In Layman Terms review…November 28, 2018….





Cole and Logan Layman have been making music their entire lives, and are the heart and soul of the aptly-named band In Layman Terms.  Logan is a seriously-talented bassist and vocalist, and that angelic voice has that extra “something” that you can’t put a tag on, but you can hear it in everything she sings.  Brother Cole is a guitar monster for someone so young, and their combination of talents make for a strong musical core that is deeply in tune with the blues despite their youth.  For their latest set, “Strong Roots,” Nick Davidson is on drums, and newest addition to the band Hamed Barbarji is the horn section, on trumpet and flugelhorn, along with percussion and vocals.

The funk hits the fan on the opening, title cut, as our girl is off to “explore and shut the door to this place I used to know,” punctuated by Cole’s stinging solo and Hamed’s horn of plenty carrying the melody.  Some good old-school call-and-response is the name of the game in the slide-heavy, freight train drive of “I’m Somebody,” while our heroine does everything but strip nekkid to get a lover to “Notice Me,” a sassy strut done up Double Trouble style.

Much is made of Logan’s voice, but all its nuances are on full display on the two tunes that served as our favorites.  “Ain’t Gonna Fake It No More” is six minutes of slow-blues bliss that finds Logan in empowerment mode, “finally takin’ care of my own needs!”  The guitar and horn parts mesh extremely well on this one and again on our other favorite.  Logan goes into full-on torch singer mode with the sets lone cover, as she shows off her sexy, sultry siren side, playing that unmistakable bass intro while purring about that “Fever, born long ago.”  Accentuated scat-singing over Hamed’s horn lines gives that vintage edge here, and Logan closes it with an emphatic “what a lovely way to burn!”

Logan and Cole Layman already had a good thing going, but the addition of Hamed’s horn into the mix gives everything a solid boost, fitting right in with their musical vision.  Hey–In Layman Terms, “Strong Roots can endure!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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