Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bluegrass -- Liz Meyer RIP


By Ruth Ellen Gruber

The  bluegrass community on both sides of the Atlantic is mourning the singer-songwriter Liz Meyer, who has died at the age of 59 after a decade-long battle with cancer. Liz, an American who had lived  in the Netherlands for a quarter of a century, was a leading figure in the European bluegrass scene and a major organizer and promoter for the European World of Bluegrass Festival and Trade Show.

Liz performed and recorded with many of contemporary bluegrass's greats, including one-time roommate Emmylou Harris, guitarist Mark Cosgrove, banjo players Bela Fleck and Ron Block, dobroists Rob Ickes and Jerry Douglas, fiddlers Glen Duncan and Stuart Duncan, bass player Bryon House and mandolinist Sam Bush.

From the CDBaby web site, about her 2005 Cd The Storm, in which she sang songs she had written that reflected on her illness.

Meyer is an American who is married to Dutch mandolinist Pieter Groenveld and who has lived in Holland since 1985. She’s been very involved with the European bluegrass scene, and months before its release, this album was in the Top Ten of the Euro Americana Radio Chart. All lyrics are included in the CD jacket. Liz’s songs have been recorded by such artists as Del McCoury, Mike Auldridge, Emmylou Harris, and Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum. Liz’s association with Emmylou goes back to the early 1970s when they roomed together in the D.C. area. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, Liz kept touring, underwent alternative treatments, and managed to beat the cancer. Liz attributes music with giving her the motivation and determination to keep going. “The Storm” is dedicated to the people who saved her life when the Storm was at its darkest. In her poignant closer, “Running Out of Time,” she says she wants kindness, love and to feel alive. Movies where they tell someone they have a few months to live had made a big impression on Liz as a child. Rather than write a song like “My Favorite Things” with a list of all the things you want to do while you still have time, she tried to find the most painfully poignant way to express these feelings--wanting to have a lover and feel passion one last time.
Read a full obituary on The Bluegrass Blog