Lawrence Lebo
Gig Seeker Pro

Lawrence Lebo

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Blues Americana




"BEST OF LA - Best Blues Singer 2014"

Best Blues Singer Los Angeles 2014
Lawrence Lebo
So many contestants on television talent shows think they can sing the blues — with all that huffing and puffing and twisting of faces into grotesque grimaces, you'd think they were lifting mountains instead of making music. Of course, real blues of any style involves a deep communication between performer and listener, not just theatrics, and that's where Lawrence Lebo excels. After attending the Grove School of Music and earning her B.A. in music at UCLA — where she studied under jazz legend Kenny Barron — she now teaches blues-vocal workshops at McCabe's. Her singing displays her talent for the blues. Yes, she can wail up as fierce and fiery a storm as any gospel diva (even after returning to action just weeks after heart surgery last year), but Lebo also purrs and puts a jazzy touch on occasional Western swing rambles. Most impressively, she's that rare blues musician who writes persuasively authentic original songs, such as "Lawrence's Working Girl Blues," her smartly sarcastic answer to Three 6 Mafia's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." —Falling James - LA WEEKLY

"The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix Delivers Fine Sultry Blues"


It is always refreshing to hear something different when experiencing the joy that is blues. Just finished listening to The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix by Lawrence Lebo (On The Air Records). Hailing from California, Ms. Lebo is deeply involved with the blues. For over 25 years, she has written and sung blues. She has been (and still is) a band leader, and is currently listed as a Blues Educator with The Blues Foundation, teaching vocal technique workshops at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California.

A great vocal will often lift a song to new heights, becoming an instrument all its own. Think of Peggy Lee, Dina Washington, Lena Horne, Koko Taylor, Janis Joplin, and Etta James. A great vocal will make a song. So it is with Lawrence Lebo. Her music is a combination of roots, blues, and swing styles, and is very reminiscent of cabaret/supper club style presentation of years past. What is different here, is that this music is not dated, stodgy, or uninspired. This music is subtle, classy, and evokes emotion.

The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix is a collection of songs from Lebo’s previous three CDs, Don’t Call Her Larry, volumes 1-3. If you have never experienced Ms. Lebo, this is a great way to start. While the whole album is excellent, there are standout tracks.

“(I’m Your) Christmas Present, Baby!” features some sweet, old school blues guitar by Nick Kirgo, a great vocal, and strong backing from Denny Croy on upright bass, and Kenny Sara on drums. “It’s Not The First Time” (Vol. 2) also features some nice guitar (Nick Kirgo), and great back-beat support from the band, including a jamming horn section. Players on this track are: Denny Croy – upright bass, Kenny Sara – drums, Bob Sandman – sax, David Strother – violin, and John Nau – Hammond organ.

“Please Don’t Dog Me” (Vol. 1) is a slow smoker. This track features an upright bass line backed with guitar, banjo, violin, and mandolin, all woven together for a texture that is magnificent. On this track Ms. Lebo is backed by: John Wamsley – guitar, Denny Croy – upright bass, Dave Hopper – drums, Pat Cloud – banjo, Bob Applebum – mandolin, and on violin, Dennis Fetchet and Miriam Mayer.

“Blue Line Blues” (Vol. 2) has a good swing beat with delicious jazzy blues guitar comping and chording from Cheryl Saunders, and the finessed upright bass playing of Denny Croy. Also contributing to this stellar track is the spot-on soulful violin of David Strother, and a beautiful vocal by Ms. Lebo.

“On Time” (Vol. 3) is simple, luscious blues, consisting of a killer vocal by Ms. Lebo, and only the accompaniment of her husband, Denny Croy, on the upright bass. There are not many vocalists that could pull this off and do it so well.

This album is at once subtle, classy, well executed, and well played. It is a cut above. Perhaps the best thing about The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix is that it is a whole lot of fun. - AMERICAN BLUES SCENE

"Enjoy Blues & Roots Music Tonight At McCabe's In Santa Monica"

POSTED MAR. 22, 2013, 9:26 AM

Singer Lawrence Lebo brings her inimitable style of blues and roots music to McCabe’s Guitar Shop at 3101 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica tonight, March 22.

The 8 pm concert follows on the heels of the wide international success of her latest CD release titled “The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry: Blues Mix.”

Ian McHugh, host of “Blues In The Night” from the UK, said Lebo delivers songs directly, adding there’s no mistaking the meaning or the emotion.

“Some people are blessed, it’s that simple,” McHugh said. “When you hear one note of BB King’s guitar, you know it’s him. The same thing goes for Lawrence Lebo, a woman blessed with not just a great voice, high toned and beautiful, but with a sense of musicality that is definitely one of a kind.”

On her new CD, McHugh said both her voice and musicality are in full effect.

“She has a way of phrasing a line that could never be anyone else, her voice sliding into and out of notes in a way that’s amazingly blue, microtonal in the way that people like Muddy Waters were, it’s properly spine tingling, and she wisely eschews undue flash,” he said.

Tickets to tonight’s show are $15, which are available at, or by calling 310.828.4497.

On Sunday, March 24, Lebo will teach a one-day “Blues and Rock Vocal” workshop at McCabe’s Guitar Shop at 1 pm (tickets $40 – purchase on link above).

For more information about Lebo, visit - SANTA MONICA MIRROR

"Lawrence Lebo: Innocence and Romance"

Interview by Michael Limnios

When was your first desire to become involved in the music?

I can’t ever remember not singing - from a very young age. At age 5, when I went to kindergarten, and the holiday show came around, not only was I the star soloist, but I was also the MC!! There was never a doubt in my young mind that I was a singer - that that would be my profession. If I’d had parents who were savvy about the entertainment business they could have gotten a young career off the ground for me!

What do you learn about yourself from the blues, what does the blues and Roots music mean to you?

The blues tells the stories of regular folks. I came from regular folks; my father was a shoe salesman. My parents groomed me for young marriage and children - and that’s what I did. Of course, that never works out!! I’ve struggled to raise my children, have a career, and to better myself through education. On a musical level, blues and roots music is the music of America. It’s an important part of American history. It’s important that it be nurtured and preserved. As a songwriter, the blues allows me to tell my stories. I like to write songs about strong women who learn hard lessons and come out okay on the other side. My tune “It’s Not The First Time” is one of these songs.

What experiences in your life make you a GOOD MUSICIAN?

When I first started out at 22 years old, singing in local clubs, I had no idea about being a bandleader. Sure, musicians gave me a hard time, but I learned to direct a band. I went to school and learned music theory. There’s nothing like working in the business, and working along side of good musicians to teach you to be good.

How do you describe Lawrence Lebo sound and progress, what characterize your music philosophy?

I’m an artist. I have my influences, but my sound is my own. To me the job of the artist is to create conversation. To inspire.

From whom have you have learned the most secrets about the blues?

Of course I approach the blues from the vocalist point of view. If one traces the formation of blues singing style from the earliest folks around recording it, one might listen to Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, Dinah Washington, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Son House, John Lee Hooker, Ruth Brown. More contemporary examples; Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor, Etta James ….. This list could get pretty long!!!

