by John Roos
(Reviewing Cures What Ails Ya)
Having a womanizing, alcoholic father desert your family when
you’re 5 years old certainly would scar you for life.
But perhaps this traumatic experience is at least part of
the real, honest-to-goodness blues that informs the passionate
blues rock of singer/songwriter/guitarist Laurie Morvan.
The Illinois-born, Long Beach-based Morvan discovered contemporary
blues through Texas legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was by digging
deeper into Vaughan’s influences that she fell in love
with such classic blues musicians as Robert Johnson, Big Mama
Thornton, Luther Allison and Etta James, among others. Over
the years, Morvan has turned her curiosity, constant practicing
and driving ambition into a self-sustaining career that has
produced three albums, including her solid, brand-new Cures
What Ails Ya.
Morvan cut her teeth playing numerous dive bars and clubs,
putting up with sexist club owners and others who couldn’t
handle a smart female leading her own blues band. (A note
to the ignorant: Morvan has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering
and a master’s in applied math, the latter from Cal
State Long Beach.) In addition to her feeling-filled vocals
and versatile guitar work—sometimes it’s burning
power chords, sometimes intricate single notes—what
makes this inspiring woman so special is her undeniable self-confidence
Morvan and her band—featuring bassist Pat Morvan and
vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Carolyn Kelley and Lisa (Grubbs) Morvan—play
with equal parts reckless abandon and skilled precision, depending
upon the tone and structure of each selection. So how true-to-life
do you think empowering originals like “Kickin’
Down Doors,” “When I’m Queen” and
“Keep on Believin’” are? Very.
OC Weekly, July '07