Coming on October 18 is Skippin’ and Flyin’, an appreciation of Monroe from West Coast fiddler, vocalist and songwriter Laurie Lewis. She has pulled together a number of Big Mon’s songs, along with ones from Jimmie Rodgers, Maybelle Carter, Del McCoury and others among the 14 tracks.
Lewis is supported by her touring band, the Right Hands, and a few special guests. Tom Rozum is on mandolin, Craig Smith on banjo, Chad Manning on fiddle, Scott Huffman on guitar, Orville Johnson on resonator guitar, and both Todd Phillips and Andrew Conklin on bass. Vocal harmony is provided by Kathy Kallick, Dale Ann Bradley, Nadine Landry, and Linda Ronstadt.
Though known more for contemporary music, Laurie says that the tribute makes perfect sense to her.
“I realize, looking back, that my path as a musician and songwriter, and my whole approach to making music, were influenced in various ways by what I found in Bill Monroe’s music.”
Though not set for widespread release until October, Laurie assures her fans that she will have copies of Skippin’ and Flyin’ with her during next week’s World of Bluegrass event in Nashville.
We’ll be sure to catch up with Ms. Lewis at IBMA ourselves, and get a few more details about the new album. Most especially, we’ll be interested in hearing how her Bill Monroe tribute album ended up with a Sound of Music homage on the cover!