Laurie Lewis 'One Evening In May' - Spruce and Maple

This is a live album recorded back in May last year with Laurie’s friends Tom Rozum and Nina Gerber. Though known as a bluegrass patriot,  Lewis opens the album with one of my favourite songs Ring Of Fire. This features some taunt electric guitar that suits the songs well. That doesn’t quite set the tone for the album as the next few songs have acoustic instrumentation spiced up with some tasty interjections from Gerber’s electric guitar. The trio are also joined by some friends adding harmony vocals and fiddle.

The end result is like being in the room with the musicians, as there is little added in post-production and that allows the spirit of the evening to be captured as it happened. There are some great songs from Lewis like Barstow, though I found myself drawn to the folkier deliveries like Sailing Boat, En Voz Baja, Kisses (a humourous song listed the many kissers that Lewis has encountered in life) and the rockier songs like I’m Missing You Tonight. The bluegrass orientated material like The Crooked Miles fits in the overall set and as it’s a genre that Lewis is most associated with this will doubtless please her longtime fans. Her crystal clear voice is highlighted on the unaccompanied opening of Trees and it is a worthy instrument capable of delivering the variety of emotions that her songs have, from the uplifting to the more weary considerations of separation and situation.

Overall this is a 15 song set that enhances the reputation of all involved and a fine souvenir for all those lucky enough to have caught Laurie Lewis playing live on any evening in a small and friendly venue.