Which was the best moment of your career and which was the worst?

Well, I’d like to think that the best moment of my career is yet to come, but I’d have to say that the first time I heard myself being played on the radio was pretty exciting stuff!!!

The first time I got stiffed at the end of the night was pretty horrible. I had to pay my band out of my pocket. That set me back a bit.

What is the best advice ever gave you and what advice would you give to aspiring musicians?

This simple advise was given to me - and I’d give it freely; “DON’T GIVE UP”!!

Some music styles can be fads but the blues is always with us. Why do think that is?

The blues is at the heart of all American music styles. It’s the parent of rock’n’roll. And of jazz.

Give one wish for the BLUES

It seems, I could be wrong, but that the Blues are better appreciated outside of America. If that’s true, I’d like to see that turn around.

Are there any memories from recording time which you’d like to share with us?

My first release was recorded “live” to 2 track tape. Eight musicians all in a room together, playing and me singing at the same time. I’ve always preferred to record “live”. It’s magic!!!

Which memory from workshops and teachings projects makes you smile?

I teach a blues singing workshop. It’s always great to hear your students say, “Oh yeah, I get it! That’s what makes that sound ‘the blues!’ ”.

What’s the best jam you ever played in? What are some of the most memorable gigs you've had?

When I was in my 20’s, I opened for Jerry Lee Lewis. I got to sit in his trailer across the table from him. He had a glass in one hand, a bottle of whiskey in the other, and he was drinking from both!!!

More recently I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the bill with Doug MacLeod. I’m a huge fan of his, so it was quite an honor!

Which meetings have been the biggest experiences for you? Are there any memories from Kenny Burrell?

While I was a student at UCLA I had the extreme pleasure of studying about Duke Ellington under the legendary jazz guitarist and my professor, Kenny Burrell. Through Kenny, and through Ellington, I was inspired to hang in during one of the hardest periods in my career. You see, Ellington was a marvelously creative entrepreneur! For example; he was one of the first musicians to advertise his services in the yellow pages! He hired a well dressed man to walk into a club ahead of him and loudly announce “Here comes the Duke!“!! And during those times when he and his band were not allowed to stay in the hotels in the towns where they were playing, he purchased a passenger train car for them to travel and to sleep in. Now, this was how the President traveled!! This made Ellington seem presidential!! With all this inspiration, I wound up releasing my second CD, DON’T CALL HER LARRY, VOLUME 2, during my senior year.

When we talk about Jazz Blues, we usually refer to memories and moments of the past. Do you believe in the existence of real Jazz Blues nowadays?

I think you are talking about a feeling of nostalgia. I think one could say that I am the very proof of the existence of Jazz Blues nowadays!!

What is the “feeling” you miss most nowadays from the music of 30s – 40s?

Swing feel, innocence and pure romance!!.

What is the line that connects the legacy of Jazz and Western Swing with Blues, Rock, Soul and beyond?

Well, it is the blues itself! Blues is the root music in all these forms.

Do you believe that there is “misuse”, that there is a trend to misappropriate the name of blues?

If there is, I don’t know about it. I am blissfully ignorant of such things!!!!!

Which incident of your life you‘d like to be captured and illustrated in a painting?

Oh My!!! I really don’t take myself all that serious!!!!!!!!

How do you describe your contact to people when you are on stage? Happiness is……

I play several (plucked) string instruments, but I prefer to just sing when I’m on stage. The voice is my first and best instrument, and I prefer not to be standing behind an instrument. I don’t want anything between myself and my audience. I look to have an intimate exchange with my audience. I am baring my soul. I am trusting them with my secrets! …. And when it all comes together ……. Happiness!!! - Interview by Michael Limnios @ BLUES.GR

"Lawrence Lebo - The Best Of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix On The Air Records Time-39:21"

April 4, 2013
From sunny Southern California here comes a blues chanteuse slash blues cabaret singer with a powerful voice that is as clear as a bell. I would call her music “club blues” for those who need a classification. The songs range from a full band-backed sound to some bare bones versions. Some instruments that aren’t too commplace in the blues idiom are employed at times, such as violin, banjo and accordion. This direction lends a freshness to the proceedings. This collection is a compilation of “Don’t Call Her Larry” volumes one, two and three. Of the nine tunes included here, two appear in a band as well as a stripped town version, which hardly seems necessary. The sound quality and production are all first class.
She gives the listener an early Christmas present with her original “(I’m Your) Christmas Present Baby!” which is given a rough-edged Chicago blues sound with a hard guitar attack and blustery sax section. Much the same approach is used on another original, “It’s Not The First Time”, this time with a short, but blistering bluesy violin solo. Koko Taylor’s “Please Don’t Dog Me” features more bluesy violin as well as mandolin, giving a country-blues vibe. A first for me also on this song is banjo playing a blues solo. A blues-gal would be remiss without a song full of sexual innuendo, so we get “On Time”. “Blue Line Blues” calls up her similarity to Maria Muldaur in voice, as well as delivery. Another first for me is blues accordion on “Walking The Back Streets”, with the only other accompaniment being upright bass. The lonely and spare sound gives the song an air of melancholy. Heck, the accordion works, who knew?
“Nothing to write home about” here, but Lawrence possesses one of the better female blues voices out there today. Anyone who likes Maria Muldaur-style tunes, will find much to like here. Some of the more unusual instruments used here give things “a breath of fresh air”. It’s nice to see a record that doesn’t rely on a heavy electric guitar attack. This CD can be a nice change of pace from more “heavy-handed blues”.
Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. - Blues Blast Magazine

"Lawrence Lebo - The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry:Blues Mix December 10, 2012"

Some people are blessed, it’s that simple. When you hear one note of BB King’s guitar, you know it’s him. The same thing goes for Lawrence Lebo, a woman blessed with not just a great voice, high toned and beautiful, but with a sense of musicality that is definitely one of a kind.

On her new CD, The best of Don’t Call Her Larry, Blues Mix, both the voice and the musicality are in full effect. She has a way of phrasing a line that could never be anyone else, her voice sliding into and out of notes in a way that’s amazingly blue, microtonal in the way that people like Muddy Waters were, it’s properly spine tingling, and she wisely eschews undue flash. She delivers a song directly, there’s no mistaking the meaning or the emotion, it’s patently not false or buried in cod emotional trills and riffs. She’s chosen her songs carefully, the covers are ones she connects with fully and the originals, well they don’t suffer by comparison, being easily equivalent in quality.

It’s not just the singers performance that stands out on this recording. Ms Lebo has surrounded herself with a band as talented and original as herself. The first two tracks are fairly typical Chicago style electric blues, expertly played and exciting. From that point things take a sharp left into the unusual, percussion goes out the window, acoustic instrumentation takes over, with stand up bass, mandolin, accordion and violin providing a sparse but varied backing to Lawrence’s voice, leaving ample space around that central instrument and contributing emotional runs and solos as and when the song dictates. It’s all impressively ego free, and with it’s cool and intimate production the album could easily be recorded at a beatnik jazz venue.

