Lewi Longmire | Fire 'Neath the Still

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Rock: Americana Rock: Roots Rock Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Fire 'Neath the Still

by Lewi Longmire

Relaxed roots rock and roll (with some desert sensibilities) from a stalwart bunch of Pacific Northwest musicians.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Moon Song
Lewi Longmire Band
3:49 $0.99
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2. Whatchoo Gonna Do About...?
Lewi Longmire Band
3:38 $0.99
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3. Sweet Situation
Lewi Longmire Band
4:24 $0.99
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4. Disappear
Lewi Longmire Band
3:36 $0.99
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5. Baby, Would You Take Me Home?
Lewi Longmire Band
2:40 $0.99
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6. This Time
Lewi Longmire Band
5:10 $0.99
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7. San Ysidro
Lewi Longmire Band
4:09 $0.99
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8. Voluntary Martyr
Lewi Longmire Band
4:15 $0.99
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9. Behind the Eightball
Lewi Longmire Band
4:36 $0.99
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10. One Thing at a Time
Lewi Longmire Band
4:20 $0.99
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11. New Lone Ranger
Lewi Longmire Band
3:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Lewi Longmire’s preferred list of his own recordings runs 42 albums—the complete discography (from acoustic to rock to Valvoline ad spots) would choke a Nano. Regarding live shows, it’s more likely the 37-year-old Portland musician has a gig scheduled around town than not. 'The peak of the madness was 2003,' says the local legend. 'I played 282 shows that year. I musta been nuts...and young. Peter Buck recently joked about my presence around town. He thought it was weird to go see a band in Portland and find I wasn’t playing in it.'

Born to a family of musicians in a Rio Grande farming community, Longmire has a famed versatility (he plays electric and upright bass, pedal and lap steel and traditional guitar, organ and piano, mandolin, drums, harmonica, banjo, trumpet, fitful violin and, as a Universal Life Church minister, has been known to marry bandmates), which led to him being called “the session musician’s session musician.” He started early, mastering instruments in school and playing whatever was needed for those few bands available. After a brief stint at the University of New Mexico, Longmire started touring a folk-punk project around the West Coast, and, a decade later, finally settled ’round Portland. He says he 'devoted [him]self to being a hired gun in the Americana circles.' "
-Willamette Week, April 2008

Long a noted sideman and studio musician in Portland, Lewi has played with everyone from: Michael Hurley, Fernando, Victoria Williams, Jerry Joseph, Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, the Bingo Dream Band, Little Sue, James Low, Tony Furtado, Caleb Klauder, Jackie O-Motherfucker, Michael Dean Damron/I Can Lick Any SOB in the House, Scott Law, Pete Krebs, Tara Jane O'Neill, Michael Jodell, Annalisa Tornfelt, the Holy Modal Rounders/Freak Mountain Ramblers, and Hillstomp.

But, with his sophomore studio full-length, "Fire ‘Neath The Still", which
was recorded by Jeff "Chet" Lyster (Lucinda Williams, the Eels), the
notable sideman is once again breaking out on his own, with his own band,
and releasing a set of classic-rock-inspired roots music.

Starting with his core live trio (himself with bassist Bill Rudolph and drummer Ned Folkerth), the songs are helped along by the ample talents of some of Lewi's fine musical friends. Jenny Conlee (Decemberists, Casey Neill- keyboards), Paul Brainard (Richmond Fontaine- horns), Annalisa Tornfelt (Black Prairie, Bearfoot Bluegrass- violin), Kevin "Bingo" Richey (Bingo Dream Band, Proud Mary, Golden Delicious- guitar), Susannah Weaver (Little Sue, Minus 5- vocals), David Lipkind (Joe McMurrian Quartet, Supersuckers- harmonica) and Caleb Miles (guitar) all contribute to the disc.

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Reviews


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The Celebrity Cafe.com

Always fun to listen to!
The epitome of good, ol' fashioned country fun, Fire 'Neath the Sill is a great new choice for country and bluegrass fans. The best in honky-tonk music, with a playful attitude and catchy country tunes, the Lewi Longmire Band's newest album boasts it all. From smooth and country/crossover-flavored opening songs, "Moon Song" and "Watchoo Gonna Do About," to the silly and fun-to-listen-to "Baby Would You Take Me Home" (about the love that may grow as a result of taking care of the drunken singer), the Lewi Longmire Band clearly had fun cobbling together this collection of songs about, well, basically whatever the heck they wanted to sing about. What this album does not do, however, is fall into the stereotypical trap of the country album with a collection of woe-is-me and my-wife-left-me songs, but instead keeps a breezy and upbeat, fun-loving tone throughout. And of course, the deep, country twang is always fun to listen to. -Susie Kopecky (thecelebritycafe.com)
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Honest Tune

Breaks out... in a big way
Hired gun Lewi Longmire breaks out on his own in a big way on Fire \'Neath the Still.

