Last month I stepped into an incredibly crowded Prophet Bar for a much anticipated EP release of local music veteran Larry g(EE) with high expectations. To put it mildly, they were met – and then some.
Larry first appeared on my radar several years ago fronting a band called Odis. Sadly for their fans the group disbanded in 2010. Luckily, though, the 36-year-old Texas native didn’t do something crazy like scoot off to L.A. Instead, he took a little time to find a different voice and has reemerged as a strong and ridiculously unique solo act.
I recently sat down with Larry at Vickery Park to talk about the release of his recent EP Weekends, his adoration of Amy Winehouse’s voice, and recent travels to New York City.
Weekends is a clever take on traditional soul full of backup singers and brass. “I really love pop, but I have a knack for soul,” he says citing James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse as the sources of constant inspiration. The four songs on the EP are energetic and funky focusing mostly on the ladies but with a less tumultuous way. “Odis’s album was a lot about heartache and relationship drama. This is a lighter expression, of the freedom of doing my own thing,” he says while discussing ‘I’m Your Fool,’ the second track on Weekends.
The tracks ‘Yo Mama’ and ‘Camera Phone’ were born out his recent visits to New York City, specifically Brooklyn. “I wrote ‘Camera Phone’ after a long night with my brother-in-law Steve in NYC,” he says. There is a line about missing the L Train to Brooklyn in the first line followed by a mischievous chorus about what one may or may not do with a camera phone. In the UBER catchy ‘Yo Mama’ Larry gives us his take on girls who like to date bad-boy musicians. “Because I’m not one of them I decided to live vicariously through a song acting as one,” he chuckles. “I’ve heard a number of stories through friends, on both sides of the fence, really, and just took from those experiences and ran with it. I would be lying too if I didn’t say I’ve had my share of ‘mothers’ who didn’t necessarily agree with their daughter dating a musician.”
The EP was produced by Beau Bedford, a local producer and incredibly free spirit who is making quite the name for himself around town. “I met Beau when he was playing with Johnathan Tyler and the Northern Lights,” says Larry. After working on the album of a mutual friend together Larry said he was so impressed he became interested in what Beau could do for his newly emerging solo sound. Their collaboration has extended to the outright celebration that is the live show as Beau serves as both keyboardist and guitarist as well as band leader giving the entire extravaganza the feel of James Brown’s voracious routine.
If you wouldn’t class yourself as a soul fanatic Larry is still a good bet. His music carries the chip-on-the-shoulder of contemporary hip-hop and more than shines through during the live stuff where every number is a showstopper.
During our conversation Larry made it clear that he’s in this to play seriously for as long as it takes. He has a degree in Corporate Communications from Southwestern and lived in California as an HR person pulling in a good salary. The call to be an artist prompted his return to Dallas and he now lives exclusively on what he pulls in as an artist. “It’s a hustle. But it’s a humble hustle. Right now I know exactly what lane I’m in as an artist. I’ve grown up and am more focused but, don’t get me wrong, I still have a good time!” When asked if he plans on sticking around or moving to New York he says, “I think it’s fair to say I’ll be here for a minute. I’ll be here for a while.”
Check out his music on his website: www.larry-gee.com or get his EP Weekends on iTunes.