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Fiery Laurie Morvan and her band make their Monterey debut at Wharf Theatre
Music Section Interview by Adam Joseph
The Laurie Morvan Band’s live shows are captivating blues showcases fueled by Morvan’s unique shredding. The sound is born from a collage of influences from Bonnie Raitt to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Morvan also cites Heart’s Wilson sisters as major figures in her musical education. The frontwoman’s infectious audience interaction naturally intertwines with her high-energy shows that include storytelling as song prefaces.
Morvan was inspired to pen a tongue-and-cheek 12-bar blues jam, “Where Are the Girls with the Guitars,” upon learning that the Wynonna Judd tune “Girls with Guitars” features only male guitarists.
Morvan doesn’t linger on that – or the fact that there aren’t many female lead guitarists, let alone female blues lead guitarists. But she does acknowledge that when she first began auditioning for bands, many wouldn’t listen to her after learning she was a… her. Morvan isn’t bitter, though: She looks back on all the rejection as the blessing that led her to start her own group.
Nowadays, Morvan is just thankful that she’s still able to play guitar, and releasing a new record, Gravity, in February 2018 – her first since 2011.
Initially, LMB planned on heading into the studio in 2014, but Morvan fell and fractured her right wrist. Painful surgery, a titanium plate and eight screws followed. She says it was not being able to casually sit back and strum her guitar that hurt the most.
“Once I stopped screaming from the pain, I saw my whole career flash before my eyes,” Morvan says. “It was very frightening because it’s who I am. I create music; I’m a musician.”
Three months after the fracture, Morvan’s comeback attempt ended up setting her back further.
“My hand swelled up, but I played really well,” she recalls. “I decided I may need another month or two off.”
Then Morvan discovered the ligament attached to her thumb had healed incorrectly. Two years after her first surgery, she had another.
“It’s been a three-year journey,” she says. “Thank heavens I’m fully functional as a player again.” And more than eager to perform, particularly as part of a rare show in a historic venue.
The Long Beach quintet the Laurie Morvan Band has performed over 700 festivals and club dates worldwide over the last decade.
LAURIE MORVAN BAND 7pm (6pm Big Sur Vineyards VIP reception) Saturday, Nov. 4. The Wharf Theatre, 95 Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey. $20-$35 eventbrite.com