They’re called Lambo Law: Guitar Duet, and they’re great. Jazz guitarists Neil Lamb and David Lawlor will perform a free concert at the Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, July 28 from 5-8 p.m. Look for them on a sidewalk in Wiscasset Village.
Both guitarists have previously performed on the Wiscasset Art Walk, Lamb as a guest musician and Lawlor as a regular gallery artist. Although each musician has developed their own style of playing, with Lawlor playing a six-string pick style, Lamb a seven-string finger style, when they come together they speak the same musical language.
Lawlor explained that when playing jazz guitar as a solo performer, he is likely to interpret an arrangement very literally as he has to carry all parts of the piece himself, including rhythm and melody. “You have to keep the listener in mind and not mess with pauses or lose rhythmic continuity.” But when playing with a partner like Lamb, he can improvise more with a solo because he knows his playing partner will provide that musical continuity.
In a previous career as executive director of Mobius at Damariscotta for 18 years, music was a sideline for Lawlor, but after his retirement “music is kind of the main thing now”. This means that in addition to playing, Lawlor continues to take lessons when he thinks it will help him learn new skills and improve on what he already knows. “Maine is home to great guitarists,” Lawlor said, and lessons with accomplished musicians help him push his music to new levels. On the other hand, there are not many places for jazz guitarists. And that brings Lawlor to Wiscasset Art Walk. “Art galleries are perfect. There’s not a lot of noise, it’s a quieter environment, and the coordination of music with visual arts just feels right to me.
One of Lawlor’s current musical projects involves working with artist John Carnes to compose complementary music to specific paintings by artist Gardiner. For Lawlor, composing allows him to explore a new concept or solve a technical challenge, but he pointed out that even a simple tune, a classic arrangement, can be added and become more complicated. During a Lambo Law set, it’s usual to hear original tracks mixed in with recognizable numbers from Lennon & McCartney, Sondheim and Methany.
While the Midcoast is brimming with talent, it’s a rare opportunity to hear two exceptional jazz guitarists play together in such an intimate and unusual setting.
The Wiscasset Art Walk on July 28 will also feature drum making, rattle making for children (and their adults), an environmental exhibit with a scops owl named Willow, fresh bouquets and artists displaying their work, all on the sidewalks. Plus, visitors can spend the evening visiting galleries and shops and enjoying the local scene along the Sheepscot River. Glittering banners will mark the participants of the evening; free parking is plentiful.
Wiscasset Art Walk 2022 is made possible through the generosity of Title Sponsors Donna and Frank Barnako and Major Sponsors Ames True Value, Big Barn Coffee, BIRCH Home Furnishings & Gifts, Bradbury Art & Antiques, Carriage House Gardens, First National Bank, Fogg and Dalton Art Restoration, Industrial ME, J. Edward Knight Insurance, Newcastle Realty, Ozias, Peter Eaton at Lilac Cottage, Red’s Eats, Rock Paper Scissors and Sherri Dunbar/Tim Dunham Realty. Additional sponsor support comes from Cod Cove Inn.
For more information about Wiscasset Art Walk, visit www.wiscassetartwalk.org or email [email protected] Wiscasset Art Walk is a program of Wiscasset Creative Alliance.