Featured Blues Review 4 of 10

Lawrence Lebo - The Best Of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix

On The Air Records



From sunny Southern California here comes a blues chanteuse slash blues cabaret singer with a powerful voice that is as clear as a bell. I would call her music “club blues” for those who need a classification. The songs range from a full band-backed sound to some bare bones versions. Some instruments that aren’t too commplace in the blues idiom are employed at times, such as violin, banjo and accordion. This direction lends a freshness to the proceedings. This collection is a compilation of “Don’t Call Her Larry” volumes one, two and three. Of the nine tunes included here, two appear in a band as well as a stripped town version, which hardly seems necessary. The sound quality and production are all first class.

She gives the listener an early Christmas present with her original “(I’m Your) Christmas Present Baby!” which is given a rough-edged Chicago blues sound with a hard guitar attack and blustery sax section. Much the same approach is used on another original, “It’s Not The First Time”, this time with a short, but blistering bluesy violin solo. Koko Taylor’s “Please Don’t Dog Me” features more bluesy violin as well as mandolin, giving a country-blues vibe. A first for me also on this song is banjo playing a blues solo. A blues-gal would be remiss without a song full of sexual innuendo, so we get “On Time”. “Blue Line Blues” calls up her similarity to Maria Muldaur in voice, as well as delivery. Another first for me is blues accordion on “Walking The Back Streets”, with the only other accompaniment being upright bass. The lonely and spare sound gives the song an air of melancholy. Heck, the accordion works, who knew?

“Nothing to write home about” here, but Lawrence possesses one of the better female blues voices out there today. Anyone who likes Maria Muldaur-style tunes, will find much to like here. Some of the more unusual instruments used here give things “a breath of fresh air”. It’s nice to see a record that doesn’t rely on a heavy electric guitar attack. This CD can be a nice change of pace from more “heavy-handed blues”.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.