The Larry Stephen Band
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The Larry Stephen Band

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The Truth Album

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Bio

Larry Stephen

Growing up in a family of musicians and performers is what influenced my love and passion for music. My parents were always playing big band and show tunes on the record player. Dad would get on the piano, mom would sing and my brothers and sisters would join in for a jam session of tunes from South Pacific, Hello Dolly, Al Jolson, Benny Goodman and a host of others. My brothers would sit around and play folk music from the 60's and 70's; Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, James Taylor, CSN&Y to name a few.

My first taste of electric/progressive jazz came from a TV live performance by Chick Corea and Return to Forever. They performed Hymn of the Seventh Galazy and I was hooked.

Influences from players like Charlie Christian, Robert Johnson, Steve Howe (Yes), Eric Clapton, Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs), Dan Fogelberg and Bruce Springstein really broadened my musical palet. Throw in some classical training and you got quite a smorgasboard to choose from.

The Larry Stephen Band is a culmination of years of playing, gigging, writing, soul searching and finding my reason for being. The music is a blend of all my influences. The musicians that I have the pleasure of working with and becoming close friends with share my love of music and Christian values. The result is a genuine experience of creativity, passion and Truth. Hence the album's name. If through the music and lyrics on "The Truth" we are able to touch someone's life in a positive way, then we've achieved our goal.

Gary Griffith

My professional musical career began at the young age of 15. After playing to an elementary school audience, I thought that this was something I could live with! I have been in bands, ensembles, duos, trios, etc. from that point on.

My family was very supportive of my music and my mother’s side was a small part of the country music era as she worked for a radio station in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia. While there, she met some big names such as Tennessee Ernie Ford, Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs and the King Family which we are related. As a result, there was lots of music in our family, especially vocal.

After graduating with a degree in music theory and composition, I hit the road with, at the time, a relatively successful band called The Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost. Finding the life on the road not as “rock starish” as I had hoped for, I returned to the Tampa Bay area where I continued playing locally, opening a recording studio, and performing as my career allowed. In the following years, I was a part of several locally successful bands and did some writing and arranging in addition to becoming music director at my church. I have remained involved in the Christian music world ever since.

My influences were as diverse as my playing career. Bands like Gentle Giant, Gryphon, Beatles, Beach Boys, ELP, YES, etc. as well as the musical worlds of impressionism, romanticism, and expressionism have shaped my musical styles. Since I am primarily a bass player, the likes of Paul McCartney, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Jack Bruce, Percy Jones (Brand X), and John Lodge (Moody Blues) tend to osmose into my playing.

Michelle Griffith

Michelle started her musical career in Junior High while living overseas in Japan and Thailand. She was part of many revues and musicals, and one highlight was a performance for the King and Queen of Thailand.

Musical Highlights:

West Side Story
Oklahoma
Teahouse of the August Moon
Phantom of the Opera
Fiddler on the Roof
Pippin

Classical and Standard Venues:

Robert Shaw Chorus and Chorale – Atlanta
Tampa Oratorio Society – Featured Soloist – Handel’s Messiah and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem and Rutter’s Requiem - Tampa
Vocalease – Tampa
Master Chorale - Tampa

Bands:

Steeple Newberry, SC
Fox Atlanta GA
Stained Glass Tampa FL
Griffith Crossing Tampa FL
G3 Tampa FL
Phoenix Rising Tampa FL

Michelle has a Vocal Degree, Performer and Writer on 2 CD’s

Lex Long

Alexander “Lex” Long, is a native of Clearwater, Florida and has been playing the guitar, in one way or another for more than 25 years. His musical influences are steeped in blues and rock, from Eric Clapton and Eric Johnson, to Keb Mo, Dave Mathews, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Matchbox Twenty. He has been a member of the Christian band “Voices In Praise” at Northwood Presbyterian Church for over 10 years, and collaborated with Larry Stephen both in VIP and along the way on other projects. He has recorded with VIP and written several Christian Songs including “Lend Me” and “Power of One”. Before VIP and the “Larry Stephen Band”, Lex was the lead guitarist for “The Performance Company” a top 40 band in Clearwater and has performed with numerous local artists and bands over the last 20 years.