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With Chris Jackson
Artists: The Laws
Releases: Ride It Out
Connection: John Law was born in Chatham Ontario.
John Law – vocals, guitar, mandolin
Michele Law – vocals, bass
Note: Recorded in Nashville with producer Regie Hamm. The Laws trademark “tight-as-a-glove” harmony singing is highlighted throughout the 11 songs.
…..Cut to 2007, and John and Michele are not only husband and wife but are also partners in music, performing as The Laws and getting ready to make a strong move for greater recognition in the Americana ranks in this country behind a typically ambitious touring schedule (200-plus nights a year on the road) and a stirring new album for their own label, JML Music, titled Ride It Out. The duo’s fifth long player, Ride It Out is noticeably lacking any false notes in its compelling original songs, empathetic musicianship and emotionally charged vocal performances.
Recorded in Nashville with producer/writer Regie Hamm, and co-written with some of Music City’s top tunesmiths, Ride It Out showcases all the Laws’ strengths. Stylistically its songs range far and wide within a roots framework. Smooth country folk powers the album opening “Am I Still the One”; “Put Some Love Into It” is a jazz -tinged frolic keyed by Michele’s saucy vocal; the guitar-mandolin instrumental “Texacadia” is a Nickel Creek-style display of assured, hot pickin’; the classic country-tinged “Too Lonesome to Cry” features lyrics as simple, direct and devastating as the Steve Earle of “Valentine’s Day” and “Hometown Blues”; and, to close things out, “Getting Over You” is a bopping little folk-flavored ditty that evinces an ironic, Steve Goodman-like sense of the absurd in its account of someone doing everything but getting over a lost love. Vocally, Michele ranges from a soothing, plaintive, Emmylou Harris-like harmony (“Am I Still the One”) to assertive, Martina McBride-style belting (“Getting Over You”), whereas John’s rich, nasally tenor bears some semblance to that of the estimable Texas craftsman and New Traditionalist pioneer Radney Foster. And despite the presence of a few other players on the album, Ride It Out has the intimate feel of a Laws stage show, where the only sounds come from the duo’s voices and instruments.
John and Michele, who have become accustomed to living in their van (in fact, their personal possessions are in storage in Canada; they are, in essence, homeless), have made a commitment of sorts by putting down roots in Nashville, where they have rented an apartment and have signed a publishing deal with SWITR, Inc.
Not least of the Laws’ selling points is their acumen in the kitchen. They published a cookbook and have appeared on numerous cooking shows through the years, generating almost as much press for their culinary skills as for their music. They also offer shows that are part cooking workshop, part musical performance. This sprang from their determination to eat healthy while touring constantly.
Cooking or music? Music or cooking? At one point that might have been a tossup. Now, however, with the assured, resonant performances on exhibit on Ride It Out, it appears the Laws are really ready to start cooking. But not in the kitchen
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