- Tom Rozum
Tom Rozum (born
Connecticut, 1951) is a Northern California-based American bluegrass mandolinist and singer, best known for his long-time collaboration with Laurie Lewis. Rozum has been nominated for a Grammyfor his 1996 album with Lewis, "The Oak and the Laurel," in the category of best traditional folk.
A long-time fixture on the Bay Area music scene, Tom Rozum is best known for "The Oak and the Laurel," his 1996 Grammy-nominated album of duets with Laurie Lewis. With the release of "Jubilee," Tom Rozum stepped into the national spotlight with an auspicious debut solo album -- a deft mixture of bluegrass, old time and western swing. Throughout the album, he lends his mandolin, guitar and vocal talent to a great selection of little-known country music gems by Merle Haggard, The Louvin Brothers and Bill Monroe interwoven with contemporary songs by David Olney and Mark Simos, among others. "Jubilee" was co-produced by long-time collaborator Laurie Lewis, and features an all-star cast of musicians including Laurie, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Herb Pederson, David Grier, Rob Ickes and Todd Phillips.
On "Jubilee", Tom obviously has a lot of fun in the spotlight. And each song has an interesting story behind it. "Don't Fix Up That Doghouse, "was co-written by Don Helms, Hank Williams' steel player, as a follow up to Hank's "Move It On Over." And here's how Tom describes his cover of David Olney's "Walk Downtown"... 'Another one of those fiddle-driven swingy old-time numbers about an Elvis impersonator.'
Originally from New England, Tom Rozum moved to Berkeley from Arizona, where he played many kinds of traditional and original music with Summerdog and Flying South; and San Diego, where he honed his swing chops with the Rhythm Rascals. Since joining forces with Laurie Lewis in 1986 as part of the original Grant Street Band, Tom's versatility and diverse musical influences come to the fore every night on stage with the band. He plays primarily mandolin, but is also an accomplished fiddle, mandola, and guitar player. His rhythmic approach to mandolin especially punctuates the band's repertoire, adding a verve and excitement to their on-stage shows, and has become a distinctive feature of their performances. He is a fine lead vocalist, the ideal harmony partner for Laurie, as demonstrated on "The Oak and the Laurel, "and occasionally functions as the comic foil for on-stage goings-on whenever things get too weighty.Tom has been part of the staff of Bluegrass at the Beach (www.BluegrassattheBeach.com) a music camp held in August on the Oregon Coast led by Laurie Lewis since 1992.
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