, vocals) and Tom Rozum (vocals, mandolin, mandola, guitar). The pair dip into gospel, folk, bluegrass, and country, positioning well-turned original songs alongside well-chosen covers, both of which allow for plenty of hot pickin' and a dollop of introspective instrumental commentary. With a few select side players along for support, Lewis's frantic, album-opening ballad, "Willie Poor Boy," takes a page from Woody Guthrie in its compassionate approach to a beleaguered workingman's plight, and the acoustic instruments summon the sizzling spirit of Flatt & Scruggs. "Tramps and Hawkers," a deliberately paced, somber tale of a drifter's yearning for the land and people he must sadly leave behind, tugs extra hard at the heartstrings when Lewis adds poignant, keening fiddle support to Rozum's melancholy vocal. Bill Monroe's life story inspired the toe-tapping, banjo- and fiddle-fired epic "O My Malissa," which is paired with a version of the Monroe Brothers' "How Old Are You?" in an inspired moment of vocal and instrumental transcendence. An album so rich in authoritative picking, though, finds its most powerful moment in the a cappella voices harmonizing on "Quiet Hills," a hymnlike testimony to faith in the future in the midst of a bleak present. Toss in a spirited rendition of the evergreen "Old Dan Tucker" and a jubilant rendition of a Perry Como landmark, "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," and this Guest House is full up -- with a surfeit of good things.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
There was a time when Laurie Lewis was seen as the queen of West Coast bluegrass, as if it was a different animal from Southern bluegrass. It's not, of course, and these days Lewis is recognized as one of the music's major practitioners. This showcases her vocal talents and puts her playing on the back burner, and she can certainly use her voice, especially on the two Hazel Dickens songs here, with "Scars from an Old Love" being so good you actually hold your breath during the song. That she's also a strong writer is demonstrated by three of her own compositions, with "O My Malissa" being the best, the tale of the courtship between the late great Bill Monroe's parents. It would be unfair to play down Tom Rozum's contributions, as he offers some scintillating mandolin work that's an absolute joy, and provides a perfect vocal foil for Lewis on tracks like "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" and "Since You Went Away." They both get to shine vocally on "Quiet Hills," an a cappella piece that's made of fragile beauty. Closing with an instrumental medley was a good cleansing idea, and everyone obviously has a glorious time with it, Lewis' fiddle work on the first piece atmospheric and moving. All in all, a joyous, often lovely record.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/30/2004
Label:
Hightone Records
UPC:
0012928816724
catalogNumber:
8167

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Laurie Lewis   Primary Artist,Fiddle,Guitar,Vocals
Nina Gerber   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Mike Marshall   Mandocello,Guest Appearance
Tom Rozum   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Mandola,Primary Artist
Tom Sauber   Banjo,Guest Appearance
Scott Huffman   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Craig Robert Smith   Banjo,Guest Appearance
Todd Sickafoose   Vocals,String Bass,Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

Laurie Lewis   Arranger,Producer
Hazel Dickens   Composer
Si Kahn   Composer
Claudia Schmidt   Composer
Jim Ringer   Composer
Tom Rozum   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Liz Meyer   Composer
Slim Willet   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Todd Sickafoose   Arranger
Kate McLeod   Composer
L. David Lewis   Composer
Tom Size   Engineer
Tim Rozum   Producer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >