They call themselves Lambo Law: Guitar Duet, and they are terrific. Jazz guitarists Neil Lamb and David Lawlor will be playing a free concert at Wiscasset Art Walk on Thursday, July 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. Look for them on a sidewalk in Wiscasset Village.
Both guitarists have played previously at Wiscasset Art Walk, Lamb as a guest musician, and Lawlor as a regular gallery performer. Although each musician has developed his own playing style, 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 explainedthat when he’s playing jazz guitar as a solo performer, he’s likely to interpret an arrangement very literally because he has to carry all the parts of the piece himself including the rhythm and the melody. “You have to keep the listener in mind and not play with breaks 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 be providing that musical continuity.
In a previous career as executive director of Mobius in Damariscotta for 18 years, music was a sideline for Lawlor, but after retirement, “music is kind of the main thing now.” That means, in addition to playing, Lawlor continues to take lessons when he feels it will help him gain new skills and improve what he already knows. “Maine is home to some excellent guitar players,” Lawlor said, and lessons with accomplished musicians help him push his music to higher levels. On the downside, there aren’t a lot of venues 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 coordinating music with visual arts feels right.”
One of Lawlor’s current musical projects is working with artist John Carnes to compose music complimentary to specific paintings by the Gardiner artist. For Lawlor, composing lets him explore a new concept or solve a technical challenge, but he emphasized that even a simple tune, a classic arrangement, can be added to and become more complicated. During a Lambo Law set, it’s usual to hear some original pieces mixed in with recognizable numbers by Lennon & McCartney, Sondheim, and Methany.
While the Midcoast abounds with talent, this is a rare opportunity to hear two exceptional jazz guitarists, playing together, in such an intimate and unusual setting.
The Wiscasset Art Walk on July 28 will also feature drum-making, rattle-making for kids (and their adults), an environmental display with a screech owl named Willow, fresh bouquets, and artists displaying their work – all on the sidewalks. In addition, visitors can spend the evening visiting galleries and shops, and enjoy the local scene along the Sheepscot River. Sparkling doorway streamers will mark the evening’s participants; free parking is plentiful.
Wiscasset Art Walk 2022 is made possible by the generosity of Lead 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 the Lilac Cottage, Red’s Eats, Rock Paper Scissors, and Sherri Dunbar/Tim Dunham Realty. Additional sponsor support comes from Cod Cove Inn.