New Album Review: Blue Largo
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Artist: Blue Largo
Album: Got To Believe
Blue Largo was formed by guitarist Eric Lieberman and vocalist Alicia Aragon in 1999. It is a classic sounding soul band that occasionally flirts with Americana, Reggae, Country and Blues on their fifth album, Got To Believe. The production on the album is a throwback to the soul sounds of the 60's and 70's with lots of horns, reverb and an overall live feeling. This is a band that I imagine in a sweaty bar with a brick wall, neon signs and warm beer that has the dance floor shaking.
Although this eleven song set of songs is definitely a soul effort, they stray from the classic soul blueprint and dig into a solid straight blues track, What We Gotta Do and a Reggae piece, Disciple of Soul. Even a classic Nashville sounding country cut, Sante Fe Bound is something Dolly Parton would have recorded. They deliver all three convincingly, showing a deep musical vocabulary rooted in blues and soul but able to stretch quite comfortably into uncharted territory for most soul bands.
One of my favorite songs Soul Meeting is a mid tempo sizzler that would sound right at home in the cult classic film Eddie and The Cruisers. For a group of fine musicians from Southern California they sure sound like they cut their teeth on the Jersey Shore in 1966. There is patience and a sense of content in this song that I can't quite put into words, but is glaringly obvious as it comes out of my speakers.
Got To Believe is another song that was a standout for me. Years ago I read that Doo Wop was born from singers that couldn't afford to pay horn sections so they sang the horn parts. The horn line in this song sounds just like something that would've been happening in the streets of Detroit or Philadelphia in the late 50's with young singers that were too talented to be ignored. It is topped off with concise and tasteful sax and guitar solos that are a bullseye for the genre.
My favorite song is Rear View Mirror. Another mid tempo easy listen that tells the story of someone looking back at their life. Not in regret, but in fond memory of the things that are behind them. The band lays down a subtle musical soundscape that reminded me a bit of the soul standard People Get Ready.
This album has all the ingredients of classic soul and then some. It feels like a group effort with everyone getting their moment in the sun. The musicians create a platform for a more than competent vocalist to shine. The songs transport the listener back in time to the early days of rock and roll. Days when the colors of cars were more important than how many miles they got to the gallon. A time that post war Chicago Blues was being twisted into something more refined, but still soulful. Keeping just enough grit to be real, but adding some sparkle and creating a timeless sound that would talk to the next generation of listeners.
Vocals: Alicia Aragon
Guitar: Eric Lieberman
Piano: Taryn "T-Bird" Donath
Drums: Marcus P. Bashore
Bass: Mike "Sandlewood" Jones
Saxophone: Dave Castel De Oro and Eddie Croft
Check out the artist interview!
Tell us the brief history of your band or musical career.
I started playing guitar in 1965, when I was nine years old, after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. And I’ve never loved anything as much ever since.
I was always in rock bands since high school, but I discovered real blues in 1981, at age twenty five, and that became my passion and focus for the next three decades.
I formed Blue Largo with vocalist Alicia Aragon in 2000, and for our first fifteen years we primarily played traditional urban blues by such artists as T Bone Walker, B.B. King, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Julia Lee and Louis Jordan. But sometime around 2014, without really intending to do so, I wrote a couple of songs, and we released three albums between 2015 and 2022, “Sing Your Own Song,” “Before the Devil Steals Your Soul,” and most recently “Got To Believe,” all of which consist of mostly original songs. Our music also changed somewhat stylistically with our original songs because they they are more in the vain 1960’s soul and gospel, rather than traditional 1940’s / ‘50’s blues. “Got To Believe” even has a reggae song and a country song on it.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
After seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, I saw The Beach Boys with Brian Wilson in ‘65, The Who (opening for Herman’s Hermits) in ‘66, The Jefferson Airplane in ‘67 and The Doors with Jim Morrison in ‘68. But I was never so emotionally moved or inspired as when I heard four long haired Jersey Shore (where I grew up) kids playing in a band called Steel Mill in 1970. That band consisted of Danny Federici (Hammond organ), Vinnie Lopez (drums), Steve Van Zandt (bass) and Bruce Springsteen playing guitar and singing. So I believe that’s where my passion for playing music really took hold, and both Bruce and Steve have remained two of my greatest inspirations for the next fifty two years, both musically and personally.
