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Breathe Deep CD Review
by Brian D. Holland

Blues Revue, Nov-Dec 2011

Blues Revue loves Breathe Deep by the Laurie Morvan Band

 

Article Text

     One can anticipate the music to be enthusiastic and lively before hearing the first note on Laurie Morvan’s fifth release, because that’s how Morvan albums have begun in the past. This one is no different in that respect. The lively opening song, “No Working During Drinking Hours,” immediately sets the stage for a festive atmosphere. The upbeat blues song begins with a catchy riff sequence performed by Morvan with Stratocaster flamboyance.  The appealing dual vocals complete the signature Morvan sound and groove.

     Morvan’s music stresses fine melody, polished musicianship, and catchy vocal harmony yet again. Along with her sultry voice, at times reminiscent of Christine McVie, Lisa (Grubbs) Morvan’ tasteful accompaniment gives it an Andrews Sisters’ harmonic flair.  It becomes threefold on two songs when Carolyn Kelley joins in.  The rest of the band deserves credit too, as the piano, bass, and drums are watertight.  But although the vocals are a huge part of the
music, Morvan’s guitar playing is what the excitement is all about. Her dazzling chops and fluid licks have that buttery texture at times, heard when a torrent of notes flow effortless about the frets.

     The funky “Back Up The Train” and “Thelma And Louise” contain catchy riff hooks that are the backbone of the songs.  The band gets downright moody in slow blues mode in “It Only Hurts When I Breathe” and “Long Time ‘til I’m Gone.”  The interesting lyrics in “Saved By The Blues,” in which she searches for Jesus and meets Robert Johnson down at the crossroads (what a twist), are augmented by a swaying melody and wah-wah induced lead guitar trails.  “I’ve Had Enough” starts in a mellow blues manner, but slowly transforms into rock mode. The rhythm section pours it on in the chorus, the rhythm guitar gets downright potent, and Morvan’s lead scorches.  Other songs in this upbeat groove are “Mojo Mama” and “Beat Up From The Feet Up.”

     Laurie Morvan’s known for tasteful contemporary songs as well, and has proved in the past that she can go off in different directions musically. But she appears to be completely covered in the blues lately, and she’s wearing it well. Though there are many talented blues guitar women on the scene, Morvan’s staying power and undeniable brilliance make her a prime example. She’s got the guitar fire a player acquires after playing hours on end daily, when the instrument becomes second nature. And she appears to be getting better with each CD release.

 



 
 
 
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