By Nicole Fitzgerald
Who: Larry McCray
When: Friday, Feb. 9
Where: Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC)
Larry McCray’s lifestyle might be low key in a small Michigan town where traffic jams are a two-car wait at a stop sign.
However, his music is anything but, with aggressive rock-driven guitar spanning multiple genres of blues, R&B, soul and funk. Combined with no-frills honesty, McCray digs deep into the soul of Motown legends and the rock of rock ’n’ roll luminaries to deliver the real deal on Friday, Feb. 9 at the Garibaldi Lift Company.
“I don’t play my guitar the traditional way; there is a lot of Hendrix in there,” McCray said. “Blues is always played clean with more subtle tones than what I prefer. This is different. It’s the blues, but I refer to it as rock blues, something with an edgier element to it.”
This combination is the result of his family record collection spinning out everything from Muddy Waters, BB King and John Lee Hooker to Tina Turner, James Brown and Stevie Wonder.
His savage blues guitar combined with soulful vocals has travelled the world, touring solo as well as with the likes of Gregg Allman and Friends, and the Dickey Betts Band.
The road dog keeps busy with touring, side session studio work, compilation records and most recently the release of his new album, Get Your Blues On , on his own label Magnolia Records.
“My goal was to get a record on the market,” McCray said, noting his last album, Believe It , was released in 2000. “I think people can expect a certain amount of consistency with a good mix between the genres: blues, R&B, soul and funk all mixed into one.”
McCray always has something on the go. He is currently working with artists such as Karl Wethersbee, Bernard Allison and Lucky Peterson on his label.
“I want to get other people involved with us and build a reputation for putting out good honest, modern-day music. It’s the real deal.”