My main influences as a guitar player would be T Bone Walker, Bill Jennings, Grant Green, early B.B. King, early Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Moore, Peewee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Charlie Christian, Freddy King, Anson Funderburgh, Ronnie Earl, Jimmie Vaughan, Kid Ramos, Rick Holmstrom, Hollywood Fats and Junior Watson. Although not quite as consciously, I’d say my main influences as a song writer, would probably be Steve Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Dylan, Jackson Browne, and Van Morrison.
My parents have been the greatest non musical influences in my life. They taught me the invaluable lessons of kindness, thoughtfulness, humility, and hard work and dedication in all of my endeavors.
What album has had the greatest impact on your life as a musician?
That’s really hard to narrow down, but as a guitar player I guess I could at least narrow it down to three, which would be T Bone Walker’s “The Complete Imperial Recordings,” B.B.’s all instrumental album called “Spotlight On Lucille,” and Freddy King’s “Hideaway.” I’d say I learned my basic vocabulary for playing guitar from these three albums. That being said, I’ve studied the hell out of albums by all of the guitar players listed above, and have broken the rewind buttons on several cassette decks doing so!
Is there a particular song that has resonated with you for a long time?
I’d say there are many, many songs that have resonated with me for a long time! Just a handful of them are all the songs on Bruce Springsteen’s second album “The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle,” most of the songs on “Born To Run” and “Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” Steve Van Zandt’s first solo album “Men Without Women,” most of the songs on Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde On Blonde” albums, most of the songs on Jackson Browne’s “Late For The Sky,” “Running On Empty” and “The Pretender” albums, most of the songs on Bob Marley’s first three albums, “Catch A Fire,” “Burnin’” and “Natty Dread,” T Bone Walker’s Strollin’ With Bone and T Bone Jumps Again, Gatemouth Brown’s Okie Dokie Stomp, pretty much all of Freddy King’s guitar instrumentals, and most of B. B. King’s songs from the 1950’s through the mid sixties.
What’s your favorite accomplishment as a musician thus far?
Again, it’s hard for me to pin down these things to just one, but if I really think about it, it’s probably knowing that since 1988 I’ve had three very well respected bands, The Rhumboogies (1988-1990), The Juke Stompers (1990-1996) and Blue Largo (2000-present.) I also feel very honored that some of my favorite guitar players, Robby Eason, Nathan James and Scottie Blinn all claim that I have been a big influence on them when they were first starting out in their musical careers. That being said, the tables have now turned, and I am constantly inspired and influenced every time I hear them play.
Tell me about your favorite performance in your career.
My favorite performances have been the ones where I felt the band was playing at it’s very best, at its ultimate peak, and not necessarily the biggest or most important high profile shows. Throughout the years I’ve played in front of several thousand people at blues festivals, opened up for such artists as B.B. King, Gatemouth Brown, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, Little Charlie & The Nightcats and Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, and we’ve had a big record release party for each of our five albums. But right now the performance that stands out as being most special for me was an ordinary Monday night, August 15, 2022, at a local venue in San Diego called Humphrey’s Backstage. And that’s because for whatever reason, the band played so exceptionally good that night. I’d probably consider it one of the best five nights of my fifty year musical career. There’ve only been a handful of nights like that for me throughout the years, but that’s exactly what makes them so special. In fact, when I’m driving home late at night from one of these rare shows, I might think to myself that if I got into an accident and it all ended right then and there, it wouldn’t be such a bad note to end on! That being said, I’m glad I’m still here, hoping for the next show that gives me that same feeling!