The Portland musician has recorded with, or backed up live, a who\'s who list of Americana superstars including Victoria Williams, Jerry Joseph, Tony Furtado, and Michael Hurley. Yet, it\'s on Fire \'Neath the Stillthat one gets a true grasp of Longmire\'s immense range and distinctive taste for roots-driven rock and roll.

A headlong surge into the defining \"Sweet Situation\" track exposes the resonating authority in Longmire\'s singing voice and razor\'s edge distortion of his guitar playing. Of course, the irony is that Longmire can follow such a head-banging track with the old time, jazz/country swing of \"Disappear\" without missing a step. But, that\'s probably because Longmire has assembled a first rate group of accompanying musicians, with bassist Bill Rudolph and drummer Ned Folkerth stepping up to the front of the sound mix on \"This Time\" and the involving opening number, \"Moon Song.\"

Special guests abound on Fire \'Neath the Still,including Jennifer Conlee from the Decemberists, Paul Brainard from Richmond Fontaine on horns, and David Lipkind from the Supersuckers on harmonica. Recorded by Jeff Lyster (Lucinda Williams), Fire \'Neath the Still is a high quality second album from one of Portland\'s finest that is sure to open plenty of ears to Lewi Longmire. -Bill Whiting (www.honesttune.com)
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Babysue.com

Honest and satisfying
Lewi Longmire is but one of thousands upon thousands of truly talented musicians in the United States toiling away in obscurity because there are just not enough listeners in the United States to support all the artists. Mr. Longmire writes and records what might best be described as Americana pop. His guitar-based tunes are melodic and mellow...and they showcase what a great voice this guy has. The timbre of his voice reminds us a great deal of the vocalist in California's Solipsistics...but the music is totally different. Lewi has been playing around Portland, Oregon with various folks for many years. Hopefully this, his second full-length, will spike some major interest in his solo career...as this man is obviously deserving of a large audience who can appreciate his honest and genuinely satisfying tunes. Unlike a lot of underground artists, if the right company was smart enough to sink some money into this man and his career...he could end up being HUGELY successful. Smooth rockers include "Moon Song," "Disappear," "Voluntary Martyr," and "New Lone Ranger." (Rating: 5)
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Dan Ware

Great stuff!!
I've been listening to "Fire 'Neath the Still" for a few days now and while I initially missed some of the eclecticness of "If I Lived to be 100", I'm really starting to dig this new effort.

Lewi's got a style all his own.. I describe it to friends as a mix of bluegrass, folk, the Dead and then something that's all just him.

Now backed by a couple of obviously talented musicians, Lewi's music has matured while still maintains its humor and texture.

This is a great CD by a great musician.. Certainly fans in Portland will be snapping this up quickly, but fans back in Albuquerque need to hear this too!

Way to go Lewi!
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30 Music.com

A shining example...
Filled to the brim with true country rock charm, the Lewi Longmire Band's latest full-length is a shining example of how music benefits enormously from a little bit of personality. Fire 'Neath the Still presents eleven quality, full-bodied tracks encompassing a variety of powerful emotions, ranging from the comical, to the pensive, to the serious.

The album's first strength is that lead singer Lewi Longmire's voice is impressively supported. Its smooth-toned nature contains the slightest hint of edge, making it fit perfectly into the style of the music. The instrumentation works similarly, getting edgy and energetic as it pleases during the tracks, and working in the looser calmness just as easily. Instrumental fills, especially from the harmonica and piano, elaborate on the chords and lend delightful detail to the music. Complex and intriguing, this is country rock at its finest.

The lyrics are also something to appreciate, as they cover believable real-life situations, highlighting events and considerations that anyone may find him/herself encountering. For example, the track "Disappear," a reluctant and melancholy song in which Longmire ponders whether he would be missed if he were to simply leave one day, has inscribed next to its name in the album liner notes, "Who hasn't wondered at one time or another?" His deeply human lyrics are easy to meet with sympathy; chances are, you've experienced something just like it. Perhaps that's what makes them so addicting. Additionally, most tracks are nicely packaged with a sense of resolution and change incorporated in the meaning, giving the hope that, at the very least, such misfortunate can be avoided in the future.

The songs each have their unique inspirations, events happy or painful in the real world that prompted Longmire to write about them. And it shows in the final product; the songs feel inspired, seeming to be part of something larger than just a bit of data read by a laser off of a CD face. Knowledge of what roots they might have are almost as alluring as the songs themselves.- Kevin Coss (www.30music.com)
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Aiding & Abetting

Shifts gears easily... impressive!
Yet another fine practitioner of modern country-rock music from the Pacific Northwest. Maybe folks up there are getting a bit jaded, what with so many outstanding artists in a relatively small area, but I find it hard to believe that Longmire couldn't find a label interested in this album.

Longmire swings wildly between mannered, introspective pieces (think latter-day Dylan, I suppose) and great driving music, with a few anthems (of varying styles) tossed in for good measure. Perhaps he doesn't segue between moods as well as he should, but the songs stand up nicely on their own.

