Hey Blues Army,
Here’s a GREAT review of House Call in Blues Bytes…
I really dug Marshall Lawrence’s previous release, Blues Intervention. It was one of the better acoustic discs I heard in late 2010/early 2011, fueled by Lawrence’s kinetic guitar work, his original songs, and his fresh interpretations of familiar blues classics. “The Doctor of the Blues” hasn’t exactly been twiddling his thumbs since that release, dazzling audiences all over the place with his amazing technique and his fresh take on the Delta blues, which he calls “Neo-Delta Blues & Roots.”
Lawrence’s latest release, House Call, is his fourth, and puts his talents on full display. He plays guitars, mandolins, and provides all sorts of percussion, ranging from hand-clapping and finger-snapping to rattling chains and banging pipes, and is backed by Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl (harmonica), Russell Jackson (upright bass), David Aide (Hammond B3), Dwayne Hrinkiw (drums), and Barry Allen (background vocals).
Lawrence wrote eleven of the thirteen tracks, and his “Mean Momma Blues” gets the disc off to a rousing start, moving quickly to “I Got To Ramble,” . The Holmes Brothers contribute angelic harmonies to “Factory Closing Blues,” a scathing indictment of big business. Other highlights include “The Ballad of Molly Brown,” rife with Lawrence’s impressive fretwork, the Latin-flavored “Biscuit Rolling Daddy,” and “Long Way Back Home.”
Lawrence also covers the classic Tommy Johnson standard, “Canned Heat Blues,” putting his guitar chops on full display and a chilling take of the traditional “Death’s Black Train.” As good as his previous release was, Marshall Lawrence surpasses it with House Call, giving the Delta Blues a fresh original spin.