The struggles and sacrifices it takes to persevere as a musician are too often cliché. These four artists may cite the usual phrases but, for them, the passion and hardships are very real. Somehow, those one or two hours on stage, the opportunity to create memorable, magical moments and connect with an audience, make the struggle sustainable. Their album titles even communicate resilience: Trying to hold One, Love My Stuff, Our Journey and Breathe Deep. Most of these artists are beyond 40 and some have played for over 40 years in that “forty days and forty nights” mode...
Laurie Morvan is as relentless as any blues artist, making progress with each release. Breathe Deep is her fifth release, on the heels of winning a 2010 Blues Foundation Award for Best Self-Produced Album for Fire It Up! Here she uses a similar tact, leaning a bit more on blues than blues-rock. Morvan’s strength is her blistering guitar, but again we find her speaking with direct human pathos in “It Only Hurts When I Breathe” and “Hurtin’ and Healin.’” She finds the balance and laughs it all off in “No Working During Drinking Hours” and “Mojo Mama.” That’s what it takes to get through the proverbial 40 days and 40 nights.