All through the album are high-points and it seems unfair to pick out any one in particular, but I shall, because the final track is just so very stunning. Just voice and bass it is as emotional and expressive as anything I have heard, images of the chartreuse, back lit by a blue spotlight and wreathed in the smoke from an expectant audience’s cigarettes are called to mind. Lawrence finds notes that are just perfect, delivers them with just enough vibrato and has me held in the palm of her hand. It’s a special moment to close out what is a spectacular record.

This ‘Best Of’ selection is properly a best of, there is an expression: “All killer, no filler,” which is entirely appropriate here. I cannot recommend this record highly enough. - Ian McHugh, Blues In The Night

"Lawrence Lebo: The Best of Don’t Call Her Larry Blues Mix (On The Air Records)"

One surprise that fits in well with our holiday review theme here is that Ms. Lebo has included a Christmas song on this collection, so let’s get to that one.

‘(I’m Your) Christmas Present, Baby!‘ Starts with horns a blazing and settles into a sultry vocal from Ms. Lebo Stating that she is his Christmas present and he can unwrap her. No need for fruitcake (thank goodness), her beau can tie her up in ribbons and set her beneath the Christmas tree. Throw in some electric juiced guitar and we get a nice new addition to the holiday music collection.

Let’s move to ‘Walking the Back Streets’ a slow burning tale of hurt and the residual effect of the loss of her man. A wonderful production featuring accordion and bass, it has the feel of Paris in the heyday of the Blues expatriate season. It is one of the most original versions of this song that you could ever find. Kudos to Mr. Phil Partapiano on the accordian and Mr. Denny Croy on bass.

Featuring her very own ‘Wash Cycle’ with several versions of the same songs, she features different takes on ‘It’s Not The First Time’ and ‘On Time’. I always enjoy the alternate realities of an artists song. What makes it work like this or who says it shouldn’t be this way. Let’s look at ‘On Time’ for example.

One version is stringed with violins bowed and plucked done with a steamy old style feel that recalls Billie Holiday or Little Esther. With the strings adding to the height and depth of the song it is almost upbeat. The other version is 50's cafe styled, beatnik posed with a bass and Ms. Lebo doing all the work. Hot black and white sparks fly from the speakers as we hear her state the requirements needed in her man, otherwise he won’t get a job in her shipyard. Aye’ matey -where do I sign up!

One more track that certainly deserves mention is her version of Koko Taylor’s ‘Please Don’t Dog Me’. Well rounded production with strings and ensemble it’s is another slow burner that has a certain resolve to it that is fortified by her adamant vocal statements. Ms. Lebo has a fine sense of timing and a certain color to her voice that is at once familiar and yet fresh and new.

Steamy back room blues with a vamp of a lead singer, then this baby is for you. Ms. Lebo will fit nicely under the tree and will not fail to satisfy once you open it up, just like she sang it.

Visit Ms. Lebo here, just don’t call her Larry: - Blues411

"STAR BLUES on 30th September 2012 at 22:00"

"More distinctive vocals from Lawrence Lebo who moves effortless from blues to jazz and back on her third EP which chides us "Don't Call Me Larry". She has a lovely sweet voice and a refreshingly sparse arrangement for her own songs with none of the usual showing off on guitar. She's also another (like Bob Corritore) who does a lot behind the scenes to keep the blues alive in all its forms." - Gary Blue

- Star Blues

"Live Music: Lawrence Lebo and Doug MacLeod at McCabe’s Guitar Shop"

Live Music: Lawrence Lebo and Doug MacLeod at McCabe’s Guitar Shop
By Mike Finkelstein

Last week, McCabe’s Guitar Shop delivered the goods in style, as usual, with a show that featured three of their resident instructors: vocalist Lawrence Lebo, bassist Denny Croy, and guitarist Doug MacLeod. Lebo and her combo went on first, MacLeod finished the evening, and Croy backed both of them.

Lebo’s instrumentation was noteworthy — vocals, standup bass, guitar (Tony Mandracchia), and accordion (Phil Parlapiano). With no drums, the subdued percussive end of the sound came from the bass and guitar strings’ attack. The accordion weaved uniquely in, out, and around the arrangements, providing a matrix yet leaving a lot of space to hear the subtleties of each song. It was easy to experience the nuances and to catch the flavor of every part of the band. The rhythm and tone of Lawrence’s voice over Denny’s bass was the sound’s core, while the guitar and accordion added a whole lot of color to the mix.

Lawrence Lebo
As soon as she had descended the stairs to the stage, Lawrence wondered aloud if anyone had ever fallen while making the walk. Not much later she removed her high-heeled leopard print shoes just to be safe. With both feet firmly on the boards she proceeded to lead her combo through a gorgeous hour long set. Her program concentrated on material from the third volume in a series of her “Don’t Call Her Larry” CDs. She was in great control of her voice and in the calm living room atmosphere of McCabe’s it was easy to pick up the subtleties in her vocals. Her sound was a smooth personal tapestry of blues, jazz, and country/western swing influences.

Lawrence Lebo and Denny Croy
Beginning the set with her own “It’s Not the First Time,” the bond between her voice and Denny Croy’s Chicago styled walking bass lines was clearly laid out. A sultry, emotive voice like Lawrence’s sounds just right over a smooth acoustic bass — very pure and balanced. An acoustic bass can mesmerize. It draws you in with soothing tone and gliding motion, like floating down a calm river. As he moved through his lines, Croy’s bass throbbed, clicked, and resonated beautifully in the quiet atmosphere at McCabe’s.

The covers ranged from Koko Taylor’s “Please Don’t Dog Me,” to the old standard, “How High the Moon,” and even a jazzy nod to Patsy Cline with “Walking After Midnight.” On these tunes guitarist Tony Mandracchia shone as he cut loose a flurry of razor sharp runs and even a tasty chord solo in “How High the Moon.” The set also included a tune that Lawrence wrote about people who take it too far with cell phones in public places called “Stop Shouting Your Business.” It’s a song whose time has certainly arrived.

The fact that Lawrence and Denny are married no doubt enhanced the sound, which leads us to “Happy Anniversary,” written appropriately by her for him. Fast but clean blues guitar flurries meshed with accordion fills to frame Lawrence’s voice and bring home the sentiments in style. Also, it was appealing that the accordion and guitar together suggested Django-vintage French jazz sound while not simply aping it.

Doug MacLeod
Doug MacLeod came on second and played a very impressive set. He is currently riding a nice wave of recognition, having been nominated in two categories for awards by the Blues Foundation: Acoustic Artist and Acoustic Album of the Year. Speaking and singing with a warm drawl, he presented a very engaging demeanor onstage. By his own admission, his set lists were unplanned affairs. Which meant that Croy, who has backed MacLeod for years, would take his cues and just roll with it from song to song.

