‘Phish on a Texas country high’
LARRY bringing unique mix of music to Wolf Den
Steamboat Springs — He isn’t in the band, but he is a real person although his name is not Larry.
Larry (real name Patrick) started as a code name for the man who helped six guys from Texas come together to play spaced-out and Cajun-style jams.
“We opened for a band called Fungus and I guess we needed a name. We laughed and I guess it just stuck,” said lead vocalist Jeff Bradberry of naming the band in remembrance of the friend. “It’s definitely become who we are.”
LARRY’s mix of jazz, funk, blues, Latin, Tex-Mex and Cajun has landed the band recognition by area newspapers and music charts. The Houston Chronicle reported LARRY was “like Phish on a Texas country high.”
But Bradberry would not categorize their music because he said the band is open to anything.
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Seven years ago, Bradberry quit his job in San Antonio, Texas, and moved to Austin, Texas, to vocally lead a band that is just now starting to prosper.
With their second CD, “Among Friends,” having just been released on Lauan Records in November, LARRY has found the method that makes them tick feeding off the fans.
They don’t need a crowd of 1,000 people to stick tight guitar riffs or find a unique sound with the harmonica and washboard. Whatever the people want usually is what they get, Bradberry said.
“We just let things take their course,” Bradberry said. “We were just all friends jamming. There’s one thing, we’re all in this together.”
But what makes LARRY unlike any other jam band?
Because their passions derive from the music and the fans, Bradberry said improvising always creates a unique lineup.
“Sometimes jam bands have a set course and are too focused on each other,” Bradberry said. “We use (the fans’) energy to see where the music goes. We never do a set list.”
He didn’t go to music school to learn the washboard, but Bradberry said it’s an instrument that draws in the crowd and gets them involved.
Like Joe Cocker, Bradberry said he began sliding his fingers around on his chest while singing and was surprised when other band members purchased a washboard for him about five years ago.
“I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing. I can get up there and scratch that thing though,” Bradberry said. “I’m from Baton Rouge and I’ve got a lot of Cajun roots.”
Within the seven years, some LARRY members have come and gone, but Bradberry said the band really got started on a good foot three years ago.
“We got a new bass player and that changed everything,” Bradberry said.
Not only did sounds and styles mature, but the 20- and 30-something band members did, too.
“We were always serious about playing music but we never took ourselves seriously,” Bradberry said. “Business-wise we got a lot more professional.”
Spreading Texas-seasoned blues and jazz through the state has left LARRY twinkling in the eyes of those who crave the extra spaced-out style of a jam band or the Delta blues sounds of a sweet harmonica mixed with a zesty washboard flavor.
Bradberry said some of his musical influences include the Grateful Dead, Michael Hedges, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Buddy Holly from his childhood and Cat Stevens.
“As a singer, he put so much feeling into his lyrics,” Bradberry said, adding he also thinks it’s important to believe in what you sing.
Although LARRY is just a fictitious name, the band is Bradberry, Rick Cannon on harmonica, Tom Vickers on right guitar, Tom “Fee” Watts on left guitar, Bob Perkins on bass and Andy Vickers on drums.
Bradberry said “Fee” just kind of stuck also.
LARRY will spend the first half of January touring through Colorado before heading back home to the Lone Star State.
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