Lawrence Lebo's new CD is a collection of mostly original songs that takes you through the roots of American music, blues, jazz and folk. Add to that Lawrence voice tone, reminiscent of the classic blues and jazz singers. I guess that is why this album is called American Roots.
On bluesy songs like "On Time," Lawrence delivers the lyrics with the right feeling and attitude. The danceable "Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie" takes the listener back to the swing era with a fun, well-played arrangement and playful Lawrence vocals.
"It’s Not the First Time" is a jazz tune with a touch of Broadway on the arrangement and especially on Lawrence powerful vocals. Denny Croy bass and Lawrence voice is all that is needed to swing on this one and on the tune "Was That Love."
It is impressive how these new singers can move easily and convincingly between music styles. Take for example "Rose Rose," a folk almost country tune, beautifully interpreted by Lawrence. Nicholas Kirgo cool dobro playing gives this tune kind of a nostalgic feel.
Lawrence’s "Working Blues" and "Walking the Back Streets" had a classic blues feeling with Phil Parlapiano joining on the accordion.
Six out of the nine wonderful songs on this album are Lebo originals, including the dreamy music and vocals on "A Promise That I can Keep."