Photo by Mike Melnyk
The self-proclaimed "King of King of Prussia, PA," now living in self-imposed exile in Sausalito, CA, Larry has been singing and performing since the early 1970s, when his first band played "Sympathy For The Devil" by the Rolling Stones at a contest at a local church. With such an inauspicious debut, one can easily see where his sense of humor was born.
Playing rock and roll in his early days, he "stumbled" (it was a surefire way to make money) across bluegrass and country music in the rural college town of State College, PA, where he attended Penn State University in the mid 70s. It was there that he learned to play bluegrass and the standup bass. He also began writing songs and performing solo, playing the coffeehouse circuit as well as some festivals.
In 1979, the lure of warmer climes and a broader music market found him moving west to San Francisco, and in 1981 he began (and still is) playing bass in a band with Dr. Elmo, the man responsible for the annual Christmas hit "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." This band today is called Wild Blue.
Listening to Larry's songs, you can tell that he has been influenced a bit by the zany doctor's antics and advice. Along with his longtime gig with Dr. Elmo, he also has a delightful country duo where he plays guitar with another former Pennsylvanian, Claudia Hampe, and together they are called Keystone Crossing. They also have a five-piece bluegrass band called Keystone Station.
From "Sympathy For The Devil" to "Grandma," and with tongue planted firmly in cheek more often than not, Larry Carlin's view of the world is a tad different from most, yet one thing is for certain -- he is one of the most entertaining and busiest performers around.
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