Grammy winner set to perform in HuntingburgApril 9, 2015
By CANDY NEAL
Herald Staff Writer
Grammy Award winner Larry Mitchell will be performing in Huntingburg this weekend.
Mitchell and his band, The Larry Mitchell Band, will perform Saturday evening at Ron’s Place, 504 N. Van Buren.
In his career, Mitchell has toured the world, playing guitar with well-known artists including singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, rock musician Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek, former leader of rock band the Cars, and Spanish musician Miguel Bosé.
“I just turned 50 in December, but I feel like I’m 30 some days and 90 on other days,” he said. “It depends on how many shows I have back-to-back.”
Mitchell, who lives in Alabama now, has been playing music since his childhood.
“I’ve been playing guitar since I was 9 years old,” he said. “I never really gave anything else much thought. For a moment, I wanted to play basketball. Chronic asthma and bronchitis stopped that before it ever started.”
He developed his sound — a blend of rock, funk, jazz and blues — through his surroundings.
“I grew up with all kinds of music,” he said. “My mom listened to R&B and country, some classical, too. Really young, I discovered ‘Hee Haw,’ the TV show with Roy Clark, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. I got into Van Halen and Prince in high school.”
He was able to translate his diverse tastes into his music.
“In New York City, playing guitar for a living, you have to embrace almost everything,” he said.
Mitchell’s career has been as diverse as his tastes. As an artist, Mitchell has released six solo records and won a San Diego Music Award for best pop jazz artist. As a producer-engineer, he’s won 26 New Mexico Music Awards in various categories such as pop, adult contemporary, rap, rock, country and Native American. He won a Grammy Award for producing, engineering and performing on “Totemic Flute Chants,” the album by Johnny Whitehorse, also known as Pueblo musician Robert Mirabal.
The Larry Mitchell Band is a dynamic group that blends rock, funk, jazz and blues into a melodic frenzy. The trio features Russ Garner on the drums and Austin Solomon on the bass, and Mitchell on the guitar, creating Prince-inspired funk solos and melodic rhythms.
Mitchell enjoys working with artists in different music genres.
“I produce singer-songwriters and Native American artists,” he said. “I’ve produced country, rap, adult contemporary, new age and folk artists. I like good artists, no matter what type of music they play.”
His favorite new artist at this time is English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
“I first heard his music on the end of ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" movie soundtrack. I bought that single, ‘I See Fire,’ on the way out of the theater,” Mitchell said. “His voice is awesome. He has mad skills, too.”
Mitchell’s latest projects include joining Stewart Copeland, who was the drummer for rock band The Police.
“He’s one of my all-time favorite drummers, so that’s awesome,” Mitchell said. “I’m so looking forward to playing live with that band.”
He would love to work with Peter Gabriel and Reba McEntire sometime.
“I’d also love to play with Ed Sheeran,” he added.
Although the music business keeps him busy, he can’t see himself doing anything else.
“Every business is hard. But if you love what you do then its worth it,” he said. “I love what I do so I won’t let that stop me.”
Hearing from appreciative fans also helps to keep him going.
“All the letters and emails I get on how a song or a performance someone saw greatly effected their life, that’s intense,” he said. “Someone comes along and I see how sharing my music impacts someone else. I can’t begin to describe how awesome that is and how humbling it is.”
Saturday’s show at Ron’s Place will also include performances by dancer Topher Hays, rock band Livin’ Loud and performer Marvin Troesch.
The show is produced by Inkspot Productions, LLC, the company that also produces the St. Meinrad ROCKS Fest in each fall. The fifth annual festival will be Sept. 25 and 26.
There is no cover charge for Saturday’s show at Ron’s Place.
Contact Candy Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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