Larry Shannon Hargrove

Daddy B. Nice's #104 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Larry Shannon Hargrove by Daddy B. Nice
 


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"I Need A Bail Out"

Larry Shannon Hargrove

Composed by Larry Shannon Hargrove


From the opening notes of "I Need A Bailout" (See Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles #1 August 2009), it's obvious Larry Shannon Hargrove is a producer of extraordinary skill and a singer possessing impressive power and projection. His whiplash tenor rises and dips with the breathtaking thrill of a roller coaster, and there's not a fuzzy or tinny-sounding phrase to be heard. Hargrove executes piano and keyboard fills with vigorous and precise relish, and the instrumental backgrounds are all bona fide, not programmed.

Known as the "Texas Songbird," Hargrove began courting the attention of the Southern Soul audience with his I Need A Bailout album and single of the same name in 2009. The album was overtly political, more concerned with the hot-button topics of the day than the usual domestic-slash-sexual stuff of most Southern Soul songs.

"Man, it's getting kind of tough out here now,"

--Hargrove begins "I Need A Bailout"--

"They say that the country is in a recession.
I saw all of the fat cats go to Washington D.C.
And get what they call a bail-out.
Man, I need a bail out."

Listen to Larry Shannon Hargrove singing "I Need A Bailout" on YouTube while you read.

Hargrove combines the wit of Jimmy Lewis and humor of chitlin' circuit comedian Joe Poonanny with the acerbic social commentary of Swamp Dogg. Larry Shannon Hargrove is the soul community's man in Austin. Why, even Mack Davis (the University of Texas football coach) has his back.

Listen to Larry Shannon Hargrove singing "I Got UT Burnt Orange Running Through My Veins" on YouTube.

But just because Hargrove bleeds burnt-orange doesn't mean his politics are conservative.

I Need A Bailout is full of the euphoria of Obama's young presidency (Hargrove even recorded an undistributed album titled The Obama Train), and Hargrove's debut album, way back in 1998, was called Leave Bill Clinton Alone. (The title tune of that album, by the way, is as rollicking good as anything he's recorded since.)

Listen to Larry Shannon Hargrove singing "Leave Bill Clinton Alone" on YouTube.

"You need to leave Bill Clinton alone,
Because everybody's done something wrong
You just don't like him
Because he wears dark glasses
And plays a saxophone."

Hargrove's socio-political songs will never vie for the emotional, heart-wrenching depths of experience explored by James Carr and O. V. Wright of yesteryear or (in the present day) of Sir Charles Jones in "Is Anybody Lonely" or Glenn Jones in "Baby Come Home."

But his presentation of topical themes is second to no one, musically or lyrically, as witnessed by his inclusion, as follows, in--

Daddy B. Nice's

TOP 25 SOUTHERN SOUL SONGS OF 2009

17. "I Need a Bailout" --------------Larry Shannon Hargrove

Texas tenor Larry Shannon Hargrove delivered his best song since "Leave Bill Clinton Alone" with 2009's accomplished complaint of the common man: "I Need A Bailout."

"You bailed out Bear Stearns,
Bailed out AIG.
I just wanna know,
Can you do the same for me?"

He didn't get a lot of air play from Southern Soul deejays, which might be because he was the new kid on the block, from a new neighborhood (Austin), or it might be because he didn't distribute his record to enough of the key deejays in the circuit. In any case, here's hoping he doesn't give up, because the man arrives at the Southern Soul junction with all of the tools.

Bargain-Priced I Need A Bailout CD, MP3's


In reviewing Hargrove's I Need A Bailout CD in 2009, I noted similarities to Swamp Dogg and even Gil Scott-Heron. But as his new and accomplished follow-up, The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul (2011), attests, Larry Shannon Hargrove is primarily a personal, lyrical songwriter and performer.

Hargrove's political only in the sense that he wears his politics "on his sleeve," as befitting a romantic temperament. He's into politics in the same way he's into Texas football: it's a passion he can't resist putting into song.

Hargrove forges his material not from the conflicts and communions of men and women (as per most Southern Soul music), but from the conflicts of men/women and the outer world--career, politics, economy, and so on. He looks outward--rather than inward--for his inspiration, and yet, he does it from a heartfelt and spiritual inner place.

This contradiction becomes clear on the new The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul CD. The emotional center of the album isn't a witty social treatise in the mode of "Leave Bill Clinton Alone" or "I Need A Bailout." It's a cover version of the song Marvin Sease recorded a year before his death, "Gone On."
Hargrove calls his remake "Gone On, Part 2."

