Not Quite Bluegrass

The Storm (Strictly Country Records)
Liz Meyer

By Bob Mitchell

Bluegrass and folk artist Liz Meyer has released her fifth solo album and she is backed by some extraordinary players including Emmylou Harris (harmony vocals), Rob Ickes (dobro), Ron Block (banjo) and Glen Duncan and Stuart Duncan (fiddles). Myer, an American, has lived in Holland since 1985. She's routinely featured in overseas folk magazines and is known as the "unchallenged diva" of Europe's folk and bluegrass scene. Interestingly, Meyer and Harris were roommates in 1971-72 in the suburbs of Washington, when both were active in the D.C. folk scene. Meyer said, "I had the only two-room house (about two steps above a shack) in what is now extremely expensive Potomac, MD. Later, we moved to a bigger, but more dilapidated house in Bethesda. We had to move out when the upstairs toilet fell through the living room ceiling." How times change! Meyer is scheduled to be the cover of Bluegrass Now in July 2005. Additionally, she produced the European World Of Bluegrass Cd and hosted a songwriting workshop at the EWOB festival (IBMA's "Bluegrass Event of the Year 2003"). She's also shared the stage with: Jimmy Martin, J.D. Crowe, the Osborne Brothers, Larry Sparks and Ralph Stanley. Pretty impressive credentials!

The Storm consists of eleven interesting original songs and a traditional fiddle tune "Katy Hill." Her arrangements and use of drums produce a mix of pop, country, rock and folk music rather than what I consider to be bluegrass. Two selections, however, have the feel and drive of bluegrass: a lively "The Only Wind That Blows," and a supercharged instrumental, "Katy Hill." Other highlights include a heartfelt title cut, "Blue Lonesome Wind," and "Untamed."

Contact Info: Liz Meyer; Po Box 628, 2130 Ap Hoofddorp, The Netherlands; Tel from USA: 011-31-297-347-101.