Album Review of Dan Lawson Band: Abyssal Plain
New England blues/blues rock group Dan Lawson Band kicks off its six-song CD with an old-school blues rhythm, groovy, shredding axework, and a seedy blues joint-worthy, half-spoken/half-sung, gravelly vocal growl on “Borderline.”
“Don’t Tell Me That You Love Me” is a classic blues jam, sporting only-in-blues lyrics like those from which the song title is drawn, “Don’t tell me that you love me, don’t be hanging ’round my back door.”
“Hell On Wheels” is that George Thorogood-styled, straight-ahead, attitude-filled blues rocker you’d expect from a good rockin’ blues group of the Dan Lawson Band’s caliber.
“Minor Issue” returns to slower, classic, poorly-lit club-style blues, much like “Don’t Tell Me…” earlier, serving up another tune built upon a classic blues rhythm, with wailing guitar supporting the emotional pleas of the vocals.
“Maryia” is the most classic rock-flavored song in this collection, with a ’70s or ’80s rock vibe. Striaght-ahead rock, “Maryia” brings to mind bands like the J. Giels Band, The Romantics, and the Michael Stanley Band. This tune would fall somewhere within the rock zone triangulated by that trio of rock mainstays.
“Turtle Soup” closes the six-song grouping with a frantic energy, sort of a rockabilly instrumental in blues-rock form. It’s as if the Dan Lawson Band is playing the patrons to the door, and indeed they are. The blues/rock club Abyssal Plain is closing for the night.
Throughout the disc, gritty, bluesy axework abounds, with all the energy of a top-shelf blues band at your favorite hole-in-the-wall dive bar packaged in album form. Thoroughly enjoyable beginning-to-end, I dig this disc.
The band included its performance of “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'” in the review package I received. Available as a single, and dating back to 2014, I’ve gotta believe this groovy blues number is a favorite at the band’s holiday season gigs.
You can find where the Dan Lawson Band will be performing live via the “Calendar” page of the band’s website. There are currently 8 dates listed, in New Hampshire and Maine, from May through October, starting with a May 15th gig at the Kingston VFW in Kingston, NH. Check the website for details on currently scheduled shows and new performances as they’re added.