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Review For. . .

JULY 2011

7. "Gone On, Part 2"----------Larry Shannon Hargrove

Larry Shannon Hargrove sounds absolutely smashing on this faithful recreation of the late Marvin Sease original, right down to the resounding bass and lead guitar line. Hargrove's vocal fascinates with its echoes of Tex-Mex, Bob Wills and more contemporary country stars.

Sample or Buy MP3 of "Gone On: Part II" from the Bargain-Priced The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul CD.


On the same album the Texas Songbird delivers a heartfelt live performance.

Sample "I Like To Live The Love I Sing About" on The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul CD.

Hargrove is adept at inserting monologues, voice-overs and other song-enhancing tricks into his songs. In "I Need A Bailout" he features a conversation with a White House secretary in which he's trying to gain access to President Obama to get his "bailout." In "Leave Bill Clinton Alone" it's an ongoing mock dialogue with the former prez.

But the story Larry Shannon Hargrove tells as a voice-over in "I Love To Sing The Love I Sing About" tops them all while perfectly illustrating the performer's graceful balance between matters of the heart and the business of the world.

"You know,"

--Hargrove begins--

"When I was recording this song,
I was out in Jackson, Mississippi.
And I got a phone call.
The engineer came back
And gave me the phone.

And I hung the phone up,
And I began to cry.
He said, 'Larry, what's wrong?'

I said, 'That was Austin, Texas,
And they told me that my mother just died.'

And he said,
'Do you want to cancel the session?'

I remembered something that my mama told me.
I got frustrated--you know,
I been out here a long time
Trying to do this music thing.

And I got disappointed one time,
And I told my mama,
'I'm not gonna sing any more.'

So seven years went by,
And I never sang a song.
I wouldn't even whistle in the shower.
Oh, Lord, help me tonight.
And I said,
'Mama, I ain't gonna do it no more.'

And she looked at me and she said,
'Don'--she called me 'Don'--
'Don, it's not your choice.
You didn't choose to sing.'

She said, 'God chose you to do what you do.
So how are you gonna quit God's job? Huh?'

So when the engineer asked me
If I wanted to cancel the session,
I said, 'No, give me a little time.'

I went outside and I prayed and I cried,
And I prayed and I cried some more.
And I went back in the studio
And this is the song we did."

Sample "I Like To Live The Love I Sing About" on The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul CD.

--Daddy B. Nice

Sample or Buy Larry Shannon Hargrove songs on I-Tunes.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Larry Shannon Hargrove

Larry Shannon Hargrove is a native of Manor, Texas, an eastern suburb of Austin, Texas. Through the seventies and eighties Hargrove worked as a writer, manager, and performer in Austin, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He was the first black owner of a limousine service in Austin and also co-owner of a local club. His prominence in local Austin activities led the city to proclaim May 16, 1996 "Larry Shannon Hargrove Day."

Hargrove's first success came with "Leave Bill Clinton Alone," a novelty song that garnered attention in "The Washington Post" and "US News & World Report" as a musical defense of the then-beleaguered president during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

A decade later, in 2009, Hargrove published I Need A Bailout, featuring another political novelty song dissecting current affairs of the day, the title track, "I Need A Bailout."

The album was followed two years later by The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul, which featured a remake of the Marvin Sease classic, "Gone On Part 2," and a novelty song, "Broke Down On Broke Back Mountain," a topical take on the Oscar-winning 2005 movie, "Broke Back Mountain" starring the late Heath Ledger.



Larry Shannon Hargrove Discography:

Leave Bill Clinton Alone (Big Bidness, 1998)

I Need A Bailout (Globe/L&M, 2009)

The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul (Globe/L&M, 2011)

Other Larry Shannon Hargrove Material (Locally Distributed CD's):

He's The Chief Of Police

Soundtracks Of My Life Vol. 1

The Gospel Project

The Obama Train

These "local" CD's can be sampled at:

Larry Shannon Hargrove.com.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"You bailed out Ford And Chrysler,
You bailed out GMC.
I just want to know,
Can you do the same for me?"


Tidbits

1.

October 15, 2011: More Larry Shannon Hargrove on YouTube

Listen to Larry Shannon Hargrove singing "We Need A Blessing Today" on YouTube.

Listen to Larry Shannon Hargrove singing I Got UT Burnt Orange Running Through My Veins" on YouTube.