Maybe the problem is that Longmire isn't quite sure what tradition to follow. There's some "traditional" americana, some Texas two-step, the obligatory paeans to the open road, some 70s AOR (with a bit of twang) and more. He shifts gears so easily that it's sometimes hard to believe that these pieces are, in fact, part of one album.

Longmire's songwriting skill is impressive, and his band does a nice job with this album. I suppose I wish it was a bit more coherent, but there's no denying the power of the songs. Impressive.
- (www.aidabet.com, issue #299)
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JR Simmang

Something about that album
I’m very picky about my country and bluegrass. It has to be good, really good, like Earl Scruggs and Merle Haggard good. I need banjo, mandolin, dirty violins, hell, even a Hammond organ. I want to be able to understand the singer... Not only did Lewi provide, he excelled. His liquid smooth vocals sifted through my speakers like honey in tea. “Sweet Situation” kicks the listener in the face with age old proven rock- steady lead guitar. It’s a genuine throwback to pre- Neil Young Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

One song in general seems to sum up the feel of Fire. Track 4, “Disappear,” comes out of left field blindfolded and hog- tied (I openly apologize for the backwoods references). Imagine if you will, sitting down at a Hoot’n Nanny, you’ve got a Lone Star in one hand and lasso in the other. You’re tapping your toes to some twangy steel guitar, and from the sky, the barn roof is ripped off, the Kenny Chesney wannabes on stage fly into the sky, and up from under the stage, Tommy Tucker starts conducting a jazz band playing a piece reminiscent of [the musical] Chicago. Lewi composed a perfect hail to the old- fashioned 1940’s trumpets and trombones. It’s a magnificent song, one that has dirty violin and rolling bass. ...

He’s my friend now. I feel like we’ve been drunk together and he’s told me his life story. How can I abandon him now? His voice is clear enough to understand every word, which is definitely a plus, he knows how to play the guitar, and I constantly find myself tapping my foot. It’s a fun album, not to be taken too seriously. I like the mix of Eagles, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Cream, CCR, and sometimes Duke Ellington. Buy it..."

(Edited down from 411media.com)
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The Oregonian

Sproutin' Roots in PDX
Due to the impressive list of instrumental sideman and production credits Lewi Longmire has racked up in Portland, the former New Mexican is frequently referred to as a "hired gun," a phrase that summons up stock images of a clock-watching cowpuncher cranking out his parts for the paycheck.

But even if his fingerprints are on most of the better roots music and Americana CDs coming out of town lately (if it has strings or keys, he's got you covered), a quick listen to the Longmire Band's latest, "Fire 'Neath the Still" shows Lewi to be more of the indispensable ranch-hand type; the confident pro who'll write you an eight-bar bridge back to the chorus or master a banjo arrangement, cracking wise the whole time. It's to his credit and Portland's benefit that Longmire chose to relocate his Southwestern dryness to our rainy climes instead heading out to Nashville to hack out singles for publishing companies.

On "Fire," the Longmire Band (featuring Bill Rudolph on bass and drummer Ned Folkerth) displays a deft facility for a number of roots forms, including 1970s pop folk ("Moon Song"), country jazz ("Disappear" is a close cousin to Van Morrison's "Moondance"), West Coast bar band boogie ("Baby, Would You Take Me Home?") and heartland classic rock ("Voluntary Martyr").

Longmire's lyrics ably split the difference between sentimental and smart without reaching for self-conscious cleverness. On the closer, "New Lone Ranger," laundry day becomes a metaphor for a blossoming love that's been rode hard and put up wet: "Just like your old favorite Western shirt, worn thin and caked with dirt/ I'd just as soon fall apart at the seams as I would come clean."

If that's the work of a hired gun, we could use few more 'round these parts.

(Curt Shultz, the Oregonian 4/25/08)
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Kathleen

Swamp rock with soul
I just can't get enough of Fire 'Neath the Still... it has been in my top 3 rotation for weeks. It is Lewi and his band at their best... with Lewi's original music and songwriting, and sweet, sweet guitar playing. Love it.
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LivePDX.com

A Potent Mix
...As much fun as it is to watch Lewi's infectious energy in a backup role, the effect is doubled when he's fronting his own outfit, The Lewi Longmire Band. In classic trio form, Lewi, bassist Bill Rudolph and drummer Ned Folkerth tear through a variety of styles of American music — country, folk, rock, jazz, blues and psychedelia, quite often blurring the lines between them. It's a potent mix, and one that has garnered him a consistent fan base that often fills up the LaurelThirst Pub on Thursday nights, where Lewi and the band have been holding court for a number of years.

All of this is front and center on the latest album by the band, Fire 'neath The Still. Released this month, the album features 11 iterations of Lewi's polymath musical vision, moving from the jazzy "Disappear" to the weepy folk of "San Ysidro" with beautiful ease. It's an album that evokes sunny road trips, backyard barbecues and campfire chats — in other words, the perfect soundtrack to the warmer months that are hopefully right around the corner. (Bob Ham, April 2008)
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