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“Singer-songwriter/ funky rootsy folk rock” may not roll off the tongue or physically fit into the genre column on iTunes, for that matter, but it’s the best way to describe the music of Massachusetts-based Sawyer Lawson. Centered on acoustic guitar and vocals, most of Lawson’s songs certainly have a folk side to them. But from that starting point, says Lawson, “my songs have a tendency to travel all over the place, and I have no intention of getting in their way.” He finds ample room for creative exploration in the blending of musical styles, and that variety of styles makes for exciting live performances that hold the audiences’ attention through the last chord.
Recently though, Lawson’s main focus has been on recording. With one EP under his belt from 2010, he is now working on his debut full-length album, scheduled for release this July 2014. The first single from the record, fan favorite, ‘The Driving Song,’ has been well received upon its recent release. “It’s one of those nice weather songs that will dig itself into your brain and you will be humming a week later and be glad you are,” in the words of Boston music blog, Red Line Roots. As the recording process wraps up, Lawson is eager to turn his focus back towards live performance. “In the studio, you have the opportunity to hone in on the core essence of a song down to the tiniest details,” he says, “but the closer I get to the finished product, the more I can’t wait to take these songs out on the road, let them evolve into different arrangements and renditions, and get them into the ears of real people right in front of me. After all, that’s what it’s all about.”
Born into a gigging family band, he started performing at the age of 6. The family business was the nationally acclaimed Blue Jay Recording Studio, where Lawson got to learn the ropes of the recording process, and make many of his own recordings. Growing up, he explored anything from classical to classic rock, to Celtic, blues, funk, bluegrass, jazz, and folk. He went for any instrument he could get his hands on. First it was drums and violin, and later he picked up guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and discovered he could sing.
As he got older, Lawson began to focus primarily on guitar and vocals, and this, he says, is really what opened up the world of songwriting to him. He soon realized that songwriting was the way he could put all his musical interests and skills together, drawing a little from here, a little from there, and crafting it into a polished creation. Says Lawson, “I strive to write genuine songs, and I want people to know that there’s a real person behind them.”