Robbie Laws

Cascade Blues Association

 

BETWEEN THE LINES - CD Review

 

 

Robbie Laws - Self Produced

 

Robbie Laws is a Northwest guitar icon. That may be a little understated, but the fact of the matter is the man can flat out play a guitar like it’s his business . . . and it is. Fans have recognized Laws’ skills, honoring him with nine electric guitar Muddy Awards from the Cascade Blues Association. But there seems to be no limitations to his prowess on six strings and that is highly evident on his latest recording Between The Lines.

 

For best proof, jump right ahead on the disc to “Coffee Grounds and Eggshells.” In his most Albert King like impression, this instrumental is a burn down the house intense slow blues number. The guitar cries out with feeling that makes you bite your lip with its every punctuation and a tone that is so sweetly rich it could give you diabetes. And yet, this is precisely the type of blues guitar work that those who’ve followed Laws’ career expect of him.

 

Plus there is no shortage of guitar mastery on this album. He pays homage to a number of avenues of the music world, be it the West Coast swing patterns on “Yazoo Slim Rides Again” that could make even Little Charlie Baty envious, or the jazzy lines a la Laws’ mentor Ronnie Earl that shows up on several tracks, or the easy-rolling Chicago style shuffle on “Jimmy Reed” paying homage to the song’s namesake and his partner Eddie Taylor.

 

A number of these songs are already familiar Robbie Laws fare as he has been performing them for a few years and they’re just now finding their way to disc. Numbers that served as backbone pieces of his International Blues Challenge sets such as “Gritz ‘n’ Greens” and “Shakin’ What Your Mama Gave Ya” are snappy tunes aimed at bringing the audience to the dance floor. And though he has covered B.B. King’s classic “Sweet Little Angel” in the past, it is the inclusion of Karen Lovely’s vocals that sets the bar for this take above a number of other renditions you may have heard before by many artists. There is just that extra layer of yes sir and uh huh that makes you know this is the way it was meant to be heard. Expressive and emotional, it takes it to that special level.

 

No matter what angle Laws throws out on the album’s selections, it is all emphasized by the solid rhythm of Benjamin Laing on bass and Randy Herbert on drums. The three can read each other’s next step and it makes the musical flow precisely in line with the way Laws has envisioned the material. Still, it is Robbie Laws’ feel on the guitar that drives Between The Lines. It just may be the finest display of his string diversity and skill yet to date. And it leaves you with the thought, where else can Robbie Laws take us that he has not explored before. It’s mind-boggling what the future may hold within his mind. Amazing, fresh and enticing, Between The Lines cuts to the core of Robbie Laws’ musical adeptness with expressive and memorable musicianship.

 

Total Time: 41:03

 

Mornin’ Noon and Night / That Woman Keepin’ House With The Devil / Gritz ‘n’ Greens / Shakin’ What Your Mama Gave Ya / Sweet Little Angel / Yazoo Slim Rides Again / Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You / Jimmy Reed / Coffee Grounds And Eggshells / Brother Can You Spare A Dime

 

Gringo Gazette

Rockin' Blues Extravanza Tour 2012 / Robbie Laws w/ The Dream Band in Los Cabos, Mexico

 

The Gigglin' Marlin in Cabo San Lucas rocked last weekend with the presentation of multi-award winner musicians Robbie Laws and Tim Williams, who were accompanied on the stage by the Six Piece Dream Band formed by Ron Casat, Kelly Kruse, Mike Clark, John Hyde, Paul Wells and our very own local sax and trumpet players, Zoot and Greg Haugesag.

About a hundred local music aficionados as well as tourists joined the band for what this writer thinks is the best ever musical performance of a band in Los Cabos in the past 20 years.

The show opened with the performance of local rock band Skeleton Keys - and once the Dream Band began playing, everyone hit the dance floor for the next two sets of grand blues and rock.

The Dream Band / Rocking Blues Extravaganza will perform again in Los Barriles, on the East Cape this Thursday March 1st, with a final show at the Don Sanchez watering hole in San Jose on Friday, March 2nd. Entrance fee to the Mar de Cortes event in Los Barriles is $35 including full buffet dinner, while entrance fee to the Don Sanchez performance, which will feature amazing acapella local singer Luna Itzel is only 200 pesos per person.

For additional information look up: www.pacificproductionscorp.com or email the producer Hubert Miller at cell: (624) 121 6627 Email: ldpreece@shaw.ca or hubert@pacificproductionscorp.com. Be there or be square!

Delta Groove Recording Artist and Judge for the "Journey to Memphis" Competition sending Robbie Laws Band to the International Blues Challenge in February 2012

"All of the acts were really good, but Robbie was ridiculously great!"

The Legendary Albert Collins

“The white Buddy Guy”

Sam Andrew / Big Brother & the Holding Company

“An ideal balance between technique and heart and soul.”

Victory Music Review / Hwy 99 Blues Club Seattle, WA

"Flash! Here's our next big blues artist from the Northwest. Portland's Robbie Laws
Really kills...from jazzy blues riffs to the fiery lead runs, his guitar work is dynamic and fresh."