Laurie Lewis’ Skippin’ And Flyin’ is one of many tributes to Bill Monroe produced in 2011, to highlight the hundredth anniversary of his birth. Lewis combines a mix of Monroe tunes and a mix of originals and old-time classics with a West Coast twist.
The CD opens with a different take on Monroe’s hit “Molly And Tenbrooks,” with “Old Ten Broeck,” borrowing from Cousin Emmy’s version and a 1929 recording by the Carver Boys and then adding lyrics from Mike Seeger with her own arrangement. This gives an up-front indication of the direction Skippin’ And Flyin’ might take. Other Monroe takes include “A Lonesome Road” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky.” A tip of her hat also goes to the classic Blue Grass Boys, Flatt & Scruggs, with “What’s Good For You” and “I Don’t Care Anymore,” and also to Maybelle Carter with “Carter’s Blues.” Jimmie Rodgers’ “Tuck Away My Lonesome Blues” and Wilma Cooper’s “I Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow” get a treatment as well.
Lewis originals include “The Pharaoh’s Daughter,” a song about the princess who saved Moses; “Hartfordtown 1994,” about a circus fire; and “American Chestnuts,” inspired by a photograph in National Geographic magazine. Lewis offers everything from swing fiddle to yodeling in what has to be one of the most varied of the numerous tributes to Big Mon. (Spruce and Maple Music, P.O. Box 9417, Berkeley, CA 94709, www.spruceandmaplemusic.com). MB