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.
Fire ‘Neath the Still is out now on Lawnmower Music.