2.

October 15, 2011:

Yet another CD, The Obama Train, highlights songs that have appeared elsewhere.

"I Came From A Poor Family," from the CHIEF OF POLICE album, deserves a place on a CD available for purchase.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Edwin Starr's "War (What Is It Good For?)," you'll love Larry Shannon Hargrove's "I Need A Bailout."



EDITOR'S NOTE

Over the last year I've been dropping hints to the younger musicians.

"Be watching because there's going to be something coming on the site that'll be a real blessing for the younger people."

And I've also been telling a lot of deserving new artists to bide their time, that their day to be featured in a Daddy B. Nice Artist Guide was coming, and long overdue.

Now, at last, the day has come.

The great Southern Soul stars are mostly gone. There's a new generation clamoring to be heard.

Rather than waiting years to go online as I did with the original Top 100, this chart will be a work-in-progress.

Each month five new and never-before-featured artists will be showcased, starting at #100 and counting down to #1.

I estimate 50-75 new Artist Guides will be created by the time I finish. The other 25-50 Guides will feature artists from the old chart who are holding their own or scaling the peaks in the 21st Century.

Absent will be the masters who have wandered off to Soul Heaven. And missing will be the older artists who for one reason or another have slowed down, become inactive or left the scene.

The older generation's contributions to Southern Soul music, however, will not be forgotten.

That is why it was so important to your Daddy B. Nice to maintain the integrity of the original Top 100 and not continue updating it indefinitely.

(Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul covered the period from 1990-2010. Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Southern Soul will cover the period from 2000-2020.)

When I constructed the first chart, I wanted to preserve a piece of musical history. I heard a cultural phenomenon I was afraid might be lost forever unless I wrote about it.

There will be no more changes to the original chart. Those performers' place in Southern Soul music will stand.

But I see a new scene today, a scene just as starved for publicity and definition, a scene missing only a mirror to reflect back its reality.

The prospect of a grueling schedule of five new artist pages a month will be daunting, and I hope readers will bear with me as I gradually fill out what may seem at first inadequate Artist Guides.

Information from readers will always be welcome. That's how I learn. That's how I add to the data.

I'm excited to get started. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I've already done the bulk of the drawings.

In a funny way, the most rewarding thing has been getting back to doing the drawings, and imagining what recording artists are going to feel like when they see their mugs in a black and white cartoon. Hopefully----high! An artist hasn't really "made it" until he or she's been caricatured by Daddy B. Nice.

In the beginning months, the suspense will be in what new stars make the chart. In the final months, the suspense will be in who amongst the big dogs and the new stars is in the top twenty, the top ten, and finally. . . the top spot.

I'm not tellin'.

Not yet.

--Daddy B. Nice

Go to Top 100 Countdown: 21st Century Southern Soul


Honorary "B" Side

"Leave Bill Clinton Alone"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Need A Bail Out by Larry Shannon Hargrove
I Need A Bail Out


CD: I Need A Bailout
Label: L&M

Sample or Buy
I Need A Bailout


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Leave Bill Clinton Alone by Larry Shannon Hargrove
Leave Bill Clinton Alone


CD: Leave Bill Clinton Alone
Label: Globe

Sample or Buy
Leave Bill Clinton Alone


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Gone On Part Two by Larry Shannon Hargrove
Gone On Part Two


CD: The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul
Label: Globe

Sample or Buy
The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Like To Live The Love I Sing About by Larry Shannon Hargrove
I Like To Live The Love I Sing About


CD: The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul
Label: L&M

Sample or Buy
The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I've Been Gone Too Long by Larry Shannon Hargrove
I've Been Gone Too Long


CD: I Need A Bailout
Label: L&M

Sample or Buy
I Need A Bailout


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Broke Down On Broke Back Mountain by Larry Shannon Hargrove
Broke Down On Broke Back Mountain


CD: The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul
Label: L&M

Sample or Buy
The Crown Prince Of Southern Soul


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Got A Feeling by Larry Shannon Hargrove
I Got A Feeling


CD: I Need A Bailout

Sample or Buy
I Need A Bailout


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Love You Babe by Larry Shannon Hargrove
I Love You Babe


CD: I Need A Bailout

Sample or Buy
I Need A Bailout


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Obama Train by Larry Shannon Hargrove
The Obama Train


CD: I Need A Bailout

Sample or Buy
I Need A Bailout


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