Blues Bytes review of Gravity
Laurie Morvan's original intention was to record her latest album in 2014, but the singer/guitarist suffered a broken wrist in a fall that eventually required two surgeries. However, Gravity (Screaming Lizard Records) proves to be worth the wait, with Morvan writing all 12 tunes and sounding as fine as ever on vocals and showing no ill effects on guitar. In addition, she enlisted a formidable support unit in drummer Tony Braunagel (who also produced), keyboardists Mike Finnigan, Barry Goldberg, and Jim Pugh.
The opener to Gravity is "My Moderation," a driving blues rocker, followed by "Twice the Trouble," both of which feature Morvan's powerful fretwork front and center. "Stay With Me" is a fine slow blues showcasing Finnigan on B3 and Pugh on piano with Morvan's stinging lead guitar, and is followed by the amusing uptempo "Money Talks," which addresses a common problem to which most listeners can relate. "The Extra Mile" has a southern rock feel, adding a nice dose of funk and soul into the mix, and the title track is a tender love song with jazz, rock, and a pop with the blues.
"Dance In The Rain" is a standout track, with Morvan picking up the pace, channeling SRV in her soloing and fills. "Gotta Dig Deep" is a slow grind blues rocker encouraging listeners to get up, dust off, and keep on pushing. The heartfelt "The Man Who Left Me" is a stunning, personal dirge about Morvan's father, who abandoned the family when she was only five. The disc closes with the mid-tempo R&B-flavored "Shake Your Tailfeathers," the boogie rocker "I Want Answers," and the funky "Too Dumb To Quit," which also features some impressive slide guitar from Morvan.
Morvan and her bandmates made the finals at the I.B.C. in 2008, both in the band competition and with their album, Cure What Ails Ya, in the Best Self-Produced CD category. In 2010, they won the CD category with Fire It Up, and 2011's Breathe Deep made the semifinals in 2012. There's a very strong possibility that Gravity will make a similar impact since it features some of Morvan's best songwriting to date, along with equally powerful performances.
--- Graham Clarke