Lazer Lloyd review…August 10, 2013…

LAZER LLOYD

LOST ON THE HIGHWAY

SOLO RECORDINGS

BLUESLEAF RECORDS   BL 9852

LOST ON THE HIGHWAY–HIGHER GROUND–BEEN TRYING–WORLD FALLEN–SWAMP MEDITATION–MIRROR–POLITICIAN–TALK–TO LOVE–MAN–LANDLORD BLUES–BACK PORCH–RIVERSIDE

 

Lazer Lloyd was born in Connecticut, and started playing guitar at the age of fifteen.  He studied at Skidmore College at the urging of his mother, eventually returning to Connecticut and playing with his group called The Last Mavericks.  He created enough of a buzz that he was indeed headed to Nashville to work with E Street bassist and producer Gary Tallent, until fate intervened.   A request to play with Shlomo Carlebach, better known perhaps as the “Singing Rabbi,” was enough to persuade Lloyd to relocate to Israel, where he has resided since 1994, marrying his wife Elena and raising their five children in Beit Shemesh.

A staunch fixture in the Israeli Blues Society, he has just released “Lost On The Highway : The Solo Recordings,” for the BluesLeaf label.  It is rather a “book-end” follow-up to his critically-acclaimed all-electric affair, “My Own Blues,” from 2012.  This solo set is  thirteen originals that feature only Lloyd on vocals, his acoustic guitar, and occasional harp.

Lloyd’s guitar skills are impeccable, with a rich, deep vocal delivery that really unleashes the power of these songs.  Many of the characters in Lloyd’s songs do indeed seem to be lost, misguided souls who seek inner peace, forgiveness, and redemption.  The hero of the opening title cut has repented from his life of excesses, and is “goin’ down to the station to buy my ticket home.”  It features a brilliant extended fingerpicking solo towards the song’s climax.  “Been Trying” is a sweet, Fifties-inspired ode to our constant struggle to do what’s right.  “World Fallen” is Lloyd’s plea to the Lord for help in coping with life, again with some deep, resonant picking sequences.  “Now is the time To Love” encourages peace and harmony, while the set closes with the inspiration of gathering “down by the Riverside” for one’s ultimate reward.

We had two favorites, too.  “Back Porch” is a unique instrumental that successfully melds the sounds of the Delta with Lloyd’s newfound homeland.  And, as you listen to “Politician,” you’ll see why it would be easier for that proverbial camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than for one of them to make it into the kingdom of Heaven.  Lloyd utilizes a cool, stop-time rhythm pattern and some fine harp as backup.

Lazer Lloyd has expanded his horizons with this fine acoustic set, capturing the feel of the old-time Delta masters.  A consummate musician, writer, and storyteller, his “Lost On The Highway” shows the power one man can wield thru just his guitar and his voice.   Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

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