What's the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
In 1976, I had a band in Gainesville, Florida called Mystic Raven, and at the ripe young age of twenty one or thereabouts, we thought we had a chance of “making it,” whatever that is. I was visiting my parents in Asbury Park, New Jersey that summer, and I gave Bruce Springsteen, who I had known a little bit since 1970, before he was signed to Columbia, a demo that we recorded down in Florida. I don’t know if I just wanted his critique on it or if I was hoping he’d love it so much that he’d refer us to Columbia. But suffice to say that he wasn’t impressed with it at all and he pretty much told me as much. He said, “I don’t know, it’s like it’s too psychedelic or something!” It really wasn’t psychedelic at all, but I think it was probably just too light for him, especially lyrically, and he didn’t know what else to say. Anyways, I imagine that I looked very dejected, and he said, “Ah man, don’t get discouraged. You just gotta just keep working at it.” And I think just hearing him say that gave me the belief I needed to keep going. And here I am still doing it forty six years later because I’ve maintained that belief all along. In fact, that’s really the essence of the title song of our new album, “Got To Believe.”
Some other good advice I’ve gotten from other musicians throughout the years was to “always play from the heart,” which I learned from Ronnie Earl, and to have “style,” which I got from Jimmie Vaughan!
I’ve also learned that the best way to get the most out of other musicians who play with us is to treat them with kindness, consideration and respect. I’ve played in some bands where the band leader operated from a mindset that beating me down would make me work harder and play better, but I think the opposite is true. I believe encouragement is always the best way forward.
What's new in the recording of your music?
“Got To Believe” is Blue Largo’s fifth album, and I personally think it’s our best work so far. We recorded it at a high end studio in San Diego called “Rarefied,” and while I do think the studio can make a difference in the way a record sounds, I ultimately believe that it comes down to the engineer who records and mixes the album. And in this regard, I think Rarefied’s owner and chief engineer, Roy Silverstein is as good as they come. So I would say that recording this new album at Rarefied, and having it engineered and mixed by Roy is one thing that differentiates it from our previous albums.
Our first two albums, “What A Day,” produced by Mavis Staples’ guitar player and band leader Rick Holmstrom, and the self produced “Still In Love With You” mostly consisted of 1940’s / ‘50’s blues covers. And because we tried to stay true to that genre, those albums have only stand up bass and I only used a 1953 Gibson ES-5 archtop guitar on them. Because our next three albums were more in the sixties soul vain we used Fender bass, Hammond organ, and background vocals, and I played a Stratocaster and Telecaster on various songs, as well as the ES-5.
How has your music changed over the years?
I think I’ve already addressed this, but again, we started out playing 1940’s / ‘50’s urban blues, but began writing our own songs sometime around 2014, which are more in a sixties soul vain, and now even include a reggae and country song.
I saw Bonnie Raitt for the first time in 2014, and was really inspired by the fact that in spite of being such a devotee of traditional blues, when she plays it’s one hundred percent Bonnie. She never tries to sound like Sister Rosetta Tharp, Big Mana Thornton or anyone else. So when I came home from that show I jotted down some lyrics which ended up being “Sing Your Own Song,” the title track of our 2015 release. And to my surprise, that album ended up having eight original songs on it. I don’t know why, but for three decades I never thought of myself as a songwriter or even cared about writing songs, and then out of nowhere, sometime around 2015, all these songs just started coming to me, usually when I was riding my bike, and not even thinking about writing a song.
What inspires you to write the music you write?
