Lovin' by the Rules

Laura Bowly

Small D.O.G Records
P.O. Box 184
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 532-4181
E-mail: smalldog@smalldog.com

A review written for Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Shawn Linderman
(shawn@xyvision.com)

_

While the quantity is sparse (only 33 minutes), the quality of songs on Laura Bowly's Lovin' by the Rules is rich and varied. This happens on all levels: instrumentation, vocals, story lines. Blues, jazz, funk, pop-- all flavor this eclectic collection of tunes from her heart and her pen. The tracks:

Who I Answer To - jazzy sax launches the CD. Laura defends living your life your own way. The abrupt finish surprises and grabs attention.

Lovin' by the Rules - this funky tune features nice Smokey Robinson-like scat singing by Bowly. An interesting portrayal of differences of opinion on proper expressions of love.

The One You Need to Love - a slow, pretty love song. The singer calls for her lover to be there and hold her when she's confused and lost and feeling the urge to run.

Shine on Me - with a bouncy beat and bubbly flute, Bowly exposes her optimistic view on love- while acknowledging love might lead to hurt, she still chooses to revel in its light.

Down - with down-n-dirty blues harmonica, funky sax and syncopated beat, Laura wails the fall when life gets the best of you.

My Mountain - stately and majestic guitar guides the listener to the songwriter's inner self. This song is Laura's presentation of the same theme as found in Simon & Garfunkle's I Am a Rock.

I Don't Want It - this is a rhythmic toe-tapper with bluegrass fiddle work that, while smooth and fluid, doesn't interfere with the bounciness-and what Laura doesn't want any more is love.

Billy - another funky, uptone number about a boy whose life has been hard and who is bursting to make a new start. Lush instrumentation on this song includes piano and sax.

I'll Never Go - spotlight on electric guitars for this soft rocker.

It's Gonna Be Okay - the pretty flute lead-in and support to guitar give richness to this song about needing kind encouragement when things haven't gone your way.

The disc concludes with a reprise of Who I Answer To.

Laura Bowly's voice falls somewhere between Les Sampou and Lynne Taylor, which is rich and fertile soil. From it has grown a dynamic set of tunes that promises a harvest of plenty for all. Lovely voice, varied styles; Lovin' by the Rules is an excellent work.

Edited by Kerry Dexter
(riosur@aol.com)

Copyright 1997, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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