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Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Chris Laterzo has recorded a number of well received albums since arriving in California. Originally from Colorado’s Front Range and with roots in such varying places as Belgium, Massachusetts, Santa Fe, and Washington, D.C. Laterzo is an artist who emphasizes melody and lyric, and whose music evokes a sense of the restless spirit and open road. Chris Laterzo’s style of music is best described as folk-rock, alt-country- even American cowboy rock. Juniper and Pinon (2009) is the fourth and latest album by Chris Laterzo. Co-produced by Laterzo and Jeff LeGore, Juniper and Pinon consists of nine Laterzo compositions and a version of Elton John’s ‘Holiday Inn’. The album features Laterzo with his band Buffalo Robe, and also includes several solo acoustic numbers. Basic tracks for the album were recorded at Sonora Studio in Glendale, California with overdubs being recorded in a variety of locations. “Many of the vocal tracks and acoustic numbers were recorded in a suite at The Joshua Tree Inn and a house we rented for several days in Joshua Tree. The high desert offered an ideal setting for making the bulk of this record, and we were able to capture some great moments.” Laterzo said. In 1997, Chris released his debut independent album American River. Co-produced by Laterzo and Denny Weston, Jr., the L.A. Music Connection called it “an engaging collection of American folk rock, and the essence of a rustic album.” After two years of playing the local scene and touring throughout California and the Southwest, Chris garnered solid album reviews, as well as airplay on both NPR and small market stations. For his 2nd album WaterKing, Laterzo teamed up again with producer Denny Weston along with producer Ty Stevens. The core band for this album included notable talents such as Tad Wadhams (Sheryl Crow) on bass, Hank Linderman (America, Timothy B. Schmitt) on electric guitar, and Buck Johnson (Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins) on organ. Released in late 2000, WaterKing’s eleven original songs weave among the boundaries of rock, folk, and alternative country. WaterKing is a natural follow-up to American River, and its songs continued to reveal an artist devoted to melodic arrangements and placing the song center stage. The Performing Songwriter Magazine states: “Laterzo is first and foremost a gifted melodist with an ear for hooks that sink in more deeply with each listen.” Touring over the last few years through the Southwest- and most notably his tours in Europe- has brought Laterzo many new fans. Chris has been a featured artist on ASCAP’s ‘Quiet on the Set’ and the musical guest on the number one national television talk show in The Netherlands ‘Barend en van Dorp’. Laterzo has had songs placed in rotation on several airlines such as Lufthansa and Continental, and recently had his song ‘Welcome to California’ included in the film ‘50 Yard Line’. The fall of 2004 brought the release of Driftwood, Chris’ 3rd album. In realizing Driftwood, Laterzo opted to take on full production and engineering responsibilities. Chris admits that in recording Driftwood, “the end result is that I achieved exactly what I had envisioned- an album that has a homegrown and four-peice band vibe. I specifically kept the instrumentation simple (drums, bass, guitars, piano, pedal steel) and strictly ruled out layering guitar tracks and the use of all the bells and whistles.”
Brian Spence and The Transcendent Hula Hoop: Born to the flatlands of California in the Sacramento Valley and raised on a healthy diet of Classic Rock and Heavy Metal, it would take some years and what would seem like many lifetimes to discover an inner means of true musical, lyrical and artistic expression. The result is an honest, emotional and philosophical outpouring, immersed in a quandary of lost youth, family, love, death, heartbreak, isolation, rebirth, desire, and the quest for transcendence.