Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marshall Lawrence "Blues Intervention" & Andy Cohen "Built Right On The Ground"

Two acoustic guitarists, each with new cds, each one really good at what they do. Marshall Lawrence is from Canada and Andy Cohen is from Memphis. I have been listening to both discs a lot, going back and forth, and I decided to just present them both at once.

Marshall Lawrence writes 10 of the 13 tracks on "Blues Intervention." The writing on the originals is quite good. The playing by Lawrence on vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, jug and thigh slaps, with the terrific Sherman "Tank" Doucette on harp, and the equally terrific Russell Jackson on stand up bass, is very top notch. And Lawrence has gotten great support for this cd--"Blues Intervention" ranked #3 on The Blues List - May 2010 for Blues Underground Network's Top Picks for May 2010 and "Blues Intervention" has charted in the Top 10 on Canada's Roots Music Report for radio play. Lawrence deserves every bit of that. This is a good cd. My favorite tracks here are "Going Down to Louisiana," a Lawrence original, and the cover of Tommie Johnson & Mattie Delaney's song "Traveling Blues."

And if you are a fan of good acoustic guitar music, this new disc by Andy Cohen is very good. Cohen only writes one original song here--his style is, like Steve Howell, to find and play good songs that deserve resurrecting. Many of these songs are from the 1920s and 1930s. "Built Right On The Ground" is almost completely a solo effort--Cohen plays guitar on all tracks, and piano on two songs, and dolceola on one track. He is joined by his wife Larkin Bryant on vocal and mandolin on 2 songs, and Kurt Anderson on vocals and guitar on 2 more. The playing and singing here is absolutely stellar--it reminds me of Doc Watson in that from song to song it's either blues or country or ragtime or blues again. Every note here is good music, that's for sure. My favorite tracks here are "Mopper's Blues," a Big Bill Broonzy cover, and the Bobby Charles song "Tennessee Blues."

The Marshall Lawrence disc is an indy relese--you can buy it at
The Andy Cohen disc is on Earwig Records--you can buy it at

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