The New Year just got a bit funkier. Larry Dodson, the former lead singer of The Bar-Kays, is returning to the stage as solo act.
Dodson retired in June of 2017. And he did so with serious intent.
“You know people thought I didn’t retire because I was still doing things here and there. But I really did take some time off and I really enjoyed myself,” Dodson said in an exclusive talk with The New Tri-State Defender.
Then he felt something.
“One night I was sitting home with my wife and I got the music itch, and it was that moment then I knew I had to go back because I missed it so much.”
Now known as “Larry D,” the funkmaster says once he received confirmation from his family and some well-known friends such as R&B crooner Charlie Wilson, he began working tirelessly on new material. Keeping his plans a secret was a job in itself. He had those involved embrace non-disclosure agreements.
“We actually started getting everything together four months ago,” said Dodson. “There were others that knew, but we really had to keep it under wraps. So, I’m glad I can finally talk about it now.”
Dodson, who has logged 40-plus years in the music industry, plans to move forward as solo act keeping the sound of The Bar-Kays, with a twist designed to set him apart from the original group.
This year, we can expect a few singles to hit the radio from Dodson’s upcoming project. There are no drop dates yet; just be ready to groove once you hear the sounds hit the airwaves.
“I’m working with various artists from Memphis that’s going to help me put my first single and album together, such as Jay Davenport,” he said. “I got some sultry music that I know the people are going to love, but that’s still under construction for now.”
Guitarist James Alexander, Dodson’s longtime band mate with The Bar-Kays, has given his blessings on the venture, Dodson said.
“I talk to James at least two to three times a week and he’s extremely happy for me. …It’s going to feel weird looking over my shoulder and not seeing him there, but the band completely supports what I’m doing and I’m grateful.”
On Valentine’s Day weekend, Dodson plans to kick off his first solo tour in Phoenix, Arizona and eventually circle back to Memphis later in the year to give local fans a dose of what’s new.
“It’s going to be grand,” Dodson said. “We’re bringing out all the bells and whistles. The stage will consist of pyrotechnic lighting and much more. And the singers and band are awesome.
“I couldn’t be more excited and ready.”
(For more information, including upcoming tour dates for Larry D., visit www.larrydofthebarkays.com. Follow Larry D. on Instagram (@thereallarrydodson) and Twitter (@LarryDodson). For booking, call 901-355-3564 or email [email protected].)