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Laurie Lewis

Seeing Things – 1998 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis tells us in her liner notes that she had suffered a long period of creative drought during recovery from a serious car accident in 1994. Here she not only demonstrates a renewed creativity, but manages to address the accident in a positive light.

"Kiss Me Before I Die" takes a whimsical look at the specter of death, while "Angel On His Shoulder" reveals that surviving adversity can make one appreciate "life's sweet blessings." While other tunes don't deal directly with the accident, songs such as "Let the Bird Go Free" and "The Refugee" acknowledge a spirit of renewal. Another highlight is a stirring performance of Tom Russell's "Manzanar," the story of a Japanese-American reflecting on the atrocity of internment camps during World War II. Regular band mates Tom Rozum (mandolin) and Todd Phillips (acoustic bass) are joined by such notables as Darol Anger (violin), Tony Furtado (slide guitar) and Kathy Kallick (harmony vocals).

Lewis shows that she has lived through tragedy to emerge as an artist with creativity not only intact but seemingly heightened.