Typically, a thought just comes into my head from something I’m feeling or experiencing. For example, the first song on “Got To Believe,” which is called A World Without Soul came to me after I saw our piano player, Taryn’s own band one Friday night a couple of years ago. Taryn is a virtuoso piano player, and she had a killer trio with tenor saxophone and drums on that particular night. The band was playing in a beautiful lounge in the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, and they were on fire, mostly playing soul jazz in the vain of Ramsey Louis or Eddie Harris & Les McCan. And yet the room was only a quarter full and most of the people there were too involved in their own conversations to even realize how great the music was. So I started thinking about how much live music, especially jazz and blues, seems to take a backseat to pretty much everything else these days. And I thought about how that room probably would have been packed to the rafters, with everyone being deep into this music if it was the 1950’s or ‘60’s, and how much I would love to be living in that kind of world where music, art and culture factored more prominently into people’s lives.
Another example would be the time I went to a friend’s fiftieth birthday party, and he asked me if I had any advice on turning fifty, since I’m around fifteen years older than him. I told him that for me turning fifty was great, but that turning sixty was another story. He asked me what I meant by that, and I told him it wasn’t how I looked or felt, or the things I could or couldn’t do, but that when I turned sixty it really hit me how much seemed to be in the rear view mirror, and maybe not so much in the headlights. My friend said, “Man, you gotta write a song about that!” And while I don’t think I could write a song just because someone suggests it, this was a concept that I’d already been contemplating for quite a while, and once my friend did suggest it, the song pretty much just came to me.
What made you want to play the instrument you play?
As I mentioned above, I started playing guitar after I saw The Beatles on TV in 1964, when I was only nine years. I guess I thought they were just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen, and not knowing the difference between a guitar and bass at the time, I probably thought three out of four of ‘em were playing guitars, and the guy who was playing drums was shoved way in the back, so I’m pretty sure that was the cause for my initial gravitation towards the guitar. Beyond being pulled towards the guitar as a specific instrument, I think I gravitated towards playing an instrument and being in a band at an early age because I was never good at sports, so playing music and being in a band was a way for me to have a social life outside of school, and to get some recognition for doing something that other kids thought was cool.
How are you continuing to grow musically?
Many years ago I read an interview with Keith Richards where he was asked a similar question, and as great as he already was, I believe he said something like “I just hope I’m a better guitar player in a year from now than I am
today!” And I’ve also heard B.B. say that he still practices when he was already in his seventies. So, I hope that I am a better guitar player in another year, and with that goal in mind I’m still practicing all the time.
Aside from that, for almost twenty years, between 1980 and 1999, all I would consider listening to or playing was traditional blues, at the expense of missing out on so much other great music. Then one night in 1999, Alicia and I were visiting my cousins in New Jersey, and they had Dylan’s “Blood On The Tracks” playing on their car stereo. I loved that record when it came out in 1975, and when I heard it by chance that particular night it sounded as great as ever. And I think that inspired me to gradually go back and reacquaint myself with some of the other records I grew up with, other Dylan records, as well as records by Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Gregg Allman, Ry Cooder, The Stones and all the Jamaican artists I used to love when I was in my twenties. And while it may have taken another fifteen years, I’m certain that going back to these records and being so inspired by them all over again has helped me grow as a musician and especially as a songwriter.
Are there any musicians who inspire you that are not famous? What qualities do you admire about them?
I’m not quite sure what the definition of “famous” is. I know quite a few musicians who are relatively obscure, but yet they’re way more famous than me. And I’ve been inspired by all of them. First and foremost, the guitar players who fall into this category would be Rick Holmstrom, Zach Zunis, Scottie Blinn, Nathan James, Robby Eason, Dave Gonzales, Kid Ramos, Junior Watson, Anson Funderburgh, Ronnie Earl, Laura Chavez and the late Hollywood Fats. None of these cats are household names, but I’m one thousand percent certain they’re the greatest blues guitar players of my generation.
Describe your worst performance. What did you learn from this experience?
