Lawton Dunning Project - Steppin' It Up

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Classic Rock Productions
Catalog Number: 0951
Format: CD
Total Time: 62:20:00

Every once in a while you get a CD that you really don't have a clue about or what its going to sound like, then it catches you totally off guard and knocks your socks off. John Lawton & Steve Dunning's Steppin' It Up took me away lock stock and barrel right from the get go.

The album kicks off with an exploding blues rocker called "Still Paying My Dues." I thought that I may be in for a ride on the blues train, but that train went right off the tracks in a heartbeat, it was a one way trip. That was just fine with though, because each and every song that came after it was pure joy and pleasure for me. Lawton has a fine voice. He served as Uriah Heep's vocalist for a few years before leaving the group in 1979 to jump headlong into a solo career; he also recorded with Lucifer's Friend, a studio group, right through the 90s. His voice is tad rough around the edges yet it sounds great. He emotes the experience of a soul well traveled, one that really lives the music he sings. His partner in crime is no slouch either, Dunning plays one mean guitar and bass, he shows Lawton the way to take his compelling vocals. Keep in mind that this is all acoustic, but that's not a deterrent by any means. Even if you prefer electric guitar, you will find this album to be absolutely stunning. The music is filled with plenty of juice to keep your interest from beginning to end. Fans of prog-rock will be quite surprised and delighted with this, but an open mind is necessary. Most folks that listen to progressive rock are sophisticated and knowledgeable listeners, so I imagine this will all go over well, particularly with the folks from the Uriah Heep circles. Just wait until they all hear Ken Hensley's "Rain," its so dark and beautiful it will bring tears to your eyes.

I would love nothing more than hear more of these projects from John Lawton. The timing is certainly right on with all the great material that Uriah Heep has been releasing. This is a can't-do-without-it purchase, get it now.

Still Payin' My Dues (4:28) / Feelings (4:57) / Burning Ships (5:09) / Firefly/Come Back To Me (6:16) / Wise Man (3:52) / I'm Alive (4:58) / Rain (5:59) / Don't Kill The Fire (5:04) / Tonight (4:50) / Been Hurt (5:32) / Shoulder To Cry On (6:28) / One More Night (4:47)

John Lawton - all vocals, harmonica
Steve Dunning - all acoustic and electric guitar, bass
Phil Lanzon - all keyboards
Richmond Stockwell - drums/percussion
Steve Simmons - saxophone
Erol Sora - electric guitar, backing vocals
Graham Hulme - backing vocals


John Lawton - Heartbeat (1980)
John Lawton - Still Paying My Dues To The Blues (2000) Hensley Lawton Band - The Return (Live At The Heepvention 2000) (2000)
Lawton Dunning Project - Steppin' It Up (2002)
Lawton Dunning Project - One More Night (Live) (2002)
John Lawton Band - Shakin The Tale: Live 2003 (2004)

Genre: Other

Origin VA

Added: July 16th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 729
Language: english


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