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Bluegrass, folk and country

St. Clair Productions will present Grammy Award winners Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum in a concert of bluegrass, folk and country at 8 p.m. Friday, April 13, at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland.

Lewis's career spans 30 years in which she has won a Grammy ("True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe," 1997), was nominated for a Grammy ("The Oak and the Laurel" with Rozum in 1996) and twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association).

The Sacramento News called Lewis "as fine a singer as anyone on the acoustic music circuit, anywhere in the world." Billboard praised her ability to "successfully walk the high wire above esoteric country, combining elements of bluegrass and pure country to form her own seamless mix." Or as American folk icon Utah Phillips put it, "Whatever country music is supposed to be, she's at the center of it."

"Laurie Lewis specializes in breathing new life into country music's old-timey sounds," according to Eric Shea on uk.real.com. "By playing musical hopscotch with genres such as Western Swing Revival, New Traditional Bluegrass, Tejano, Old-Time Revival and Cajun/Zydeco, Lewis' Americana is almost impossible to paint into a specific corner. Her elastic voice, however, can easily be pigeonholed into the category of 'heavenly.'"

Lewis won the California Women's Fiddling championships twice in the 1970s. Her early performances were ground-breaking in two ways: She was from California and she was a woman fiddler with her own band, not just a female singer fronting an all-male band.

In 1975, Lewis founded the Good Ol' Persons with Kathy Kallick. Next came the Grant Street String Band and then Laurie Lewis and Grant Street, which she fronted, and for which she wrote much of the music.

These days, Lewis performs both as a duo with Rozum and with her new band the Right Hands.

Lewis and Rozum have appeared at the Grand Ole Opry and many times with Garrison Keillor on "A Prairie Home Companion."

Rozum first began performing with Lewis in 1986. He primarily plays mandolin with Lewis, but also plays fiddle, mandola and guitar player. Rozum can take the lead vocals as well as adding back-up harmony to Lewis' lead. Before arriving in Berkeley, Rozum performed with the bands Summerdog and Flying South in Arizona and with the swing band Rhythm Rascals in San Diego.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door, $10 for youth 12-17 and free for children under 12 with a paying adult.

Call 535-3562.

Grammy Award winner Laurie Lewis will perform Friday.