Maybe I have a short memory for certain things, because as I said above, I recall one of my best performances being just this past August. And by the same token I remember one of our worst performances being this past May. We were playing a little Wood Fired Pizza place in Julian, California, and Alicia had really bad stomach cramps, to the point where she had to run to the bathroom after almost every song. Meanwhile, we had just finished recording “Got To Believe” and were still in the early stages of learning to play the songs from it live. Alicia hadn’t yet committed all of the lyrics to memory so her stomach cramps just exacerbated an already rough night. I was so frustrated that I fired her and rehired her all in the same night, which has never happened in the previous twenty two years playing together.
The rest of the band was much more upset with me for the way I handled it than they were with Alicia, and we played great at our next gig the following week. So, the takeaway for me is to try to take these rare “terrible” performances a bit more in stride, and I do hope I can, knowing how emotionally I’m affected by the music.
Tell me what your first music teacher was like. What lessons did you learn from them that you still use today?
My first guitar teacher was a guy by the name of Bill Hore, who gave guitar lessons in the basement of his home in Interlaken, New Jersey. He had one of those beige Danelectro guitars with the white leatherette around the sides, and the small hole in the middle with the single lipstick pickup going across it. He also had a black and white moon-eyes decal on it, and I thought it was the coolest guitar I’d ever seen. Bill had some kind of deal with the Danelectro company, which was located just ten minutes away in Neptune, so he got me the same guitar with the matching amp for a grand total of sixty five dollars. He was teaching me the basics of the guitar from Mel Bay’s book for beginners and showing me how to play songs like “On Top Of Old Smoky,” which I didn’t have much interest in at the time. I probably took lessons with Bill for around a year, after which I thought I had learned enough to get a Beatles song book and learn some of those songs on my own.
How would your previous band mates describe you and your work ethic?
That’s an interesting question because we are always subject to being surprised by the way someone else might describe us, for better or worse. With that in mind, I would like to think that most of the musicians who have played with me throughout the years would say that I’m respectful, considerate and encouraging, and that I have a work ethic which is always focused on making the music as good as it can be, and presenting the band with professionalism and class.
If you could play anywhere or with anyone in the world, where or with who would it be?
This may sound crazy but I’m so inspired with our band and all of our new songs right now that there’s really no one else I think I’d rather be playing with. I do see other bands like Jackson Browne’s band or Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul, and while I’m not wishing that I could play with them, I do wish that we could achieve their level of greatness and consistency.
I would also love Steve Van Zandt to produce an album for us. As much as I believe in our new album, I think it would be all that much better if he produced it.
If you could change anything about the music industry today, what would it be?
I don’t know if it would be changing the industry per say, but I wouldn’t mind changing the culture to where music, both live and recorded would take a more prominent role in people’s lives.
What are your biggest obstacles as a musician?
In 2006 I developed a neurologist condition called Focal Dystonia, which affects the coordination in my right hand. What happens is the neurotransmitters that control those muscles and movements get blurred so that your fingers don’t move independently of one another. It came on suddenly out of nowhere on November 8, 2006. I was fine on our previous gig, and then all of a sudden I couldn’t hold onto my pick or even control it enough to play in time.
I probably should have stopped playing at that point but I didn’t have the discipline to do that. What I did have the discipline to do was to learn everything I could about Focal Dystonia, and begin what turned into a sixteen year journey of trying to overcome it. There aren’t any medications or surgical procedures available to effectively deal with this condition, but some people have had success with certain hand therapy exercises and other things to help create new neurotransmitters which eventually replace the damaged ones. In this regard, I started taking formal piano lessons and learned how to read Braille. I also started trying to play very deliberately without the dystonic hand movements, one note at a time, for an average of five hours a day, over the past sixteen years, and I believe this is what’s probably helped me the most. I’m still not one hundred percent cured, but I continue to believe that I’m going to get there. And it’s this belief, along with my belief that there are still good things on the horizon for our band overall, was my inspiration for the song “Got To Believe!” My further hope is that this song might inspire others to keep on believing in their dreams and goals, no matter what obstacles they may face.
Meanwhile, when I play play with our band I use a thumb pick, which allows me to play close to my peak.
