Larry was born in 1950 in Ventura, CA, where the chicken farms were just starting to give way to the aeronautics industry. A spur of the South Pacific railroad ran just behind his house, and trains rolled by at noon and midnight. On the other side of the tracks were cows and alfalfa.
His Dad had been in the signal corps during the war, and transition into telemetry work for the growing aviation business, as a liaison between government reps and engineers, and eventually moved on to work with the Space Program.
This was a period where it could be argued that more people, through records, movies, and TV, heard the Country Music recorded in L.A. than from any other area of the U.S., including Nashville. The airwaves were full of the sounds of Buck Owens, the Everly Bros., Bob Wills, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the ever-present sounds of Mexican Conjunto Music. The radio stations in the San Fernando Valley played mostly country. The Okies, Arkies, and Texans who’d come West escaping the Dust Bowl were still a cultural influence. Even the rock and roll stations devoted a fourth of their playlists to country, but meant that Larry also got to hear the Beach Boys, who sang about the beaches on the other side of the foot hills. Topaka Canyon lay just a few miles away, but he wouldn’t hear about what was happening there until he was a little older.
In 1962, President Kennedy declared, “We choose to go to the Moon!” and a year later, Larry was in Arlington, MA, where his Dad was going to be working on the Apollo and Gemini projects over in Burlington. It was a tough adjustment for a boy about to head into adolescence. The Irish and Italian kids made fun of him for talking slow.
It was in Arlington, though, that Larry really started to explore music. His mother played clarinet in the house, and sang standards, teaching Larry that beautiful music was meant to be shared. Outside his home, he was exposed to the Cambridge Folk Music Scene, the Berklee Jazz Scene, and Celtic/Irish Music. At 15, he played his first gig in the basement of a church in Arlington Heights, near the Rez. Through high school, he played all over town. When he graduated, he headed off to UMass Amherst. That lasted six weeks, and then the road called him.
He did a six month stay in Tucson, where he started to write his own songs, then started touring everywhere east of the Mississippi, playing country, rock & roll, R&B. That was his college.
When he got back to Massachusetts, he was seasoned enough to do a nice long stint playing crossover country with local favorites John Lincoln Wright and the Sour Mash Boys.
Though Wright, he met Brian “Ol’ Sinc” Sinclair, the esteemed Hillbilly at Harvard himself. Ol’ Sinc was a blue-collar Maine guy who’d started the show while studying comparative languages at Harvard. A genius who who had successfully counted cards in Las Vegas, he was happiest goofing around on the show. Larry came to see him as a second father, and was devastated when Ol’ Sinc died too young in 2003. It has been a true honor for Larry to occasionally attempt to fill his shoes on the radio.
His work and music has taken him back and forth across the U.S. and Canada countless times, as well as to destinations in Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Wales and England. He toured Internationally with Irish artist Derek Warfield of the famed Wolfe Tones.
Larry lives in Cambridge now, and is lucky enough to be married to Jean Woodward, who continues to delight and amaze him every day. He released his first solo album this year, and continues to play all sorts of music all over the place. Come see him some time!