Lawrence Lebo review…August 4, 2018…

LAWRENCE LEBO

OLD SCHOOL GIRL

ON THE AIR RECORDS 9657

YOU’VE GOT A SECRET–OLD SCHOOL GIRL–STORMY MONDAY–STOP SHOUTING YOUR BUSINESS–REMIX (EXPLICIT)–GIVE ME A TRY–BAD TO THE CORE–HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BABY (REMIX)–STOP SHOUTING YOUR BUSINESS (REMIX) (CLEAN)

Our week-long series on feisty females found in the fold of the blues is drawing to a close.  (Ruf label siren Vanja Sky is next), but we had to bring fans the insanely-talented Lawrence Lebo and her latest set, “Old School Girl,” for  On The Air Records in Tarzana, CA.  Ms. Lebo is predominantly a student of the classic Memphis-and-STAX groove, altho her voice lends itself to any material.  Her vocal style, for me anyways, brought to mind Wanda Jackson, if she had been more of a “torch” or big-band chanteuse, and without that hiccup-y thing she always does.  You’ll here it all in these six originals and one cover, with things starting off swimmingly with the opening cut, a minor-key, B. B.-inspired shout-out to a cheatin’ lover, “You’ve Got A Secret.”  That sweet guitar is courtesy of Tony Mandracchia, with Larry David on the B-3.  The swingin’ title cut finds our heroine much preferring a “a kiss on the back of my neck” rather than just “a text,” and her “57 Chevy” over today’s all-too-common “Uber.”  That’s just the way this “Old School Girl rolls!”  “Give Me A Try” conjures up memories of vintage STAX soul, where, regarding love, “you’ll never know what you might find” without taking the chance!

We had two favoriters, too. Ms. Lebo gives a sultry read of T-Bone’s “Stormy Monday,” this one with Larry David pulling double duty on harp and that church-i-fied B-3, and Tony on that call-and-response guitar.  Our other favorite(s) were unique from the rest of the set, as they were set over a second-line, Mardi Gras-ish arrangement, with Carl Byron on squeeze box and Larry on the tinklin’ piano.  Both deal with those annoying folks who talk waaaay too loud out in public on their cell phones, and Ms. Lebo begs them, “Stop Shouting Your Business!”  It is presented in two versions–one is FCC-clean, and the other, well, it ain’t!

She’s studied Duke Ellington at UCLA under Prof. Kenny Burrell, and continues to be a powerful voice in today’s blues world.  The only flaw in Lawrence Lebo’s “Old School Girl?” It was just toooo short!!  More, please!!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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