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Big City Blues Magazine - CD Review

 

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"Cures What Ails Ya" CD Review

Big City Blues - Aug/Sept 2007
by Roger & Margaret White
   
Big City Blues Magazine

Laurie Morvan's "Cures What Ails Ya" is the triumph of one young lady's years of work and dedication to the blues. She grew up outside Chicago in a rural town called Plainfield where she played in the school band. "My best buddy had an acoustic guitar. I gave it a try. Oh my heavens, it was absolutely wonderful!"

After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Electrical Engineering as well as a commercial pilot's license, she took a job in aerospace and moved to Los Angeles. Driven to play music she joined a rock & roll cover bnad as rhythm guitarist and vocalist.

"It was then that I got my first Stratocaster, it was read and shiny and sexy, and I was home baby! I quit my engineering job, never to return," she says. After years of playing on the road practicing her craft and experiencing much frustration and some disrespect, "I decided to start my own band and make the boys audition for me. I've been a band leader calling the shots ever since."

Like many it was the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan that turned her around and brought blues front and center. "I realized quickly that this was what I was born to do." To get the music out to the masses, this can-do girl and former engineer avoided record companies and found a way to do it herself. She got a Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics from California State University in Long Beach and taught math classes to raise recording money. "Cures What Ails Ya" is Laurie's third CD. She says "For the very first time, I believe we've captured the raw power, dynamics, versatility and passion of a Laurie Morvan Band live performance."

That power jumps right out with the first song "Kickin' Down Doors". Its opening line is "This song is for the honest folks, who do the honest work" and Laurie has a right to be proud of what she has been able to produce.

With the song "Where are the Girls with Guitars" she writes one for all the female guitar players. This shouldn't be something we're still talking about; it's been decades since Debbie Davies, Joanna Conner and Bonnie Raitt started kickin' at the boys club of guitar heroes. But it ain't the talking it's the playing that puts a stop to that. Laurie and a few other young ladies are putting it on the line and playing every night. She's also written all the songs on the CD. Her singing voice is strong enough she can pull off an acappella number in "Way Down with a few lady friends.

Like any smart person who's singing, playing guitar, writing and producing, she's gotten a host of Grammy winners in her corner. They include bassist Hutch Hutchinsonb and drummer Tony Braunagel sitting in from Bonnie Raitt's band, George Duke adding piano and some award winning engineers at the controls. "Family Line" shows a softer very personal side of this woman, and the lyrics will bring a tear to your eyes. The only way to kick off blues like that is a hot instrumental and "Wiggle Room" is the only one on this disc. This girls has to "Keep on Believin'" and on "Don't Give It Up" pull out some slide on a resonator.

This is a very strong recording from a woman who's made her records the good old American way, she did it herself. Laurie has been an electrical engineer, commercial pilot, and a mathematician but music fulfills one's heart and soul and "Cures What Ails Ya."

 
 
 
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