Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Laurie Morvan

The "Freinds of the blues" main man James Walker sent an email inviting me to see Laurie Morvan at the Kankakee Elks club. She was touring in the area and FOB had caught her on a rest over night. I must admit that I was pretty tired and debated whether or not to attend. I had contacted her camp in the past, but sadly I had forgotten she was coming. I checked her website and was intrigued by her story.

Laurie is an Illinoisan that now makes her home just outside of Long Beach. She moved to California to work in the aerospace industry. She has an Electrical Engineering degree and utilized it for three years. She told me that she teaches at the College level in Long Beach. She also confided in me that the teaching job helps her with tour costs.
She invited me to a one on one sit down while she restrung (Ernie Ball.10) her re-issue 1956 Stratocaster. She is a wonderful individual to talk to and would certainly become a close friend if circumstances were different. We talked about schools she attended, Guitars and role models. I was very excited about her performance as I choose a table in back.

The people started to file in one by one and the one-hundred seat banquet room filled up quite quickly. I had chosen a table of ten and I was the only one there until Jack and Jean Miller joined me. Jack, Jean and I started to talk and it turns out we both had visited Singapore, small world. Sister Ellen Thomas sat down and introduced herself. She was not dressed as a nun so I immediately though along the terms of the slang hip style of talking brother and sister. Not the case, she actually was a Nun. I had to watch my mouth after that. It seems that Laurie's whole family was in attendance. When they found out who I was, man oh man did I get an earful. I was introduced to Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Cousins, her Mother and Step father and on and on and on. I jokingly started a family tree with my notebook. It was a family reunion. I might add that Laurie's Mother was just as nice as she was.

Laurie took the stage and exploded into song. Her guitar work is extraordinary and her vocals, along with her backing Vocalist Lisa Grubbs, were beautifully done. Their combined vocals were song with a take no prisoners attitude. Very strong and definitive.

Laurie talked to her audience frequently. I like when an artist communicates stories about how a song was written. "Skinny Women Chicks" was written as a response to those old time blues men who beat the song "Big Legged Woman" to death.
"Kicking Down Doors" was one of my favorites.
Laurie Morvan is an unstoppable blues artist and I will see her again I'm sure. I was told that Lisa also plays bass. I got her number.

Terry "Gatorman" Lape

PS. Writing for a blues blog is "Not just a job it's an adventure".

Lisa Grubbs, Gatorman, Laurie Morvan