Marshall Lawrence review…May 20, 2013…

MARSHALL LAWRENCE

HOUSE CALL

ML 10400

MEAN MOMMA BLUES–I GOT TO RAMBLE–FACTORY CLOSING BLUES–PLEASE HELP ME FIND MY WAY HOME–BALLAD OF MOLLY BROWN–BISCUIT ROLLING DADDY–RICH MAN CAN’T GET THE BLUES–CANNED HEAT BLUES–I WANNA LOVE YOU–ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT–LONG WAY BACK HOME–HEY GIRL (TIRED OF YOUR LYING)–DEATH’S BLACK TRAIN

Marshall Lawrence is a native of Edmonton, Alberta, and is a pure “Prairie bluesman,” but, as one listens to his music, he could’ve easily grown up in the juke joints arund Clarksdale, MS.  Known as the “Doctor Of The Blues,” this man, who owns a Ph.D. in Psychology, has just released his fourth album, this one entitled “House Call.”  A truly all-acoustic affair with just Marshall and his National guitars, he lays down the genuine article over the course of eleven originals and two covers.  He is backed predominantly by Russell Jackson on doghouse bass and Dave Hoerl on harp, with a few special guests along the way.

 

The set opens with “Mean Momma Blues” and “I Got To Ramble,” with Marshall’s deft fingerpicking skills and Dave’s countrified harp indicating a strong Piedmont, Cephas and Wiggins influence.  The “Ballad Of Molly Brown” chugs with a freight train intensity, and Dwayne Hrinkiw’s marching drum beats ride over Marshall’s vocals that remind us to “get our house in order,” as “Death’s Black Train will be here tonight.”

 

There are several examples of straight, no chaser Delta blues, too.  The swagger of “I Wanna Love You” and “Biscuit Rolling Daddy” is peppered with the braggadocio and sly double-entendres’ that make them a playful joy to listen to.  And, hittin’ the juke joint for a red-hot weekend is the theme of “Another Saturday Night,” this one featuring lusty layered guitars over Dave’s muted harp.

 

We had two favorites, too, both of which leaned toward the gospel side of Marshall’s repertoire.  “Please Help Me Find My Way Home” finds Marshal as a lost soul seeking redemption and salvation following a life of excesses, perfectly complemented by Dave’s call-and-response harp, and a downright sanctified organ from David Aide.  And, the mighty Holmes Brothers add their special blend of harmony to the sad tale of today’s economic woes, the “Factory Closing Blues,” and the chain reaction of misfortunes that follow.

 

Marshall Lawrence, like our uncle used to say, can play a National steel “like nobody’s bidness,” and “House Call” is sure to please long-time Delta blues fans and win over many new converts along the way!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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One response to this post.

  1. Thanks for the kind words. I truly appreciate it… Have a SUPER BLUESY Day… 🙂

    Reply

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