Larry McCray performing at the 2011 Monterey Blues Festival.
Photo by Mike Shea/Tritone Photography
April 5, 1960 |
Magnolia, Arkansas, United States
|Guitarist, singer, songwriter|
|Labels||Point Blank, Atomic Theory, House of Blues, Magnolia, Dixiefrog|
McCray, the second youngest of nine siblings, grew up living on a farm. McCray learned guitar from his sister, Clara. "She used to play real low-down and dirty", McCray recalled years later. His family moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1972, and McCray took the influence of his sibling, and such as the three Kings (B.B., Freddie and Albert) to playing the local club circuit, with his brothers Carl on bass guitar and Steve on drums.
After high school, McCray worked on General Motors' assembly line, before recording Ambition, his 1991 debut album for Point Blank Records, in a Detroit friend's basement recording studio. He was soon touring with his label-mate, Albert Collins. His 1993 follow-up, Delta Hurricane, was produced by the veteran British blues devotee, Mike Vernon.
In 1999, McCray recorded a cover version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" for the tribute album, Tangled Up in Blues. In 2000, McCray founded his own independent record label, Magnolia Records, and Believe It was its first release that same year. The same year, McCray played alongside Jimmy Thackery as guest guitarists on Sista Monica Parker's album, People Love the Blues. Magnolia released McCray's first live album, Live on Interstate 75, in mid-2006, and this was followed in 2007 with Larry McCray.
His most recent tour commenced at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas on October 11, 2015 where Larry was honored with the "Sunshine" Sonny Payne Award for Blues Excellence.
McCray has one son, Bleau McCray-Morel with Kelly Morel.