The instrumentation for the set was sparse but perfectly balanced. While Croy stuck with his stand up bass, MacLeod played a resonator guitar for the whole set and really worked the finger picking and thumb-thumping angle on it, masterfully so. He brought out the subtleties of the axe and lowered the crowd to a hush with straight balladeer chording on songs like “Run With the Devil.” On “New Panama Limited,” a train song, he used his slide, his fingers and his foot to dynamically simulate the train rattling the rails, approaching, slowing down, stopping, and speeding through the station. And, he relayed to us something that Pee Wee Crayton once told him, “Never play two slow blues in a row. Someone’s going to get hurt…and it might be you.”

As I walked out of McCabe’s I overheard one fellow explaining to his friends that he had coaxed them out to see some good blues, specifically not in a bar. The group was clearly delighted to have experienced one of the tastier double bills of basically acoustic blues one might chance to see around town, without the distraction and the din of a bar. Good call! - The International Review Of Music

"Lawrence Lebo - "Happy Anniversary, Baby""

Translated from Croatian to English:

Record Label On The Air Records released a studio album, CD - single, Happy Anniversary, Baby, just targeted at 31 listopada 2011. was an exceptional and great singer Lawrence Lebo.

What to write? I truly do not know, because I was stunned by the power, wealth and truly powerful CDeom that nažaost, but really, unfortunately, contains only three tracks, and I do not know how I'll wait for the rest. In fact, this single is dedicated to the 25th wedding anniversary, her partner, husband and bassist Denny Croyju.

So far I have not had the opportunity to listen to Lawrence Lebo, but the title Happy Anniversary, Baby really is a brilliant composition, great guitar, klavijaturistickih shares and inervirajuce and luxurious atmosphere of total songs with a truly impressive musical background 'background'. Of course, what dominates and leads throughout the song is awesome Lawrencin sumptuous vocals and prosaic.

Not to mention, who all played here: accordion and Hammond B-3 - musician Larry "Big House" David (Keb'Mo, Bo Diddley, Roy Gaines), guitarist Tony Mandracchio (Edgar Winter, Mitch Ryder) and Steve Mugalian (James Harmon, Rick Holmstrom, Lucinda Williams) on drums.

On the "B side" of this CD single contains two tracks recording Stop Shouting Your Business, normal and 'radio version' which emphasizes the great gig Carl Byron (Bo Diddley, Thelma Jones) on accordion.

All in all, this CD single is expected to provoke the audience to look for other works of this great singer. And that has managed more than 100%!

Here's what others write:

With equal parts Etta James and Bonnie Raitt, LAWRENCE LEBO's voice is made ??for the ages. She would have packed them in 60 years ago at the most happening spots out there, and her style should translate into quick chart dominance today ... I'd never call her Larry, but I will call her an instant classic - cashbox Magazine

In these days when even solid singers rely heavily on Auto-Tune doctoring to take imperfections (and also any signs of humanity) out of their vocals, it is refreshing to discover a voice as pure and lovely as LAWRENCE LEBO's. - Linda East Brady, Standard Examiner

URGENT ... Encore!

More information on can be found at:
The CD singles:

First Happy Anniversary, Baby
Second Stop Shouting Your Business
Third Stop Shouting Your Business / Radio version

(The Air Records)

- Sound Guardian - Republic of Croatia

"Blues Cool"

music pick

L.A. Weekly, January 6-12, 2012

Doug MacLeod, Lawrence Lebo at McCabe’s

Blues Cool

By Falling James

There are a lot of fine blues divas belting it out today, but there’s no one quite like Lawrence Lebo. For one thing, the L.A. singer writes most of her own songs, which sound seamless next to the occasional classic covers she pulls out of her deep bag of tricks. For another thing, she’s not a slavish revivalist who’s satisfied to merely relive the past. “Lawrence’s Working Girl Blues,” from her excellent 2010 album, Don’t Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots (On the Air Records), is a wise and cheeky answer song to Three 6 Mafia’s infamous “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” as Lebo, refreshingly, sings from a prostitute’s point of view instead of the pimp’s. She reveals her sentimental and romantic side in her charming new single, “Happy Anniversary, Baby,” a valentine to her bassist-husband, Denny Croy, that celebrates their quarter century of marriage. At tonight’s show at McCabe’s (where Lebo works as a blues instructor), the singer will be joined by Croy, guitarist Tony Mandracchia and accordionist Phil Parlapiano. For part of the show, she and Croy will perform a few intimate tunes as a duo. Whether she’s backed by a full band or croons in smaller settings, Lebo is a masterful song stylist, infusing her bluesy lamentations with a sassy sense of swing and a playfully jazzy sophistication. The roots-blues veteran Doug MacLeod headlines. (Falling James)

- LA Weekly


On the third of Lawrence Lebo’s Don’t Call Her Larry CDs, the California based jazz singer offers intimate arrangements of nine songs – six of them her own – rooted in blues, jazz, folk and western swing styles. She’s a flexible vocalist who knows just how to deliver a lyric. Several tracks are vocal-bass duets with Denny Croy whose heartbeat playing blends beautifully with Lebo’s singing; there are also some great trio settings with Croy and accordionist Phil Parlapiano. A few others feature expanded, but still intimate, groups highlighted by the romping “Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie.” — MR (Mike Regenstreif)

Vol. 54 #2 • Sing Out! 135

- SING OUT! Magazine

"Lawrence Lebo, Featured Artist"

Stripping things down to basics, maybe bass-ics, Lawrence Lebo’s ‘Don’t Call Her Larry, Volume 3” enters life with solo upright bass leading the arrangement charge. With a lone instrument and a voice that beckons you in, song number one (“On Time") begins album number three in what Lawrence references as her blues trilogy. On her third installation Ms. Lebo enters her American Roots recording phase, crafting tracks that fit the theme and create a mood of their own. Her self-penned songs fit the formula nicely, fulfilling the style needs and carving a place for themselves in the genre.
The upright bass that kicks off the background sounds has a potent presence throughout the album, anchoring the rhythm and filling in space left open by the power of Lawrence Lebo’s vocals. Musically, ‘Don’t Call Her Larry, Vol. 3’, blends acoustic jazz/blues, western swing and folk. Other instruments, accordion, saxophone, vibes, drums and piano, make appearances but they never threaten the original relationship of bass and voice, with the power of the pipes taking on the role of superhero and the down low notes acting as the much needed sidekick. Lawrence foregoes the voice’s potential to carry through as sultry and seductive, amping up the delivery with charges, punches and bites lighting fires that allows the natural smokiness in her tones to flash and fire. The songs stay true to their intentions, consistently landing their sound in the American Roots landscape, merging twang into the jazz blues territory the instrumentation generally inhabits. For more on the trilogy, the voice and the presence, visit the website that boasts info on all of the above, - The Alternate Root Music Magazine


Hard to define, eclectic, versatile... are the frequent descriptions Lawrence Lebo has received during and after her three volume set of releases, American Roots, which has now been fully realized with the release of last year’s final recording in the series. That’s she not he, hence the Don’t Call Her Larry proclamation and album sub-title.

