Little King Records
For 25 years, Jack Lawrence was Doc Watson’s partner, playing rhythm and trading licks with the late great North Carolina flatpicker. In this new release, Jack plays tribute to his friend by using the 1945 Martin D-18 he was given by Doc. Jack restored the guitar and used it on a number of Doc’s recordings. Jack was exposed to artists such as Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Buck Owens, and Leon Rhodes, and his influences drew heavily from other guitarists such as Clarence White, Django Reinhardt, and of course Doc.
On this project he is accompanied by quite an accomplished cadre of musicians including Wayne Benson (mandolin), Curtis Burch (resonator guitar), Don Lewis (fiddle), Steve Lewis (banjo), Todd Pons (vocals), Ron Shuffler (bass), and Jody Call (percussion). Other artists include Dale Meyer (resonator guitar) and Shad Cobb (fiddle). Jack’s song selections cover a lot of ground, including an up-tempo version of Roger McGuinn’s “Lover Of The Bayou,” Mitch Jayne’s “The Whole World Round,” Don Reno’s “You’re No Longer A Sweetheart Of Mine,” Bob Dylan’s “Walking Down The Line,” and Lester Flatt’s “I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome.” Jack includes a few traditional tunes: “Goodbye Liza Jane,” “Red Rocking Chair,” and “House Carpenter.” He also contributes his own composition “Fiddlefoot.”
The title track, “Arthel’s Guitar,” is a ten-year-old song that Jack says “just came out.” Two previously unreleased bonus tracks are included: a medley of “St. Anne’s Reel”/“Whistling Rufus” and “Ten Miles To Deep Gap.” Both tracks are with Doc and bassist T. Michael Coleman. This is a wonderful project highlighting Jack’s clear and clean picking, robust lead vocals, and his masterful arrangements from a variety of genres. (Jack Lawrence, 9449 Robinson Church Rd., Harrisburg, NC 28075, www.jacklawrence.com.)BF