We are thrilled to announce that the Guest Artist for the 49th Alaska Folk Festival will be Laurie Lewis!
She will be coming to Juneau with her Bluegrass Band, The Right Hands. Grammy winning artist Laurie Lewis is a California legend who has a long and distinguished history in Bluegrass and Americana music. For nearly four decades, she has gathered fans and honors for her powerful and emotive voice and her versatile, dynamic songwriting. Laurie has shown how a woman can blend into any part of the classic bluegrass singing trio, and how a great voice could move fluidly between bluegrass and other types of music. She has shown how a female fiddler could emulate the strength and grit of the early bluegrass musicians and how a Californian can appeal to traditional bluegrass audiences, as well as winning acclaim in the worlds of Americana and folk music.
Although she has played roots music since her teenage years and performed in various bands from her early 20s, it wasn’t until she was 36 that Laurie decided to venture out on her own. Her solo recording, Restless Rambling Heart, introduced the national music audience to Laurie’s talents and versatility. The CD, produced by Tim O’Brien, features seven originals and showcases her stunning vocal range and control. Since that time, Laurie has twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and won Song of the Year for her rendition of the now-standard “Who Will Watch the Home Place?” She has collaborated on numerous other award-winning recordings. While steeped in the bluegrass tradition, Laurie’s songwriting demonstrates her ability to surpass the limitations of that genre. Her works reflect her wide range of influences: from old time and country to Tin Pan Alley, jazz standards and early rock ‘n roll.
Throughout her lengthy and varied career, Laurie has been an inspiration and a groundbreaker – across genres, across geography and across gender barriers. We are so proud to welcome her to The Alaska Folk Festival.