Lewis enlists the help of longtime musical partner Tom Rozum on mandolin, octave mandolin, and vocals. The roster also includes David Grier, Nina Gerber, and Scott Huffington on guitar, Roy Rodger on slide guitar, Alex Hargreaves, Brittany Haas, and Darol Anger on fiddles.
The music on Blossoms isn’t strictly bluegrass. Instead, it’s a celebration of diversity with spirituals such as “How Can I Keep From Singing,” followed by folkier songs such as Kate McLeod’s “Lark in The Morning.” Lewis’ original songs go from winsome ballads such as “Chains of Letters” to Caribbean-flavored rap songs like “Cool Your Jets,” which features “Car Talk” brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi contributing spoken parts. In between, are the dual fiddle instrumental “Sophie’s House” and an a capella rendition of “Return to the Fire.”
Blossoms serves as a wonderful introduction for new Lewis fans and a big ol’ hug for long-timers.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.