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Lawton, John and Steve Dunning: Steppin' it Up

'Ere's a disc that locks down an idea conceived and executed by the least well-regarded (!) Uriah Heep vocalist John Lawton (also of Lucifer's Friend fame) plus no-one-you-know Steve Dunning at a Heep convention. The album, recorded shortly thereafter on the enthusiastic wings of the live set, is a mix of Heep from those ahem, dissipated days and elsewhere originals (including folky Lucifer's Friend ballad Burning Ships), performed acoustically or quite full but subtle band, never heavy. Killer sound quality accompanies the intimate set, with Lawton proving his mercurial blues and rock vocal chops, reminding one of the enduring Mark Farner, Lawton also doing all the backing vocals for what turns out to be a very accurate depiction of mellow Heep-ness, something quite hard to duplicate.

Also on board, is current Heep keyboardist Phil Lauzon. Perhaps a reevaluation of Lawton's reign is in order, as this guy can stylize, muscle-in and belt it out with astonishing ease, perhaps re-colouring Hensley's view that Lawton was a mistake, i.e. maybe it was the crappy songs that made those records so bad. Verdict: versatile, high fidelity but ultimately modest, casual and spare, impressive for the vocals and little else, the rest of the show barely definable as more than skeleton or blueprint.

Added: August 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Martin Popoff
Related Link: Classic Rock Productions
Hits: 2939
Language: english

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