Two Voices

Lasting power is what duo Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum look for in music. "Our music is informed by traditional bluegrass," Lewis says during a telephone interview. "We love early country music, bluegrass, acoustic rural music. It's informed what we want to perform, how we play our instruments and sing our songs. Some of our stuff is new, but we play it in the old style."

Fiddler Lewis and mandolinist Rozum will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent.

Lewis and Rozum were listening to the same genres of music even while living in different parts of the country. The two met at radio station KPFA at the University of California at Berkeley.

"We've been playing together for more than 20 years," Lewis says. "It's a good relationship. I write the songs, and Tom sings wonderful harmonies. Our voices blend well."

The two formed a musical partnership in 1986, when Rozum joined Lewis' acclaimed band, Grant Street. They've recorded 12 albums and performed around the globe.

Their 1995 "The Oak and the Laurel" earned a Grammy nomination, and in 2004 they released their third duo album, "Guest House," a characteristically versatile collection of love songs, laments, social commentary and freewheeling fun in the spirit of old-time music.

Rozum debuted a CD, "Jubilee," in 1998. The recording featured such artists as Todd Phillips, Herb Pederson, Mike Marshall, Rob Ickes, Darol Anger, Craig Smith, Bobby Hicks and others.

"It was well-received," Lewis says. "We stay busy, and it keeps Tom from recording more often."

Lewis and Rozum pay tribute to such influences as the inimitable Bill Monroe, Woody Guthrie and Hazel Dickens, along with contemporary songwriters Kate McLeod and Kate Wolf.

"A song has to speak to me personally," Lewis says. "It has to hold together musically and lyrically ... and it has to be something I wish I'd written or something that I know I couldn't have written.

Lewis says she also has to tip her hat to Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

"I loved the fiddle players in that band," she says. "The way they worked together, the interplay of guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass and banjo. It's an unbeatable combination. I also like the old country stuff by Lefty Frizzell, Buck Owens and Rose Maddox."

Some of the music that Lewis and Rozum perform has been around for 100 years or longer, Lewis says.

"We play fiddle tunes that we have no idea where they're from," she says. "A songwriter may take some credit for a tune, but you can tell they're from older sources.

"The songs tend to be plainspoken and filled with themes of struggle, loss or joy. That's the stuff that attracts us and makes us want to delve into it. It's a deep well."

Tickets to the show at Paschal Winery cost $20, and reservations are available by calling 541-488-3869 or emailing Proceeds will benefit the Siskiyou Institute's Artists-in-Schools program.

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