What do you think the best aspects of the music business are?
For me, one of the best aspects of the music business is the camaraderie and mutual support amongst the musicians and fan base in San Diego in particular, and on the national blues scene in general.
What strengths do you have that you believe make you the musician you are?
Passion, enthusiasm and perseverance!
Do you have any weaknesses that you're actively working to improve on?
I wish I had a better ear and greater dexterity.
Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being a musician.
My favorite part about being a musician is just playing guitar, whether I’m playing by myself at home or playing with the band in front of an audience. Of course there’s nothing like the feeling you get when the band is playing super tight, firing on all cylinders, and there’s an enthusiastic, responsive audience to boot!
The other thing I like about being a musician is that I love musicians in general. I love the artist’s attitude about life and I truly believe that being a musician keeps you feeling and acting young even when you no longer are. It’s probably a lot cooler to be hanging out with Keith Richards than a thirty year old accountant or lawyer.
Do you have any anxiety about performing live?
The only time I might have some minor anxiety about performing live is when we’re just about to go on for a bigger than normal show, such as a festival or something like that, and even then it usually goes away after a few songs.
If you had to choose one... live performance or studio work, which do you prefer and why?
Wow, that’s a tough one because they’re both very rewarding in different ways. As I said above, for me there’s no feeling in the world that compares to when the band is playing at its very best and is further being appreciated by a great audience. So for immediate gratification in the moment I’d say I prefer playing live. But the studio gives you a platform to create something that lasts forever and it allows you to perfect it as much as possible. I often lament that even when the band plays really well we don’t quite capture the sound of our records, and I think that’s primarily due to the sound you can achieve in a good studio, as well as having additional musicians on our records, such as Hammond organ, multiple horns and backing vocals, which we can’t always afford to have when we play live.
In summary, I’d say that the gratification is more immediate when we’re playing live, but it may be greater and longer lasting from recording an album.
What do you think about online music sharing?
I’m fine with online music sharing. Although I know that musicians can’t earn the same kind of money from streaming that they did from actual CD or vinyl album sales, that’s the reality of the world we’re living in today. And I don’t think there’s really anything anyone can do about it, so it seems like wasted energy getting too upset about it. On the positive side, I think streaming allows many more people to discover an artist’s music than would otherwise be the case.
Other than being a musician, what was your dream job growing up?
Being a musician!
Give us some advice for new musicians just starting out in the industry.
The advice I’d give to new musicians just starting out today would be to do it for the love and the passion, and to keep expectations of commercial and monetary success in check. I’d also tell them to study the artists that inspire them to the hilt, because I believe that’s how they will learn to play, put a band together, write, perform and make records. In other words, “go to school” and learn from the best teachers you can find, which in my case were Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, T Bone Walker, BB King and Jimmie Vaughan.
What is your favorite piece of gear and why?
Because I’m pretty old I was able to acquire some pretty great vintage guitars and amps when they were still relatively affordable. My main axe for the past twenty two years has been a 1953 Gibson ES-5, which is the model that T Bone Walker played. Before that I mostly played a 1963 Stratocaster that I acquired in 1981, and I also have a 1952 reissue Telecaster that I love. For the past thirty years my main amp has been an original 1955 Bassman, which I use with a 1963 Fender Reverb tank. Before that I was using a blackface 1960’s Super Reverb. I also have a 1967 Vibrolux Reverb, and a 1953 tweed Deluxe, which is my main recording amp.
How do you prepare for your performances and recording work?
I’m in perpetual preparation because it seems like I’m thinking about music 24/7, and playing guitar almost that much!
For a special live performance I’ll make a setlist in advance and send it to everyone else in the band.
When we’re going to learn a new song, which mostly happens when we’re getting ready to record, Alicia and I will do a very rudimentary recording of it on my phone and then I’ll send it to everyone else to learn. After that we’ll have a rehearsal or two before going into the studio to record it.
