I started thinking about material for a recording about 10 years ago. I first thought about an album of original tunes. I probably have three albums worth of these. but it occurred to me that a recording of my tunes would be way down in the back of the cd bins behind the the host of good stuff from all the pickers out there today.
I decided to try and draw some attention to the stuff I learned from. My greatest education came from hours of listening to albums by Earl Scruggs, Vic Jordan, J.D. Crowe, Tony Trischka, Larry Mcneely, Tony Rice, Doc Watson and Dan Crary to name some. These folks are not what I would call first-generation hot pickers (with the exception of Earl), but they were there on the tail of the first generation, and, fortunately most are still going strong today to inspire, educate and sometimes intimidate the heck out of us. it would be sad for someone to start learning an instrument and not be exposed to the super picking of these incredible musicians. I do think you are handicapping yourself by not listening to the vast recordings of some of the very best music ever played by my heroes.
– Steve Lewis
Steve Lewis’ Appalachian Rain Reviewed (Flat Pickin Magazine):
Steve Lewis’s Appalachian Rain was the last of the three “Coming Back From Winfield” discs that I listened to. To be honest, I was saving it for last in case of disappointment. I’ve heard a lot of recordings from contest players and they tend to be high on the flash and low on the music. Boy was I wrong in this case. Right from the very first notes of “Scotland” kicked off on the ol’ flattop, Mr. Lewis (that’s Mr. Lewis to you too!) Caught my attention. First thing I noticed was how GOOD his guitar sounds on this CD. I’m not quite ready to die for any tone, but I would willingly suffer a bad stomachache for this kind of recorded tone. It is easily one of the best recorded flattop guitar sounds I have ever heard … No question you need to get this album. The tunes are extremely well played and interesting versions of standards, the sound is great, the length is perfect, and the money goes to a good cause (Steve Lewis’ Bank Account).