Marshall Lawrence has the cure for the blues on “House Call”
Monday, 13 May 2013 11:34 Richard Amery

If you’ve got the blues, the Doctor has the cure and he’s willing to make a house call. If that’s not enough, he’s brought along blues gospel icons The Holmes Brothers along to help soothe your soul. He’s also brought along The Twisters’ Dave “Hurricane Hoerl to play some outstanding harp.

Edmonton’s self-proclaimed doctor of the blues Marshall Lawrence returns for his fourth shift “House Call,” which will cure what ails you. While I thought he was going to go electric on this album, he is back with his acoustic guitars for some dazzling toe tapping fingerpicked slide guitar and gut shaking melodies. He has catchy songs to get your ready to go out on the town on “Another Saturday Night” and some thought provoking numbers like “Rich Man Can’t Get the Blues.”

His music has the the cure for pretty much any kind of blues — unemployment, rambling, craving “biscuits,” broken hearts, lying, cheating women and even death.
He begins his examination with “Mean Momma Blues,” an energetic number which will make sure your toes are tapping properly.

There is a lot of fine fingerpicking throughout especially on “Biscuit Rolling Daddy,” which sounds like classical music coming out of the Mississippi Delta. In a similar vein, “Long Way Back Home” has another cool fingerpicked guitar riff.

He also puts his own stamp on blues classics like “Canned Heat Blues,” which features some impressive finger picking and on the traditional spiritual “Death’s Black Train.” “ I Wanna Love You” has a smooth, sultry groove with another tasteful harp solo from Hoerl.

And even better, the mandolin is back on “House Call.” Lawrence’s mandolin is what made me a Marshall Lawrence fan in the first place as his debut CD “Where’s The Party” features a mandolin powered version of blues classic “Key To The Highway” though it is just used for a short but sweet solo on “I Wanna Love You.”

The Holmes Brothers add some spine tingling melodies to “Factory Closing Blues,” while Dave Hurricane Hoerl is hot for the harp on “ Hey Girl ( Tired of Your Lying).
For something a little different, “ Please Help Me Find My Way Home” features some very cool organ and harp interplay between organist David Aide and Hoerl.
There are a lot of highlights on the CD including “Ballad of Molly Brown” and especially “Biscuit Rolling Daddy.” On “House Call” the Doctor is definitely in.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: House Call
Artist: Marshall Lawrence
Genre: blues

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