Thu, Nov 10|
Laurie Lewis and Men of Note
Time & Location
Nov 10, 2022, 7:30 PM
Ripon, 301 N Acacia Ave, Ripon, CA 95366, USA
About The Event
Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Laurie Lewis has gathered fans and honors for her powerful, emotive voice and her versatile, dynamic songwriting. For nearly four decades, Laurie has surrounded herself with stellar performers; her new ensemble, Laurie Lewis and Men of Note, is a super-group of acoustic talent. Featuring the unflappable, percussive groove of renowned bassist Mark Schatz, the deep jazz sensibilities of accordionist Sam Reider and the swinging drive of Brandon Godman on fiddle, Laurie Lewis and Men of Note combine individual artistry with Lewis' original songs to bring a rich, eclectic musical mix to life.
Her voice is a rare combination of grit and grace, strength and delicacy. Her stories always ring true. — Linda Ronstadt
To ask how Laurie Lewis’ music is relevant in this day and age, in the broader folk, Americana, and bluegrass scenes as a whole, would be similar to asking how a brick in a home’s foundation is relevant to its structure. Her influence, her reach and her artistic intent are quiet stalwarts on which so much has been built. — Justin Hiltner, Bluegrass Situation
About the Artists
For decades, Laurie Lewis has gathered fans and honors for her powerful and emotive voice and her versatile, dynamic songwriting. She is a sought-after recording producer and an equally skilled teacher and mentor. She is also an inspiration and a ground-breaker – across genres, across geography and across gender barriers. Laurie has shown us how a woman can blend into any part of the classic bluegrass singing trio, and she showed us how a great voice could move fluidly between bluegrass and other types of music. She showed us how a female fiddler could emulate the strength and grit of the early bluegrass musicians. She has shown how a Californian can appeal to traditional bluegrass audiences, as well as winning acclaim in the worlds of Americana and folk music. She has shown us how to lead bands of talented musicians – learning from them while helping them make their best music. And she has shown us how to thrive in a constantly changing musical environment – without ever sacrificing her art.
Laurie Lewis fell in love with American folk music as a teenager in the 1960s, catching the “folk bug” at the Berkeley Folk Festivals and picking simple songs on the fiddle. After high school, she drifted away from the music, but always kept her fiddle under her bed, not knowing exactly why. In her early 20s, she discovered the Bay Area bluegrass scene. In the early 1970s she played with local bluegrass band, The Phantoms of the Opry, then co-founded the Good Ol' Persons, an all-female bluegrass band, with Kathy Kallick. Her own songwriting came to the forefront in the late 70s and 80s with her own groups, Grant Street Band and Laurie Lewis and Grant Street.
Laurie believes in surrounding herself with superb musicians, whether in her sizzling bluegrass band, The Right Hands, as a duo with guitar goddess Nina Gerber, or with long-time musical soul mate Tom Rozum. She and Rozum have recorded together and performed at the Grand Ole Opry and with Garrison Keillor on several occasions for A Prairie Home Companion. This Ripon Arts League performance is one of the first for her newest group, Laurie Lewis and Men of Note, featuring Laurie and a trio of dynamic music pros from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Hailing from the bluegrass state of Kentucky, Brandon Godman began playing fiddle at the age of 10 in local square dance halls. He developed his skills by playing in various bluegrass, country, and western swing bands around the region, and by competing in fiddle contests throughout the Midwest. His first bluegrass road gig was with Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain at the age of 17. Since then he has performed with various bluegrass and country acts including Karl Shiflett, David Peterson, Dale Ann Bradley, Doyle Lawson, The Band Perry and Jon Pardi. He has been fortunate to grace the stages of The Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ole’ Opry, Carnegie Hall, The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show, The View and others. Currently he performs regularly as part of Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands and Laurie Lewis and Men of Note.
With his summer 2021 release of Grit & Polish, Mark Schatz once again proves he’s true a ‘renaissance man’ of the acoustic music world. A two-time winner of the IBMA Bass Player of the Year Award, Mark is best known for his contributions on some of the most iconic recordings in bluegrass by artists such as Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, John Hartford, Claire Lynch, Tim O’Brien, Sara Jarosz, and Nickel Creek. He is also a master of the clawhammer banjo and is featured playing his own compositions on two solo projects on Rounder Records, Brand New Old Tyme Way and Steppin’ In The Boiler House. Mark is always ready to cut loose with some Southern Appalachian clogging and hambone, and his stagecraft was honed through a long association with the acclaimed Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, for whom he still serves as Musical Director.
Sam Reider is a pianist, accordionist, composer, and educator from San Francisco. At Columbia University in New York City, he majored in American Studies and fell in love with folk music. While writing his thesis comparing the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin, Reider picked up an old accordion and began learning bluegrass and old-time tunes. This set him off on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls and major festivals all around the world, as a bandleader and soloist. Mark’s performances and musical creations have been featured on NPR, PBS and the BBC, his work bringing together various streams of American music, from jazz and folk tunes to popular song and contemporary composition.