It’s a long way from the swamps of Mississippi to the mean streets of Chicago’s Southside, and bassist, singer and songwriter Larry Kimpel has traveled those back roads for what seems like a million years.
The veteran Chicago-Born musician is just one of many who in recent years has taken the journey away from the constraints of Jazz and R&B music only to find internal peace and refuge in the original music of the South…”The Blues”. As the bassist with Roebuck “Pops” Staples and the world renowned “Staple Singers” Larry toured many of the birth places of the pioneers of the blues early on, and even has the distinction of actually having attended Blues Innovator “Howling Wolf’s “Funeral.
“I was just sixteen at the time and my High School Band Director instructed us all to attend the service.” “It was right up the street from my school on 78th and Cottage Grove at the A.R. Leak Funeral Home.” “I remember the service being very quiet and intimate as I positioned myself nervously at the front of the room next to the casket.” “I was told that “Howling Wolf” was a big man in stature, but when I looked down at him, he seemed somewhat frail probably due to the illness that eventually claimed his life.” “I really didn’t know about him or his music then, but through the years he has truly become one of my greatest heroes and musical inspirations.”
Now some thirty years later, that inspiration has led to the creation of a band known simply as “Outlaw X”. The brain-child of Larry Kimpel, the band consists of four prominent music industry sidemen from across the USA which of course makes for a melting pot of musical styles and influences. Those elements were brought together for the first time in 2008 on the band’s debut CD entitled “Out of The Box” which was released on their own Independent Label, GVR Records. When asked why they chose to do their project independently Larry says… “We really wanted the record to be a genuine representation of who we all are both as individuals and as a band, and it’s very rare that you find that kind of freedom with a major label.”
Along with Larry, the band includes Houston Texas-Born Drummer Herman Matthews; Keyboardist, Composer Bill Steinway from Milwaukee Wisconsin; and Guitarist, Songwriter and Producer Ricky “Z” Zahariades from Fontana California. Being from blue collar families, the guys laughingly refer to themselves as “A little old band from the other side of the tracks” and they feel that their music reflects that no nonsense working class approach. “We tried very hard to maintain the authenticity of each and every musical genre that we explored on this project and we hope that the musical spirits of days gone by will be proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Larry said. “And, I sure hope that someway, somehow “The Wolf” is smiling down from heaven!”
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