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Marshall Lawrence - Blues Intervention

Self Release


Canadian Marshall Lawrence commits himself well on all the various string instruments he employs here, as well as jug and thigh slaps. The only extras are harmonica and stand-up bass by Sherman “Tank” Doucette and Russell Jackson respectively. Marshall sure knows his way around a resonator guitar, slipping and sliding through many of the originals and three covers that make up his second all acoustic outing. Also used is banjo and mandolin, often doubling up on instruments on the tunes. His own tunes contain the feel and licks of authentic country blues. The harmonica broadens the sound on many of the songs.

As on his sprightly version of Robert Johnson’s “Walking Blues”, he provides rhythm as well as flashy slide runs. Jug accents the rhythm on Tommy Johnson’s “Traveling Blues”. The harmonica often doubles the melody under Marshall’s guitar. The current woes of drug and alcohol abuse are touched on in the original “Lay Down My Sorrow”. Love’s addictiveness is described in “Love Like Heroin”. The guitar’s bass strings move the beat along on “If I Had A Nickel”. “Going To The River” has a country feel with intertwining banjo, mandolin and harmonica dueling it out. The most enjoyable songs here are the ones were the slide guitar is the main vehicle, as in the country boogie of “Once Loved A Cowgirl”.

Marshall has the nuances of acoustic country blues down to a science as far as the musical accompaniment goes. Unfortunately his vocals could use a boost as they are kind of bland. There is no grit or rasp in his voice to give more authenticity to the overall atmosphere. For the most part it eventually begins to be less evident after repeated listening. It doesn’t match the excitement of the music on his upbeat “Going Down To Louisiana”. He comes off as downright deadpan on the otherwise easy rolling groove of “Detroit “Motor City” Blues”. If the vocals were more distinctive and attractive I would put this record among the cream of today's acoustic blues practitioners. As it is enjoy the instrumental virtuosity herein and hope his voice grows along with the fine musicianship.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at

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