Review: Marshall Lawrence – Blues Intervention
Posted on: Saturday, May 7, 2011
(No label ML10300)
Canadian bluesman, Marshall Lawrence, hails from Edmonton, Alberta. One of his early influences was Jimi Hendrix and he initially led punk and funk bands before developing his interest in the blues into what he calls “acid blues and roots”. His release of The Morning After in 2008 was his first all-acoustic blues project. His doctorate in psychology has earned him the nickname, ‘Doctor of the Blues’.
Blues Intervention comprises thirteen tracks, ten of which are original compositions. Marshall Lawrence accompanies his own vocals on a selection of guitars, mandolin, banjo and jug. He is supported by Sherman ‘Tank’ Doucette on harmonica and Russell Jackson on stand-up ‘dog house’ acoustic bass.
The trio boogie into action with “So Long Rosalie” followed by Tommy Johnson’s “Traveling Blues”. The equally fast-moving “You’re Gonna Find The Blues” boasts some tasty guitar playing and nifty harp work before making way for the sad and bluesy “Lay Down My Sorrow”. A couple of upbeat shuffles lead into the highly-charged “Going Down To Louisiana” and the bouncing Mississippi Hill Country-style “Going To The River”, complete with banjo and mandolin accompaniment. “Detroit ‘Motor City’ Blues”, the boogie “Love Like Heroin”, and the vibrant rocker, “Once Loved A Cowgirl” all deliver more wizardry on guitar and harp. The album is concluded with splendid versions of Robert Johnson’s “Walking Blues” and the traditional “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad”.
The album is a showcase of Marshall Lawrence’s considerable song-writing talent and his excellent guitar playing and his pleasant, undemonstrative vocals are very ably backed by Doucette and Jackson.
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