What does your practice routine consist of?
Up until the time I developed my dystonia my practice routine mostly consisted of either learning a new song, usually a blues or jazz instrumental by anyone from B.B. or Freddy King to Grant Green or Bill Jennings. And while I still do this from time to time, I’d say these days I’m mostly working on overcoming my dystonia, which means trying to play with a flat pick as normally as possible. Sometimes I’ll just be playing by myself, whatever comes to mind at any given moment, and sometimes I’ll play along with a record, which can be anything from a 1950’s / ‘60’s soul jazz record, to Bobby Blue Bland’s Duke Peacock recordings, Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline,” The Stones “Sticky Fingers” or “Let It Bleed” or a 1970’s Jamaican dub record.
What do you like most about your new album?
I like a lot of things about it but I’d say two of the things I like most are the way it sounds, thanks to our recording and mixing engineer Roy Silverstein, and the fact that it is our shortest, most concise and focused album. This album seems to be more focused on the songs, with less soloing just for soloing’s sake, and it also doesn’t have any instrumentals, which were part of all our previous albums.
What artists do you enjoy listening to nowadays?
Well, once again I think I already answered this throughout the interview. But a few other artists who I haven’t yet mentioned would be The Black Pumas, all the Motown and Stax artists from the ‘60’s, all the Blue Note and Prestige artists from the 1950’s and ‘60’s, Tampa Red, Blind Boy Fuller, Lightnin’ Hopkins’s, Ry Cooder, The Band, The Staples Singers, Gregg Allman, Neil Young, Django Reinhardt, The Buena Vista Social Club, Manuel Galban, Compey Segundo, Elliades Ocheo, Big Youth, Toots & The Maytals, Alton and Hortense Ellis, Desmond Decker, I-Roy and U-Roy.
How do you promote your band and shows?
Mostly through social media and emails. We also hired a great radio promoter by the name of David Avery with Powderfinger Promotions, who has gotten our new album airplay on something like eighty radio stations throughout the country. And because of this the album has been on the national Americana Charts for the past six or seven weeks, and it debuted at number 26 on the October Relix Jamband Charts.
What is the best way to stay updated on current news; gigs, releases, etc.
I’d definitely say social media, meaning our Blue Largo Facebook and Instagram pages, and our website, www.bluelargolues.com
Anything you would like to share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
Well the big news is our new album! Other that we don’t have anything major in the works right now, but we are playing regularly in and around San Diego, and our shows are always listed on our website, and promoted on our social media pages. Oh yeah, we do have a great new video, which my friend Scottie Blinn, who also happens to be a great guitar player, did for us. It’s called “A World Without Soul,” the first single from our new album, and you can find it on our Blue Largo YouTube channel.
What's next for your band?
I hope that we can just keep playing and having an audience that supports what we’re doing.
Anything else, such as festival dates or something like that would be icing on the cake. And if I’m really lucky maybe we’ll have enough new original songs in a couple of years to make another album. As of now, I’m in somewhat of a dry spell, but I’m not really too worried about that because I’m still riding the high from this record.
What are your interests outside of music?
For me music is number one, two and three, but I do have some other things that I enjoy doing. I like riding my bicycle, playing pinball, body surfing, watching movies or a great series show, reading, eating and cooking Southern Italian food! I also love Miami and the Caribbean, especially Jamaica!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I don’t know if it’s “fun” but since 1988 my daily driver car has been a 1971 Silver Fern Green Buick Riviera!
Are there any artists outside of your genre that have not had much influence on your music that you enjoy?
I think that any artists that I love listening to probably have some influence on my music, although in some cases it’s probably more conscious and in others more subliminal.
Anything Else You Would Like to Include?
Well I’m gonna say no, there’s really nothing to add, because this has already been one of, if not the most, comprehensive interviews I’ve ever done! And it’s been a ball doing it, so I’d just like to say thank you for all the great questions!