Larry Amos

"best blues guitarist in thecountry..."

Larry Amos 2001



Widely regarded by his peers as the 'best blues guitarist in thecountry', Larry Amos is not only that…

Born in Gauteng on the 6th of April, 1952, from a very young age heaspired to being a musician, and started playing guitar at the age of9. Performing at family parties and school functions his sweet voicewas known to make the women cry! At 15 years he formed a band that wenton to win 3rd prize at a Battle of the Bands held at the City Hall inPietermaritzburg.

After school Larry went to Cape Town to pursue his love for music byworking during the day and performing as a guest artist at variousnightclubs at night. After 2 years in Cape Town, Larry came back toJohannesburg and teamed up with his brother Robbi Robb and GovindaDavidopoulis as a trio doing parties, functions and guest spots aroundtown.

He began his professional career after signing with an agency as a soloartist with his first gig in the Persian Room at the Four Seasons Hotelin Durban. Touring the country from there, included at stint as backingvocals and understudy to Riff Raff in the Rocky Horror production inLesotho (it was banned at the time in SA). He also performed on the TVshow, "Beat 79” doing one of his own compositions, "Mother Nature”.Baxtop was formed in Johannesburg in 1978 with Larry Amos on guitar andvocals, Tim Parr (guitar, vocals), Fuzzy Marcus (guitar, vocals) andBruce Williams (drums, vocals) and was billed as ' the bestblues-rock-boogie band that never came out of the American South.'"Work it out” is rated as one of the Top Ten Albums of South Africaaccording to Garth Chilvers.

"Baxtop” became South Africa's top original blues-rock band, signed arecording contract with WEA records, and had a number one hit with "JoBangles” and also won a Sarie Award. The band also toured with MillieJackson on her South African visit. In 1982 Baxtop disbanded, and Larryformed the Larry Amos Blues Band…

"However, what struck me about him were his awesome abilities and thatphenomenal guitar work of his and the way he made that instrument work.Everything was so fluid and slick. He did things that I had never seenand heard of before. Cigarette stuck in the strings up in the neck, nearthe keys of his guitar, standing in the light of a solitary flood lightand he would let it crank - slowly and uncertainly at first and then, ashe got into his stride …. things just happened. This wasn't a JimiHendrix extravaganza (as seen on film). It was just one man and hisguitar and he just went places with it where I have never been or heardof before."
-- Rogan Coles – Music journalist
The Blues Band was followed by the "Naughty Boys” who released one ofthe last 7 singles to be pressed in South Africa. Larry composes hisown music and currently has over 60 titles registered with SAMRO. In1994 the R.A.W. CD was released, this was a co-operative effort withBruce Williams (previously the drummer for Baxtop), and enjoyed moderatesuccess with one of the numbers, "Dance of Love” being chosen to appearon 'Monster Hits'.

In 1991 Larry went to Ireland and joined Tim (Parr) performing at theGalway Busking Festival, and various venues including as an opening actfor two concerts of Don Baker (Bono of U2's favourite harp player),where the audiences went wild for his original numbers and excitingguitar playing. Later, in 1995 Larry and Tim supported "Crosby, Stillsand Nash” at the Standard Bank Arena and were complimented by them forhis outstanding song, "Let the Sun” and performance. "Let the Sun" isfeatured on his CD "GOING UP" which is on sale at gigs around thecountry as a compilation of various aspects of his work. He has alsorecently released a demo CD "Un” which comprises mainly of ballads andshows another aspect of this talented artist.

In 1998 Larry did the vocals on Willem Fourie's CD released by Makhulu,"Wondering”. He has also done guitar parts on Frank Lepo's (Sankamoto)solo album, as well as Sinyaka's "Why isonda ma gents”. He has jammedlocally with the likes of Johnny Fourie, Alistair Cokley, Mike Faure,George Worthmore, Jethro Butho, Julian Laxton, Mike Slavin and numerousothers, including a surprise session with Shaun Phillips at Tandoor,Rockey Street!

Larry has done gigs at various venues, including: Frascas, Honeydew;Blues Room, Sandton; Opiyard, Pretoria; Bohemian, Millpark; UnpluggedKitchen, Broederstroom; Killarney Mall, Killarney; Rustlers Valley, FreeState; Blue Naartjie, Orange Grove; Origin, Orange Grove; Page 3 StudioTheatre, Magaliesberg; Carry's, Northriding; Zeplins, Cape Town; LogCabin, Cape Town; Barley Corn, Cape Town; Brass Belle, Cape Town; RadiumBeer Hall, Orange Grove; Big Easy; Banbury Cross, Northgate; CaesarsPalace, Jhb International; Bass Line, Melville; Julian's, Cresta; TheShowcase, Northgate; Cliffy's, Pietermaritzburg; Splashy Fen 2001,Underberg; Tempo's; Catfish & Caterpillar and Bingelela - KZN; Tusk Inn- DBN; Churchills & The Stagecoach - PMB, Rags - Gauteng.....

At the end of June 2001, he launched a SAB sponsored event "Blues inthe Berg” at the Caterpillar and Catfish, which was followed by a 3 weekworking holiday jamming with Russell Taylor at Bingelela just outsideBergville. The South African Music Week took place between 24 – 28August and he was invited to feature at various events in Durban andPietermaritzburg.

Larry was also involved in the vocals and guitar for the soundtrack of aSABC TV programme first flighted on 23 October 01, done in conjunctionwith Louis van Rensburg. He has also done various radio spots includingthe recent "R2.50 blues” number for the new Wednesday Lotto draw.

The latest development in this perennial performer is the opening andrunning of a pub and music venue on the KZN South Coast. Located on thebeach front of Port Shepstone, the " King Prawn” has a fantastic seaview, spacious interior, good vibe and promises to become the idealmeeting place for all music lovers – come along and see!

Joan, February 2002
Tel: (039) 682-3208
Contact: Joan 083 266 7953

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