Can I ask all the knee-jerk feminists to leave the room for a moment? The philosophical sistren can stay. They gone? Good. Okay, we all know what a problematic time we music lovers have historically had in locating really fine female guitar players. I mean, look at the record: April Lawton (Ramatam), Fanny, Millington, all those pathetic Olivia LPs, etc. Were we happy there? Of course not. Sure, every so often we get a Bonnie Raitt, a Rory Block, and so on, but, c'mon, where were the hot players? Yep, few in number and far between, Emily Remler, who should be immortalized, the touchstone. Well, lately, it appears the corner's finally being turned…and almost exclusively in the blues dept. (with a happy nod to Mimi Fox in the jazz world).
Laurie Morvan has fire in the belly and it extends all the way to her fingertips, gently caressing a tamed down axe while singing, just before stepping out for bars and measures of prime soloing, sometimes blazing, other times just plain sophisticated. And guess what? There ain't no second fretbender slyly guesting to shore up the soft spots…'cause there ain't no soft spots, Jeeter! Her band's a trio plus backing vocals, so there's nowhere to hide, and Morvan stays right up front, grinning like the feline that snagged the cream, fearing nothing. Not only that but she sports a great set of pipes to tell the story of some rather naughty escapades and desires. The blues was never friendly to, as she acknowledges, the good girls, 'cause "the good girls are just the bad girls that ain't been caught", so she ain't pretending. Leave that to Linda and Nelson.
Laurie isn't exactly lacking in admirers, either. Her press has been great, and David Matthews sits in on keyboards here. Previously, she attracted George Duke and could boast of Tony Braunagel as drummer. Yep, the same Tony Braunagel who rat-a-tatted for Back Street Crawler, Paul Kossoff's post-Free ensemble, and has long been an in-demand sessioneer. Impressive. But Morvan is clearly the centerpiece, confident, highly skilled, and she wrote every single cut. A finalist in the 2008 Best Self-Produced CD category for her Cures What Ails Ya, the engineering on this succeeding disc is excellent, though I think her entire self-produced gig is going to rapidly disappear as the majors start sniffing around the tent, attracted by the solid elements of every inch of her work. The major guitar and blues mags have already caught on, devoting much space and full-page photos, so it's only a matter of time before Alligator, Severn, or similar top flighters come a-knockin'. In the meantime, all this brouhaha has served to increase Laurie's touring schedule, so scrutinize your local entertainment rags, y'all, and catch her when she comes to town.
Okay, you can let the pissed-off fems back in now.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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