Fire 'Neath the Still
'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-Motherf***er, 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.