After exploring Big Band blues of the 1930s and 1940s in volume 1 and then displaying her songwriting and arranging skills via the live album in volume 2, in the concluding recording, that versatility is reconfirmed in a simple yet elegant setting with Ms. Lebo accompanied, for the most part, by bassist Denny Croy (Doug MacLeod, Brian Setzer Orchestra). This is song production de-constructed and built back up for the sake of the singer and the song, i.e., it’s not about Spector’s Wall of Sound.

Each song may have a special guest musician sitting in, such as the likes of accordionist, Phil Parlapiano (Lowen and Navarro, John Prine) and co-producer/mixer, Rick Cunha on lap steel guitar. Piano, saxophone, vibes, and guitar appear irregularly, but add tasteful nuance to Lebo and Croy playing up front.

The jazz phrasing and sophistication permeate the entire recording. Her attention to vocal technique adds a smart elegance to every track and the jazz and blues cuts (all songs being color-coded for you or your deejay’s quick and easy categorization) such as the opening, On Time and Was That Love have a sheen and luster that never fade. The two songs designated as western swing are in fact at two ends of that particular genre. Cunha’s lap steel puts the sting and snap into Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie and “A Promise That I Can Keep” is a lilting lullabye, more a dark corner swaying slow dance or moody west coast swing than a swing way-out west. But both offer different examples of that emotive vocal prowess that Lebo can swing to and fro.

Rose, Rose, a tribute to Lebo’s late canine companion combines the lyrical pathos with her plaintive vocal chorus underscoring the poignant and compelling story within the music.

She stretches it out and and sustains those “worried” notes in Walking the Back Street as Parlapiano’s accordion echoes thru the alley and Croy walks the bass lines up and down that street. A peppier blues cut is It’s Not the First Time with Cory soloing behind Lebo’s testifyin’ about cheatin’ relativity.

Six of the nine tracks are written or co-written by Lebo. One exception is the Sammy Cahn tune, I Should Care, a classic which is caressed with the right amount of sorrow and pity for that tale of woe. Lebo’s interpretation elicits the emotional melancholy via her passionate and soulful confessional vocals. She carries the torch and the tune in good form.

If you are a lover of singing as art, then you should “care” about this recording. And if you want to dive into some new and original work that adds to the great American Songbook, look no further.

Lawrence Lebo plays at McCabe's Guitar Shop on Friday, February 18, 2011. $17.50 with Doug MacLeod, 8pm
- FolkWorks Magazine

"Lebo strolls into cabaret, Western, folk genres"

Lawrence Lebo

"Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots"

In these days when even solid singers rely heavily on Auto-Tune doctoring to take imperfections (and also any signs of humanity) out of their vocals, it is refreshing to discover a voice as pure and lovely as Lawrence Lebo's.

The Los Angeles chanteuse possesses a pure and sparkling instrument. Her vocals bear a striking resemblance to the sweet/sexy tones of Ella Fitzgerald without sounding like a period piece.

Lebo is easy to listen to, whatever genre she tackles. This is her third disc in the "Don't Call Her Larry" series, a study of popular American music. "Volume 1" explored the territory of the torchy big-band girl singers, and "Volume 2" covered contemporary jazz, acoustic swing and electric blues.

On this third edition, Lebo, who also arranged and wrote a good portion of the tunes, explores cabaret, Western and campfire folk genres.

Lebo works well here with a minimalist backing that sets off her beautiful pipes like a solitaire setting does a good gemstone. Several cuts feature only her voice and the stand-up bass stylings of Denny Croy, known for his work with Doug MacLeod's blues trio as well as with The Brian Setzer Orchestra.

This leaves neither artist with a thing to hide behind, nor do they need the cover. The combination of the warm bass fiddle tone and Lebo's vocal groove is a downright pleasure to take in, especially in an era when overproduction is the norm. A few tunes also layer in an oh-so-light touch of accordion, guitars, fiddle and pedal steel for punctuation.

Lebo wrote a majority of the record, exploring a variety of classic styles — bona-fide Western swing on "Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie," cheatin'-lover walking blues on "It's Not the First Time," and old-school jazz standards on "A Promise I Can Keep."

Lebo's "Rose, Rose" might be the stand-out cut. It is a mournful and tender ballad that would be right at home at a cowboy poetry gathering, sung by either man or woman. Though the song can easily be taken for a tale of romance gone bad, it is actually an homage to Lebo's loss of her beloved golden Labrador retriever:

"How could you leave me, adrift on the sea? Can't go on without you, right here next to me. I call you and call you, and call out your name / Never, oh never, will I be the same. Rose, Rose, don't you leave me this way / The day is not over, there's still time to play ..."

Lebo, who earned her bachelor's degree in art from UCLA, now offers occasional workshops in blues vocals at Santa Monica, Calif.'s McCabe's Guitar Shop, a world-renowned acoustic instrument store/venue.

Lucky, indeed, must be her students, as she has much to offer in terms of style and delivery. We hope she keeps exploring her heartfelt lexicon of American music.

"Rose, Rose" by Lawrence Lebo - Standard Examiner - Utah by Linda East Brady

"Lawrence Lebo: Rhythm and Roots"

A myth exists in singer Lawrence Lebo's family that the pixie-banged brunette with the warm and humid presence, and encyclopedic American musical view, was conceived during a Saturday night re-run of the Lawrence Welk show--hence, the name.

That name. Lawrence Lebo. Delicately avoiding strict political correctness, "what kind of name is that for a girl?" The answer to that question is part of the myth of the image and music.

Too clever by half, Lebo need never have another collection title, Don't Call Her Larry being perfect. Just add a descriptor after the colon and go with it. That is very, very smart branding of one's product, in this case the singer's bright, voluptuous and fun voice and her intelligent and informed sense of humor.

However, said sense of humor can be a pitfall. If an artist comes off too cute, he or she runs the risk of not being taken seriously or, even worse, dramatically reducing the breadth of his or her appeal. Lebo avoids this through sheer talent. Claiming that her professional life really had no plan, there is a definite thread that binds her three extant recordings together. Sometimes a natural evolution is all that is necessary to achieve something special and Lebo is enjoying such an evolution.

In his landmark survey of the great classical music figures, Lives of the Great Composers (W.W. Norton, 1997, Third Edition), Harold Schonberg titled his chapter on Johannes Brahms, "Keeper of the Flame." He did so to highlight Brahms' abiding respect for his predecessor Beethoven, choosing to expand that master's language horizontally rather than further aid the music's full-blown vertical development into the Romantic as advocated by Richard Wagner. This is what Lebo aims to do with the masters of American music.

Using another classical music allusion, Lebo is like Felix Mendelssohn, who, in 1829, resurrected the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in the guise of Bach's Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew's Passion), giving the first performance of the piece since the composer's death 70 years prior. Lebo is very much a keeper of the flame, but not simply that. She intends, in the evolution of her art, to reunite the unique American vernacular to the music America gave birth to, the blues, jazz, American folk and western swing. Her journey doing so is both compelling and fun as heck.

