For the last decade, Laurie Lewis' recordings could fit pretty comfortably in almost anyone's definition of "bluegrass music." Twice voted the International Bluegrass Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year, she is widely recognized for her ground-breaking work in that field. With the release of Blossoms, she is stretching those boundaries, and expressing a creative freedom that, while her traditional string band roots are still evident, cannot be tied to one genre.
Blossoms blends multiple musical genres that may not be anticipated by devoted Laurie Lewis bluegrass fans, but those who have followed her most closely will see it as a natural outgrowth of her musical sensibilities and varied influences. Sophisticated lyrics, unexpected folk hybrids, twangy country, traditional and contemporary bluegrass and a cappella harmonies topped off with melded tinges of jazz join to create a joyful compilation of songs.
Laurie's nine original album tracks zoom through a song list that addresses topics of forgiveness ('The Roughest Road'), tenuous links to past loves ('Chains of Letters'), living fully in the present and leaving a legacy of friendship and love ('Here Today'), a humorous take on transportation woes ('Cool Your Jets'), traditional instrumental bluegrass ('Beaver Creek), ghosts of Vietnam vets ('Return to the Fire'), sweet nostalgia ('Burley Coulter's Song for Kate Helen Branch'), and dangerous enticement ('Sirens').
Blossoms is charmingly delightful, intimate, meditative, heart-touching, evocative, funny, mournful and elegantly refined. Successfully meshing eclectic styles, Laurie Lewis weaves together layers of textured music to create a tapestry of positivity, fulfillment and inspiration.