Larry Emerson Band
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Music

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As Larry Emerson sees it, music is a gift from the Lord that has blessed him as a singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, and recording artist.

Emerson first began plucking away on a guitar when he was 7. He grew up in Newcomb, N.M., in a home with strictly fundamentalist views of religion.

Gospel music was accepted, though secular forms of music and entertainment were viewed as the devil's work, he said.

"I remember I had to sneak off from home to play basketball when I was in junior high," Emerson recalled. "(Christianity) makes you hesitate. To me it seemed like church rules really put a limit on you."

Going to rodeos, carnivals, and fairs were considered sins, among many other things, he said.

"I grew up around rodeos," he said. "My cousin, J.R. Hunt, a saddle-bronc rider, had a lot of livestock. I was always around livestock. I loved the sport of bull riding."

But he was hesitant to participate, as it violated the strict moral teachings of his mother, who would scold him.

As Emerson got older, however, he began to step back from his parents' views and developed his own beliefs.

He read the Bible and discussed his questions with a series of mentors, including but not limited to religious figures in his life.

"I realized that God blessed us with talents and we should be out testing them," he said.

And that is exactly what Emerson intends to do as he seeks to grow beyond gospel music, where he earned his reputation.

These days Emerson, 50, is flexing his entertainment muscles with Elvis impersonations, comedy routines, country western music and acting.

"It's called secular entertainment," he said. "I want to do what Wayne Newton does."

He has seven independent CDs released, including "Somebody Loves You," a gospel album on which he played all the instruments.


"I don't have a full-time job," said Emerson, who still lives in Newcomb. "This is what I do full time, just entertainment."

His musical talent got him a cameo appearance in a Taylor Hackford movie called "Love Ranch" that was filmed in New Mexico early last year. It's quite a departure from his roots.

Emerson and Bar-N, a country western band from Shiprock, play the house band in a brothel. The film is a biopic about the couple that opened Mustang Ranch, the first legal brothel in Nevada. It stars Oscar winners Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren, who is married to Hackford.

Emerson shared pictures with members of the cast and recalled stories like celebrating Pesci's 65th birthday on the set.

He credits Bar-N band member Jonathan Tso with getting him involved in the film.

"He was the one that found out about (the film) and he was the one that got things rolling," he said.

Emerson, who performs off and on with Bar-N, also plays classic rock as Larry Emerson & Heartbeat, his fiancé Carla Tsosie on bass and his son Ramondo Emerson on drums.

The group recently released a collection of classic tunes such as "Ramblin' Man," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Stand By Me," and "Diana."

Emerson's trio was the first band to perform at Fire Rock Navajo Casino during its grand opening. The band is scheduled to perform April 22 to 25 at Cheii Grill & Pub at the casino, he said.

Information: Larry Emerson, P.O. Box 7337, Newcomb, N.M., 87455; 505-360-1161 or 505-406-5990.
- Navajo Times


Discography

five gospel albums and three secular albums that are air played on local stations. such as KTNN, Window Rock, AZ, KGAK, Gallup,NM, KNDN, Farmington, NM, and KPCL Farmington,NM to name but a few.

Photos

Bio

Larry Emerson is a singer, songwriter and recording artist. This Navajo Nation's own entertainer is also known as an accomplished guitarist, pianist and comedian. His incredible God-given talent and wonderfully humble personality has taken him to countless places and encounters with countless faces throughtout the U.S. and Canada. He's played county fairs as well as the New Mexico State Fair. He's opened for such country stars as Johnny Rodriquez, Pake McIntyre brother of Reba McIntyre, Earl Thomas Conley, Eddie Raven, to name but a few. Raised under the musical influences of the 60's, 70's and 80's, this Newcomb, New Mexico native has established his roots. His variety style of musical performances are most certainly relevant to all. A little bit of Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton flavor.
His musical talent got him a cameo appearance in a Taylor Hackford movie callled "Love Ranch" that was partially filmed in New Mexico. He, along with other talented musicians play the house band in a brothel. The film is a biopic about the couple that opened Mustang Ranch, the first legal brothel in Nevada. It stars Oscar winners Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren, who is married to film director Hackford.
One of several albums entitled "Now is The Time", a gospel album has been nominated in the Native American Music Awards before. Emerson's trio was the first band to perform at Fire Rock Navajo Casino durring its opening in 08' for five nights in Gallup, New Mexico. At 50, Larry's still going strong, playing gospel, country, Rock'n'roll and Elvis Presley tunes. As Larry would say. "we've gotta roll"