Q&A with Texas-based blues musician Larry Lampkin, passionate singer and unique guitarist, writes songs about everyday life experiences

"Blues music is about humanity. This music helps us get through the highs, the lows, the joy and the pain. I believe we need good blues music like we need good Healthcare."

Larry Lampkin: Funky Blues Man

Larry Lampkin is an American blues musician from Fort Worth, Texas. He is a passionate singer and unique guitarist who writes and performs songs about everyday life experiences. He is greatly influenced by the Delta, Chicago and Texas blues from which he has crafted his own Rock and Soul Blues style. He has released three LP recordings titled “When I Get Home”, “The Blues Is Real” and "Keep Doing What You Do." Larry’s recordings has received immense air play and positive reviews from international and national media. Larry Lampkin is a prodigious talent musician. With four albums by his own, the first was “When I Get Home” in 2011, he has made a place for himself in the professional U.S. blues circuit. With the lessons that he learned from his neighbor UP Wilson in his teens, Lampkin grew up in bands like those of Vernon Garret or Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, to finally start his own career.                   (Photo: Larry Lampkin)

There is no doubt that Larry Lampkin is committed to delivering the ultimate experience to the fans of blues music with his latest LP release “Funky Blues Man” (2020). Larry Lampkin talks about his music, Texas Blues, and Vernon Garrett’s band.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues/Soul/Rock music influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

I realized I was chosen to be a blues musician when I found its spiritual connection. Being a blues artist puts me in touch with people’s soul. I can sometimes read and feel when people are going through something, even if they are strangers. It’s an unexplained connection. I guess you can call it a gift. Being a blues musician continues to open my eyes to not just see my world, but to see inside of others. I’ve realized through my journey as a blues artist that this music is a universal language.

How do you describe your sound and songbook? Where does your creative drive come from? What's the balance in music between technique and soul/emotions?

I would describe my sound as Rock & Soul Blues. I would define my songbook as organic. I write songs about everyday life. I also love to write songs about having a funky blues party. I do not have a particular format to the way I create my music. Sometimes I write the lyrics first and sometimes the music comes first. I keep a small recorder with me because sometimes I have music or lyrics come to me while I’m out and about in the world. I am not a technical artist. I like to hire a good studio engineer and co-producer to handle the technical stuff. I’ve learned to record myself but everything I do is coming from my heart. My thing is if it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right.

Why do you think that the Texas Blues music continues to generate such a devoted following?

I believe Texas blues music has become a culture of its own. I believe historically and even today Texas has produced some prolific blues artists, and they have left some big footprints around the world. We continue to have many musicians reference Texas blues as a big influence on their musical journey. I feel that Texas blues music continues to evolve but still holds true to its authentic style.

"I have learned that everything in this music world will continue to change and continue to have its challenges.  We must remind ourselves that music is made for the people, and if we stay true to that, we will prevail." (Photo: Larry Lampkin)

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

I would like to say that when I met the members of Vernon Garrett’s band, this was the beginning of my blues education. This is where I began to travel and learn how to perform live blues and soul concerts. I had the privilege to meet and watch legendary blues artists while performing with Vernon Garrett. I would also later record and perform my solo projects with Vernon’s band including Joe McClure - Bass, Stephen Cleveland- drums, and the late great Richard Corsey- keyboards. I learned a lot from those guys as well.  Some of the best advice I was given was from UP Wilson. He told me, some folks will not like what you do, and some will love what you do, so just keep on doing what you do.

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I really miss a lot of the veteran blues and soul artists because they were so cool, inside and out. They gave you everything on the stage and loved to share the wisdom. I miss going out any night of the week listening to blues musicians at the local clubs. I wish we could fill more clubs and venues with live music again and all the musicians could get paid fairly. I fear that because of the internet and social media that some musicians and fans will not support live music as much. On the other hand, I am also very optimistic because as my band and I currently perform live shows, we witness new fans fall in love with blues music. My band, “The Blues Handlers”, consist of James Weatherspoon-bass, Jeremiah Clewis - Drums, and Pam Williams- Keyboards

What is the impact of Blues on the socio-cultural implications?  How do you want it to affect people?

Blues music is about humanity. This music helps us get through the highs, the lows, the joy and the pain. I believe we need good blues music like we need good Healthcare.

"I believe Texas blues music has become a culture of its own. I believe historically and even today Texas has produced some prolific blues artists, and they have left some big footprints around the world. We continue to have many musicians reference Texas blues as a big influence on their musical journey. I feel that Texas blues music continues to evolve but still holds true to its authentic style." (Photo: Larry Lampkin)

John Coltrane said "My music is the spiritual expression of what I am...". How do you understand the spirit, music, and the meaning of life?

My music is the mirror of my heart and soul. It is my quest to produce the art of love and understanding to the universe.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths? 

I have learned that everything in this music world will continue to change and continue to have its challenges.  We must remind ourselves that music is made for the people, and if we stay true to that, we will prevail.

Larry Lampkin - Home

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