Lawrence Lebo
Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 1: Lawrence Lebo and her Little Big Band
On the Air Records

The first installment of Don't Call Her Larry, Lawrence Lebo and her Little Big Band, is a teaser. It is an EP boasting just enough music (four songs) to generate interest. The same approach was used recently by Kristen Porter on her EP, By The Light of the Mood (Self Produced, 2010) with impressive success. This Lebo offering from 2004 provides all the information needed to embrace the character that is the singer.

Lebo introduces herself with the blues "On Time." This song may well be Lebo's theme song, occurring here in her Little Big Band splendor and then completely stripped down on Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots. Little Big Band may be a bit misleading because of the total absence of reeds and horns, Lebo opting instead for strings, the violin being a thread through all of her recordings. Add virtuoso banjo and mandolin and the band picture is complete. Lebo and band achieve a grand recreation of original western swing of the Midwest in the 1920s and 1930s, the country and western equivalent of big band jazz of the period.

Lebo's blues sensibility is completely intact as evidenced on "On Time" and the closer, Koko Taylor's "Please Don't Dog Me." She is sexy without being salacious, a tease willing to make good if good is what she gets. When Lebo sings, "The man who is careless, doesn't work hard / He'll never get employment, not in my shipping yard," you know she means business, generating not just a little interest in that "shipping yard." Instrumentally, the standout performances are the angular banjo solos by Pat Cloud, who outdoes Bela Fleck at his own serious game with humor and confidence.

The two middle tunes, the Arlen/Mercer "Accent-u-ate the Positive" and Louis Armstrong's "I Want A Butter and Egg Man" (both reprised on Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 2) are period pieces delivered with an intelligent wink and nod to both the past a future. Lebo's voice possesses the necessary peculiarity to make it both interesting and compelling. This brief whiff of a disc presents plenty of evidence that more Lebo need be heard.

Lawrence Lebo
Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 2
On the Air Records

The opening "Was That Love" almost sounds as if Lebo is going standard and producing just one more jazz recording. John Nau's piano is quite fine but where are those cool strings from the first recording. Well, Lebo doesn't hold out long before delivering. "You're My Thrill" features David Strother's sharp violin and Cheryl Saunder's perfectly placed acoustic guitar. No Django Reinhardt here, Saunder's playing is all American Eddie Lang shot into the 21st century. Lebo's own "It's not the First Time" is a swing blues acoustically propelled by husband/bassist Denny Croy and Saunders, seasoned with Strother's piquant Joe Venuti fiddle.

"I Want A Butter and Egg Man" reappears in a delightfully stripped down fashion that swings more freely than Lebo's previous interpretation, again because of the Croy/Saunders/Strother triumvirate. The antique remains with the song, but is well dusted off. The same effect is effected on a second rendition of "Accent-u-ate the Positive" where Croy, Saunders, Strother, and Lebo are sonically well separated in a scrubbed clean treatment of the song. Lebo serves Patsy Cline well with a boffo- splendid "Walking After Midnight." Again, performed as a trio backing the singer, Lebo establishes a "less is more" direction for her performance compared with Volume 1.

Lebo betrays her scat chops by introducing the sacred jazz relic "How High The Moon" with saxophonist Charlie Parker's famous re-imagining of the tune, "Ornithology." Lebo interpolates "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" deftly into the song in an arrangement that is simply over the top. There is a definite trend occurring between the first two volumes of Don't Call Her Larry, tending toward simpler, more spacious arrangements that retain the light, swinging momentum of larger bands.

But Lebo is not done yet. She closes Volume 2 with searing electric blues replete with horns and Nick Kirgo's slashing electric guitar. "(I'm Your) Christmas Present, Baby" is seriously sexy and a great indication of Lebo's original writing. The disc ends with a stomping "It's Not The First Time" that offers the a brilliant schizophrenic/creative juxtaposition of the two visions of the singer. Bravo!

Lawrence Lebo
Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots
On the Air Records

Save for the concluding two songs on Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 2, Lebo has been heading in a reductionist direction musically. On Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots she reaches minimalist nirvana with Denny Croy providing full-toned, perfect-time bass strumming. The subtitle shows a systematic approach Lebo takes toward presenting American music, specifically the blues, jazz, folk, and western swing, all color-coded on the jewel case back. She is a modern JS Bach, a musical taxonomist defining the genera of American music.

Lebo begins with the blues (though she classifies this as "jazz"), reprising "On Time" from Volume 1. The song here is a much different animal that on Volume 1. Lebo's blues singing is perfectly presented and Croy's bass is in tune with it. The pair achieve the same with a third performance of Lebo's "It's Not The First Time." While keeping the proceedings small, Lebo does expand things on her western swing tunes, "Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie" and "A Promise I Can Keep" with the inclusion of Rick Cuna's lap steel guitar and Mike Acosta's saxophones on the former, and Tony Mandraccia's guitar and Graig Fundyga's vibes on the latter.

The sole folk song here is Lebo's "Rose, Rose" sharing influences from the Civil War, Appalachia and the wide West. Bass, guitar and dobro (Rick Cunha) and accordion (Phil Parlapiano) paint a 19th century American panorama in 21st century colors. "Lawrence's Working Girl Blues" is the professional perspective contrast to Terrance Howard's character, DJay, in the movie theme "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle and Flow (Paramount, 2005). Accordion, bass, and voice present the contrast starkly.

Lebo does present standard jazz in Sammy Cahn's "I Should Care." Again, with Croy's bass as the only instrument save for Lebo's voice, the singer present the skeleton of the Great American Songbook, unadorned and that much more beautiful for it. She accomplishes the same with the reinterpretation of her own "Was That Love" from Volume 2. Lebo is at once establishing her book with songs that can endure multiple interpretations all that are creative and revealing. Her's is a talent fully realized, yet continuing to evolve in surprising ways. Please honor us with more, Lawrence Lebo.

Visit Lawrence Lebo on the web.

Tracks and Personnel

Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 1

Tracks: On Time; Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive; I Want A Big Butter and Egg Man; Please Don't Dog Me.

Personnel: Lawrence Lebo: vocals; Roy Zimmerman: msucial director; Jon Walmsley: acoustic guitar; Denny Croy: string bass; Bob Applebaum: mandolin; Pat Cloud: banjo; Miriam Mayer: violin; Dennis Fetchet: violin; Doug Hooper drums..

Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 2

Tracks: Was That Love; You're My Thrill; It's Not the First Time (Acoustic); Butter and Egg Man; Blue Line Blue; Walking After Midnight; How High the Moon; Accentuate the Positive; I'm Your Christmas Present Baby; Not the First Time (Electric).

Personnel: Lawrence Lebo: vocals; John Nau: keyboards; Nick Kirgo: electric guitar; Denny Croy bass; David Strother: violins; Kenny Sara: drums; Cheryl Saunders: acoustic guitar; Bob Sandman: saxophones.

Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots

Tracks: On Time; Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie; It's Not the First Time; Rose, Rose; Lawrence's Working Girl Blues; Was That Love; Walking the Back Streets; I Should Care; A Promise That I Can Keep.

Personnel: Lawrence Lebo: vocals; Denny Croy: basses; Rick Cunha: Lap Steel Guitar (2); Nicholas Kirgo: acoustic guitar and dobro (4); Tony Mandracchia: guitar (9); Phil Parlapiano: accordion; Steve Mugalian: drums; Larry David: piano; Mike Acosta: saxophones; David Strother: violin; Craig Fundyga: vibes.

- All About Jazz

"Lawrence Lebo and her Little Big Band Upstairs at the Improv, Santa Monica"

"...Ms. Lebo took complete control of the stage. She was a comfortable performer who worked her audience well, often times offering humorous as well as educational explanations for her choices. She had style, spunk and charisma. This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
-Pat Lewis - Music Connection Magazine

"Lawrence Lebo, Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots (2010)"

Lawrence Lebo, Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots (2010)

It takes some kind of self-confidence to tackle a bare-bones blues like H.J. Rome's "On Time" with nothing to hide behind but a walking bass. Lebo has the self-confidence, but more importantly she's got the timing, vocal precision and dramatic sense to bring her haunted/haunting sensibility to life. She works proudly in anachronistic forms like old-school folk and Western swing, which can be precious at times ("Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie") but more often is heartfelt and effective ("Rose, Rose"; "It's Not The First Time"). What's even more rare, her own tunes ("A Promise That I Can Keep"; "Lawrence's Working Girl Blues") sound as timeless as the standards she interprets (Sammy Cahn's "I Should Care"). Backing comes from Denny Croy (bass); Rich Cunha, Nicholas Kirgo and Tony Mandracchia (guitars); Steve Mugalian (drums), with touches of accordion and piano, though no one blocks Lebo's spotlight for long. (DBW)

- Wilson Alroy's Reviews

"Lawrence Lebo: "Don’t Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots" 01 Aug 10 Written by Rad Bennett"

Lawrence Lebo is a disarming singer from California who defies categorization. Essentially a jazz vocalist, she incorporates elements of blues, western swing, and folk for a result that’s better identified with her own name than any particular genre. Much of the time Lebo partners with just one instrument, the double bass of Denny Croy, who some readers might know as a bassist for the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The two play and sing hand in glove, with impeccable pitch and undeniable nuance. I liked every song on this CD, but the blues tracks, including "Lawrence’s Working Girl Blues," "It’s Not the First Time," and a superb version of "Walking the Back Streets," got to me the most. In the jazz vein, I’d pick the anguished "I Should Care," again a duet with Croy, and to represent western swing, there’s "A Promise I Can Keep," a Lebo original that uses the largest group of instruments, including vibes and violin.

The recorded sound is honest and clean with good frequency and dynamic response. The bass is especially well recorded, and the balance between bass and voice in the duets couldn’t be better. So "Don’t Call Her Larry." Instead, call Lebo brilliant and refreshing.
- Good Sound!


WDIY FM, Lehigh Valley, PA
WVTF FM, Roanoke, VA
THE VOICE 88.7 FM, Sacramento, CA
WNMC FM, Traverse City, MI
KSUY FM, Sonoma, CA
WCVF FM, Fredonia, NY
ALPHEN STAD FM, The Netherlands
KCSN FM, Northridge, CA
KTEP FM, El Paso, TX
KFJC FM, Los Altos Hills, CA
WAER FM, Syracuse, NY
KSDS FM, San Diego, CA
CKCU FM, Ottawa, Canada
WSHA FM, Raleigh, NC
WRIU FM, Kingston, RI
KRFC FM, Fort Collins, CO
WCLV FM, Cleveland OH
KUNM FM, Albuquerque, NM
RCV 99FM, Lillie, France
101.3 FM, Cape Town, South Africa - DON'T CALL HER LARRY, VOLUME 2

"BLUES Reviewed 06-23-2010 Lawrence Lebo Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots"

There is always room at the top for great blues. In the jungle of music out there, with all the monkeys and elephants closing in on you, it can be refreshing to have a blues bird sing in your ear. Lawrence Lebo is such a bird, and she can sing in my ear whenever she wants to.

"Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3" completes the blues trilogy Ms. Lebo has been working on with style. A brilliant collection for young and old, the songs evoke the past masters while inspiring the next wave of blues greats to follow suit. Easily the best album in the genre I have heard this year.

With equal parts Etta James and Bonnie Raitt, Lawrence Lebo's voice is made for the ages. She would have packed them in 60 years ago at the most happening spots out there, and her style should translate into quick chart dominance today.

Lawrence Lebo is on top of the world with no plans to go elsewhere. Give yourself the gift of her voice with her latest album tonight. I'd never call her Larry, but I will call her an instant classic.

Christopher Llewellyn Adams
5 stars - Cashbox Magazine

"Lawrence Lebo: Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3, American Roots (2010)"

For the most obsessive-compulsive of us, receiving a "Volume 3" of anything series without the previous volumes can cause certain discomfort, particularly if the said Volume 3 is as fine as singer Lawrence Lebo's Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3, American Roots. Having secured delivery of the other two volumes, I am presently considering Volume 3, which will become a part of a larger review of all volumes in All About Jazz.

Lawrence Lebo is a musical minimalist intent on framing American Roots music as its indivisible subatomic pieces, in the case of Volume 3 blues, jazz, folk and western swing. Her approach is deconstructive, and effort to strip away 50 years of interpretive veneer to expose the original genres in their most basic forms. One could cast her as a musical theologian formulating her systematic theology from the canon of American Music and not be far off of exactly how important.

Lebo is at her absolute best in the most stripped down of formats. Her duets with bassist Denny Croy reveal a keen ear for the music and presenting it in such a way allows the listener to the essence of songs, the lyrics and the swing. An example is "On Time," a sexy managerial take on what one appreciates most in a, er, "employee." Playful, smart, stripped to the bone, Lawrence Lebo's pilgrimage back to America is in full swing.
Posted by C. Michael Bailey at 8:48 PM
Labels: Music - 100 Degrees at Midnight A Blog on Culture and the Arts by C. Michael Bailey

"ON THE AIR LAWRENCE LEBO/Don't Call Her Larry V. 3-American Roots:"

This delightfully eclectic vocalist takes another left turn on her latest set card digging up more of a blues and folk set card than on past efforts. With a very intimate, close in feel to the recording, Lebo is right in the room with you delivering a personal, up close performance that takes you back to the blue lights in the basement vibe and makes you want to say things like ‘daddio'. A solid diversion that proudly goes it's own way, Lebo is in control of her action and it's a smart move for the listener to sit back and let her do her thing if those ears want to derive maximum enjoyment. Well done.
9654 - MIDWEST RECORD - Chris Spector

"LAWRENCE LEBO Don't Call Her Larry On The Air Records LL-001"

Ms. Lebo's first name aside, "Don't Call Her Larry" is a curiosity with four tunes at 45 rpm and a period backup, albeit an excellent one.

