The Laws: In perfect musical — and marital — harmony
There’s something special happening every Wednesday night at The Crow’s Nest at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort in Captiva – and if you’re lucky enough to be in the general vicinity, what a treat for the senses awaits you.
No, we’re not talking about ‘Tween Waters’ legendary spa treatments or renowned culinary delights. This treat will tickle your eardrums with some of the very best musical harmonies you’ve ever heard, all wrapped up in some fabulous acoustic guitar accompaniment.
Owing to Southwest Florida’s breathtaking sunsets and a diversity of people and cultures from all over the world, Canadian singer-songwriting team John and Michele Law are taking a break from their busy touring schedule to enjoy this Southwest Florida paradise, and their local performances combine those legendary harmonies with an intimate encounter with the artists.
“We tour full-time, playing listening rooms all across North America, so when we come to ‘Tween Waters, we try to make our shows intimate … talk about where the song ideas come from, share road stories,” explained Michele. “It’s an opportunity for us to get to know our audience and for the audience to get more insight into our song-writing process. We’ve made great friends from all over the country on this beautiful island.”
Although their music has been classified by some as “original roots country,” their style runs the gamut from bluegrass to pop and from folk to blues.
“That’s the million-dollar question!” exclaimed Michele when asked about the duo’s musical style. “It’s Americana… We love so many different styles of music, and that is reflected in our songwriting and show.”
Among their many musical influences, the couple does not discount all the songs that they grew up listening to on the radio, as well as their parents’ musical collections.
“My father had two albums,” explained John. “Johnny Cash’s ‘Walk the Line’ and Roger Miller’s ‘Greatest Hits.'”
While Michele’s father’s taste ran to opera, which he also sang, her mother preferred more of a folk-style artist such as Gordon Lightfoot or Carole King.
“Our parents are, of course, our biggest fans,” said Michele.
John’s first guitar a black acoustic, just like Johnny Cash’s was a gift to him from his parents at the age of 14, and although both he and Michele were treated to musical lessons as children John on the guitar and Michele on the piano both consider themselves to be self-taught musicians. John’s mastery now includes the guitar, mandolin and harmonica, while Michele handles the guitar as well as the bass guitar.
Having now gained celebrity through their performances on stages throughout America, Canada and Australia, the husband-and-wife duo have been prominently featured on “Country Music Television,” as well as “Entertainment Tonight Canada.” A new PBS broadcast, called “Legends & Lyrics,” refers to the couple as “rising stars.”
Indeed, one cannot read a review of The Laws without encountering a mention of the couple’s compelling harmonies.
“We love harmony singing,” said Michele, who developed her talents in that regard in her parents’ kitchen in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. “My sisters and I sang harmony while we were doing dishes.”
John and Michele met about 15 years ago at a party where John’s band had been engaged to entertain.
“We passed in a doorway, our eyes met, and it was love at first height!” joked Michele with a smile, eluding to the couple’s lofty stature. “We’re both tall.”
Their first gig together was on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada.
“It’s an island off the coast of Vancouver inhabited by hippies and rock stars,” Michele added. “It was the first time that we played only our original songs and the audience loved it! We never looked back.”
Ten years later, there really no need to look back as the couple continues to make music headlines all across the globe. Although many married couples would find challenges in working together, The Laws find only benefits to the arrangement.
“We love being able to travel together,” said Michele. “We get to share all of the adventures, excitement and challenges really all our dreams and achievements.”
Despite playing venues in several different countries throughout the years, The Laws count one of their recent Southwest Florida performances on the stage near the lake at Miromar Outlets among their most memorable.
“There was water-skiing practice going on directly behind the stage,” explained Michele. “It’s hard to keep the audience (engaged) when there is a girl in a bikini with her foot holding the tow rope, arms in the air in a ‘ta-da!’ pose, passing back and forth behind us!”
And just when you start to believe you’re in the presence of something really special, you discover there’s even more like a ruby concealed beneath the diamond in the jewelry box.
“Did we mention we have a cookbook available for download on our Web site?” asked Michele before departing, somewhat as an afterthought. If anything could be remotely equal to the pleasure of The Laws’ musical harmonies, perhaps it can be found in the delights of superb cuisine upon the palate.
In an interesting and unique convergence of talents, John and Michele Law also offer two-hour pasta-making workshops to eager audiences in their travels. From spaghetti to fettuccini to ravioli and “delicious sauce from scratch,” the couple beats eggs, flour and other ingredients into a meal fit for a king, with tasting samples for all who attend.
With more than 100 original songs under their belts and five CDs recorded, with a sixth on the way and apparently a cookbook full of pasta and other recipes the myriad talents of John and Michele Law are really a feast for the senses.
For more information, as well as a video of the couple in action, visit The Laws official Web site at www.thelaws.ca.