Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum
First Appeared in The Music Box, July 2004, Volume 11, #7
Written by John Metzger
Much like Norman and Nancy Blake, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum seamlessly mix contemporary songs with snapshots from American music history. The difference is that, where the Blakes stick largely to traditional folk, the team of Lewis and Rozum delve deeply into bluegrass. Not surprisingly, the duo’s third, full-fledged collaborative effort Guest House — Rozum also has helped Lewis to color her solo outings — is a charming and inviting affair that glows with the warmth of a down-home jam session. On Willie Poor Boy, Lewis reconfigures Woody Guthrie’s Pretty Boy Floyd, turning it into a modern day tale of vigilantism, while O My Malissa/How Old Are You? imagines the courtship of Bill Monroe’s parents. Elsewhere, Lewis and Rozum deliver a lovely duet on the heartbroken lament Since You Went Away and kick up some dust on a whirling instrumental medley of the old-time tunes Wild Rose of the Mountain, The Devil Chased Me around the Stump, and Glory at the Meeting House. With the resurgence of roots-oriented music that has followed in the wake of the critical and commercial success of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, perhaps, the time is now right for Lewis and Rozum to attain some much deserved attention. Guest House is as good a place to start as any within their catalog.
Guest House is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box