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Play By The Rules

J. T. Lauritsen

Hunters Records 2013

Review by David Bowling

It’s good to know that the blues are alive and well in Norway. J.T. Lauritsen and his Buckshot Hunters have been playing American Blues, Norwegian style, for the past 20 years.

Late last spring, Lauritsen and his regular drummer Jon Grimsby traveled to Memphis, Tennessee. They hired some of Memphis’ leading musicians including Billy Gibbons, Anson Funderburgh, Willie Campbell, and Victor Wainwright. He returned to Norway with five tracks in hand and proceeded to record another seven with his regular band. The results of these two sessions have been released as Play By The Rules.

Lauritsen (vocals, harp, accordion, Hammond B3) has a booming and soulful voice that fits a blues style well.

William Bell’s “Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday” is transferred from a soul classic to a nice blues piece. Big Walter’s blues standard, “Need My Babe,” is brought to life with the dueling harps of Lauritsen and Billy Gibbons. He travels a different journey by moving Gillian Welch’s “Valley Of Tears” in a gospel direction.

Lauritsen is a music veteran who has produced a credible blues album. He may have learned his chops several thousand miles away from the original home of the blues but he does this distinctly American musical form proud.

Rating: ***