The singing, aside from a bit of shrillness on KoKo Taylor's "Please Don't Dog Me" is top drawer. "On Time" shows off Lebo's edgy, nasty-voiced blues approach and there's a bright, plaintive tone to "Butter and Egg Man". Overall, it's tunefull, assurred singing.

Lebo's Little Big Band, as it's billed, fits like a glove with some nice little solos from Applebaum's mandolin, Cloud's banjo and one of the violinists. Croy's bass keeps things moving.

For fun you might try passing off "On Time" as a remastered '20s blues recording. Some of your friends will be fooled.
Allen Scott - JazzTimes

"Lawrence Lebo and Her Little Big Band"

Take three parts 1940s influenced jazz and blues, two parts urban cowgirl, and one part chutzpa for trying to pull it off in the first place and the mixture should resemble the debut EP from Larrry .... I mean Lawrence Lebo. She sounds like what a daughter spawned by Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Wills might have.

"On Time" is a trip through a musical red light district, while "Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive" jumps a bit allowing some of Lawrence's coiled nostalgic-flavored vocal power to spring forth. Don't get me wrong, Lawrence is by no means a shouter. Power in this case signifies a rigid confidence in the delivery of her material.

Ms. Lebo is backed by a seven peice band of acoustic instrument-clad hepcats. Under the musical direction of Roy Zimmerman the country instrumentation of mandolin, banjo, fiddle and the like works extremely well. Pat Cloud's slinky solos are especially good.

This is an exciting record. In a business where imitation is favored over invention, it is refreshing to hear from an artist who is traveling on some uncharted waters.
John Bobey - Dirty Linen


LAWRENCE LEBO, BOBBY BRADFORD MO'TET ( Cafe Largo, 432 N. Fairfax Ave., (213) 852-1073) Lebo, who's debut release is "Don't Call Her Larry" backs her blues and and swing vocals with mandolin, violins, guitar and bass. Cornetist Bobby Bradford's adventurous Mot'et is also on the bill. 9 p.m. - Los Angeles Times

"DON'T CALL HER LARRY:Lawrence Lebo and Her Little Big Band"

This is a thoroughly eccentric but oddly appealing production on all counts: a 12" 45 rpm EP(!) by a young woman surnamed Lawrence singing throwback music: "On Time," "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive," "Butter and Egg Man," and "Please Don't Dog Me". The accompaniment is a nightclub stringband: two violins, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and drums. It ought to be a mess of undigested eclecticism, but it's slick stuff, authoritatively sung by Lawrence Lebo, who's smokey voice recalls Barbara Dane in her blues debut 25 years ago.

Ms. L. Lebo has a way with a song and has chosen four winners from across a wide gamut of early pop styles and forms, from the goofy vaudeville hokem of Percy Venebles and Louis Armstrong ("Butter and Egg Man") to Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen's jaunty post-WW-II bounce in "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive" to Koko Taylor's growly R&B monument, "Please Don't Dog Me." Lebo swings, has a good sense of voice color and a fine grasp of the mechanics of selling a classic pop tune. Her big little band percolates unobtrusively. If you like sophisticated swing and impeccae vocalese, track this one down.
William J. Shafer - The Mississippi Rag


September 28, 2012
Lawrence Lebo: The Best Of Don't Call Her Larry: Blues Mix
On The Air Records, CD

Lawrence Lebo: Happy Anniversary, Baby
On The Air Records, Single

Lawrence Lebo: Stop Shouting your Business
On The Air Records, Single

Lawrence Lebo:Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3:American Roots,
On The Air Records, CD

2004 Lawrence Lebo: don't call her Larry, volume 2, On The Air Records, CD

2004 Lawrence Lebo and Her Little Big Band: Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 1, On The Air Records, reissue EP CD

1989 Lawrence Lebo and Her Little Big Band: Don't Call Her Larry, On The Air Records, EP Vinyl (Out of print)



Lawrence Lebo

"Lebo remains of this country's greatest living blues singers ..." - LA WEEKLY

"Lawrence possesses one of the better female blues voices out there today."

Blues, Roots and a little jazz, LAWRENCE LEBO is one hot original mix of the traditional American musical pallet! Intellectually curious and stubbornly original, LEBO strives to explore American Blues & Roots music and develop her art in ways that defy categorization. She isn't rich. She isn't privileged. She isn't related to anyone famous. She's been a teenage bride and she's been a single mother. She's never had the help of an established record label or an agent. She does it all on her own and she stays in the game by relying on her talent.

If youre looking for a promoter, publicist, or a well-funded label to tell you whether to like LAWRENCE LEBO, look no further then her track record. LAWRENCE LEBO HAS ALWAYS RELIED ON THE STRENGTH OF HER MUSIC.

LAWRENCE LEBO was a successful self-releasing artist long before any artist dared consider doing such a thing! Long before everyone had a computer and access to the internet Ms. LEBO released her debut EP from the kitchen of her tiny rent-control apartment, using just a typewriter and her Roledex!!

ON THE STRENGTH OF HER MUSIC, that EP titled Lawrence Lebo and her Little Big Band: DONT CALL HER LARRY (Vol. 1) garnered national and international airplay, press, and landed Ms. LEBO a feature on NPRs WEEKEND EDITION SHOW.

In a career that has lasted over a couple of decades, LAWRENCE has followed up with 4 additional successful self-releases. On the heals of this success she brings her latest CD release. By request, and hand picked just for Blues lovers; THE BEST OF DONT CALL HER LARRY: Blues Mix.

Hailing form Southern California, singer/songwriter/composer LAWRENCE LEBO is an artist who is enthralled with and dedicated to American Blues & Roots Music. Ms. LEBO has worked long and hard at developing her craft. In addition to her more than 25 years experience as an accomplished vocalist, band leader and songwriter, LAWRENCE was driven to expand her education. In the 1980s, she had attended the vocal program at Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, California. With this educational background, a steady performance schedule and raising family, she returned to traditional academia in 2000, earning an Associate of Arts degree in music at Santa Monica College, and then transferring to UCLA to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree."An education at UCLA was not something I could afford, says LEBO.  But hard worked paid off. She received two of UCLAs highest honors, including a Regents Scholar and a Gold Shield Alumni Scholar, that covered her entire tuition. LAWRENCE proudly notes, however, The best part of my experience at UCLA was getting to study Duke Ellington under Professor Kenny Burrell. It just doesn't get any better than that! In the summer of 2005, LAWRENCE graduated from UCLA with Latin Honors and became the first in her family to graduate from higher education! Currently she teaches a Blues singing techniques workshop at world famous McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. LAWRENCE is listed as a Blues educator with THE BLUES FOUNDATION.

 Ms. LEBO can be found performing at events, festivals, night clubs and exclusive private parties. She can be found on the world wide web at For Booking Information or Press Kit contact On The Air Records at (818) 708-9565 or email at:

Band Members