Online since August 2002

Gifted player needs improved songs

Reviewed October 2009

Fire It Up!
Fire It Up!
By Laurie Morvan Band

Screaming Lizard Records: 2009

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its CDBaby.com entry.

SoCal blues guitarist/singer Laurie Morvan's fourth album shows a developing musical voice still coming into its own. A gifted guitarist solid singer, Morvan's songs (she wrote all 12 here) aren't really good enough to land her on the A list of top-rank blues artists – but she displays enough promise in her enthusiastic blue-collar approach to playing to make her a regular on the West Coast blues circuit and beyond.

Sounding more than a little like Austin blues singer Angela Strehli, Morvan does a nice job with the songs she's written – but too many of them sound the same, and few of them feature a memorable melody line. The best is "Livin' In a Man's World," with a nice, catchy theme and smart lyrics – it's one of her best songs yet, and it would be no surprise to see it covered by other artists.

Contrast that with "Come On Over to My BBQ," with lyrics that attempt to pull of a double entendre but are too obvious by half, or "Good Girls Bad Girls" the lyrics of which also try too hard to be clever.

The better songs from Morvan's pen would fit in nicely among a sprinkling of established covers, or new songs from established writers – but the batch of songs found here doesn't do justice to Morvan's talented guitar playing or impassioned singing.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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