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Southland Blues Magazine - Local Spotlight Interview

 

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Laurie Morvan Band - "Red Hot Blues Rock"

Southland Blues Magazine, April 2006 - Local Spotlight
by Pat Kramer
   
Southland Blues Magazine
Described as “red – hot, blues rock,” the Laurie Morvan Band bridges the gap between the two styles following in the footsteps of blues/rock innovators Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan. As a female player, Laurie has done her share of trailblazing, particularly in her early days - in the mid ‘80s. “Back then, there was a lot more discrimination towards female guitarists,” says Laurie. “Sometimes, I couldn’t even get an audition.”

Rather than wait for permission to play, Laurie started her own band, formerly known as “Backroad Shack.” In doing so, she was able to find musicians who shared her passion for blues and rock and wanted to take the same path, stylistically.

The band was formed in 1993 and includes the ‘groove – meister’ of the band, bass player Pat Morvan on six - string fretted and fretless basses; Carolyn Kelley on keyboards and flute; Lisa (Grubbs) Morvan on keyboards, violin, and percussion; drummer Angie Tabor; and with Laurie, Carolyn, and Lisa providing three-part harmonies, an important part of their sound, overseen by sound team, Nick Holt and Nancy Allen. “Our band has withstood the test of time because of everyone’s lack of ego,” notes Laurie. “We get along like a family because we’re friends and enjoy our music together.”

During their first ten years, “Backroad Shack” built a loyal following of fans and scored a prized appearance on Channel 7, Eyewitness News during the morning broadcast. Their first release, “Out of the Woods,” led to shows at Southland blues clubs: Blue Café, the Coachhouse, and Martini Blues, and appearances at Concerts in the Park.

However, the name of the band was always a problem, says Laurie, “People had trouble saying “Backroad Shack.” At the advice of some music industry people, they changed the band’s name to: “Laurie Morvan Band” in 2004, with the release of their second CD, “Find My Way Home.”

The self produced, independent release featured eight original blues titles and three blues covers of: Willie Dixon’s “Let Me Love You Baby,” Stevie Ray Vaughan/Doyle Bramhall’s “Tightrope,” and Tom Hambridge’s “Rock Me Right.” It received a positive response on the airwaves leading Laurie to initiate the band’s first tour to the Midwest.

“The purpose of the tour was mainly to introduce my band’s music to my family and friends. I wanted them to see my band and to know what is so important to me; what my passion is all about.”

In addition to their tour, the band launched their CD, worldwide, via internet radio station, RadioDirectX.com. This introduced their music to DJs, globally, generating airplay in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Norway. With their website: www.lauriemorvan.com, the band now reaches a worldwide audience while keeping their marketing costs down.

In addition to playing at area clubs, the Laurie Morvan Band has performed with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Eric Sardinas, Corey Stevens, Walter Trout, and on May 20th, they’ll appear at Blue Café as an opening act for guitarist Debbie Davies.

Presently, the band is recording their third CD, due out this summer, with Grammy-award winning engineer Erik Zobler and producer John Vestman (of Vestman Mastering). Laurie says this CD will be “bluesier” than the others (while still bridging the blues/rock gap) drawing from 18, new songs she’s written.

While she doesn’t like to dwell on the differences between the sexes, Laurie notes, “It may be that women [players] always have to prove themselves, but I also think people are more open to that now. The younger generation has grown up with women doing whatever they want to do, so they aren’t so quick to dismiss.

“I also think you can’t let those kind of things stop you; you have to do your thing. We [women players] come in and we have to be proud of ourselves. [Personally] I like to let my guitar do the talking.”

The lead, rhythm, and acoustic guitarist adds, “I like to let people hand me a guitar and then I play. I’m the kind of person who says, ‘Judge me by my deeds.’”

 

 
 
 
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