So I said in my review of Laura Lee’s Toad show that I would make up for not attending her Lizard Lounge performance by doing a write-up for her CD “tomorrow”, which is now seven days ago. That’s how it is sometimes.
Her debut CD, “A little something for Kerrville” is a delightful collection which highlights her introspective songwriting and luscious, meandering voice. Spare yet beautifully recorded, crisp and clear and intensely personal, her lovely old-timey, sultry vocals are perfectly accompanied by her “front-porch” guitar picking. This woman grew up in Lowell, Mass.? Are you kidding me?! She must have had a past-life in a homey little shack on the Mississippi Delta then, because her style is strongly reminiscent of a bygone era. She mentions Nora Jones, Joni Mitchell, and Ani DiFranco as influences, but blues/jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Bessie Smith come more to mind.
In “Boston to Austin”, she acknowledges her geographical misplacement – “Now I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got there just as fast as I could. Southern blood runs through my veins…”
“Texas where the tea is sweeter
Texas where the bourbon’s neater
I’m flying south
where the weather’s warmer
There’s no doubt
it’s Boston to Austin,
a little trip to San Antoine.
Texas is what I’m thinkin of calling home.”
– Boston to Austin
Hard to believe the lovely little scat-sing-y “Out for Japanese” is really about Asian food, and yet… “I heard they have one hell of a California roll”. It even includes a bit of “trumpet vocalization” that is playful and fun, and highlights her considerable singing ability and how comfortable she is with herself.
The CD includes two “bonus tracks”. The first is a story of innocence and temptation:
“You taught me to be strong, the difference between right and wrong, happy and sad. But you neglected to tell me the sex appeal of the big and bad…”
“Mama, mama, that devil, he’s still outside my window. And you’re in the kitchen with your measuring cup. You’re pouring in guilt with a twist of fear with a pinch of salt, and you’re dripping it down my throat. And you told me, oh mama, you told me to trust. What do we do, when the devil is in each and every one of us?”
The final track is another great song called “Great Wall of China”, with the marvelous line, “You’re the great wall of China; I’m just a picket fence.”
If you’re a fan of bluesy and sensuous from-the-heart singing with sweet acoustic accompaniment, I highly recommend that you have a listen.share this: