Something old, something newgrass with Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis

If rootsy harmony is your thing, you’ve probably already got November 18 circled on your calendar. You’ve picked up some trail mix and filled a bottle of water for the journey, plotted your route on Google Maps and have maybe taken a practice run and scoped out optimal parking spots. You’ve done this because Grammy Award-winner Laurie Lewis is coming to Poughkeepsie.

Lewis, who sings and plays fiddle and guitar, found herself immersed in the California folk revival as a teenager and slept with a fiddle under her bed: the kind of thing young musicians often do.

The Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association (HVBA) is presenting the show, which will feature Lewis performing with her band, the Right Hands, at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie this Friday, November 18.

Lewis was hailed as the perfect encapsulation of “newgrass,” both because of her ability to create a contemporary sound using traditional instruments and for the simple trick of geography that saw her become one of the first accepted bluegrass stars to come from California and not the huddle of Southern states most closely associated with the genre. For that matter, New York might seem a curious place for such music to take hold; but as with Lewis herself, the Hudson Valley has become a natural place both to play and to experience bona fide traditional American sounds originally grown elsewhere. HVBA’s primary goal is to bring local bluegrass music fans together, to cultivate appreciation for bluegrass music and, presumably, to make certain that washboards are used for anything but washing whenever possible.

Tickets for Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. are $20 for HVBA members and $25 for non-members. For more information, visit


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