Cool and relaxed was Greg Laswell when he donned the stage of the House of Blues in Orlando Florida last Tuesday. If anyone could embody the feeling the House of Blues possesses, Laswell is it. With a thick and hazy voice that could soothe anyone into a relaxed state, and a raw talent that is hard to come by, Laswell stunned the audience into silence.
So deep were his lyrics that it made it hard not to feel a swell of emotion rise as he played and carried the audience on a journey of lost love and broken hearts. With songs such as “Off I Go” and “Your Ghost,” Laswell entranced the audience with his progressive build of the piano and the steady beat of the drum.
One of the many high points of Laswell’s performance was his cover of Cindy Lauper’s hit, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Before Laswell started the song, he told the story of a piece of email he received after performing this song. In the email, the not so happy sender reiterated how he despised the cover and as Laswell put it, “took his time explaining how much he hated me.” Hard to believe that anyone could hate this smooth singer-song writer, but never the less, this listener was not happy. Laswell responded to the letter saying he was very sorry that the man had wasted so much time saying how much he disliked the cover, and the man responded that, “it ‘s all good.” The crowd roared with laughter as Laswell gave heed that if you get hate mail you could end up with a new friend. And with that, Laswell proceeded to wow the audience once again with a cover that took the song into a completely modern and refreshing direction. Laswell’s version was slow and determined, adding a deeper dimension to the song.
Laswell ended his set with a song that would “cool your soul.” This phrase should be Laswell’s mantra for his music will not only bring you comfort, but will refresh and awaken your soul.
Words by Jessica Nguyen Photos by Dave Lapham of Dave Lapham Photography