by Paul Ridenour
I have been waiting 26 years to meet and to hear jazz
guitarist Larry Coryell in person.
Larry is actually my wife's first cousin (once removed). Dottie and I dated six years and will be married 20 years in November. Dottie last saw him right before I met her.
Larry lives in Connecticut and spends a lot of time in Japan where he is extremely popular.
Several times in Dallas, once in Atlanta, and perhaps in Galveston I spent some time with his mother Cora Coryell. She was a hilarious woman. I talked to her about two months before she died and she was in pretty bad shape but still cracked me up. Larry was born Larry Van Delinder and was adopted by his step dad Gene Coryell.
Larry got the family six comp tickets and Dottie and I showed up at 9 PM when we thought Larry was supposed to start. The Granada Theater is a great little venue and I cannot remember the last time I was there.
Local guitarist Rhett Butler was playing when we got there. He reminded me of an acoustic Joe Satriani. He did some very interesting musical numbers. He played two guitars at the same time, including his last song "Always With Me, Always With You," a Joe Satriani tune. Rhett did some great songs including Diesel, Surfing With The Rabbi, and The Opener. I purchased three of Rhett's CDs afterwards at his CD signing. Larry is one of Rhett's big influences and he was excited to open for him. I told Rhett I will take some pictures after Larry's concert.
There were three drunk girls talking the entire time while Rhett was playing. I wish people had manners. I was ready to give them a piece of my mind. It is real simple, when someone is performing, SHUT UP!
Larry came on at 10:15 and played until 11:45. Two of the
best musicians I have ever heard were on stage with him, drummer Lenny White and
bassist Victor Bailey.
They performed a unique version of Led Zeppelin's Black Dog. They performed songs from their new CD "Traffic" and their last one "Electric." "Traffic" has some goods songs including Dedication and Jake's Lullaby. Black Dog is on "Electric."
Just before the encore, Larry said that he has family in Dallas but they are all really from Galveston, where he was born. He mentioned Dorothy Horner and husband Jack, Ridge McNeir and wife Margie, and then said "And Dorothy's daughter Dottie who may no longer be here because she has to work tomorrow." Of course, we were still there.
Afterwards Larry had a CD signing and I bought the "Traffic" CD. I introduced myself and he was excited to learn that Dottie was still there. He got up and came over and we took pictures outside.
Larry recently got married to a very nice girl named Tracy. Larry is 61 and she is 34. He asked Dottie if he should have another child and Dottie said "Go for it!"
I highly recommend getting "Traffic" and to hear Rhett Butler live and purchase his CD "Live At Houston Northwest." - www.rhettbutler.org
Larry's genealogy - www.paulridenour.com/heiman.htm
Larry's webpage - www.larrycoryell.net/
Granada Theater, Lower Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX
Rhett Butler playing two guitars
Short video of Rhett playing two guitars
Longer video of "Always With You, Always With Me"
The drunken slobs
Short video of Larry Coryell
Larry Coryell, Victor Bailey, and Lenny White
Ridge Watie McNeir, Margie McNeir, Larry Coryell, Tracy Coryell, Jack Horner, Dorothy Horner, and Dottie Ridenour
Rhett Butler and Larry Coryell
UPDATE: In 2007, Larry's book came out titled "Improvising: My Life in Music." Back in 1943, he and his mother Cora moved in with my mother-in-law Dorothy and her mother in Galveston. It was during the war and Larry had never known his real father and he never would. He was adopted by his stepfather. He enjoyed his time in Galveston with his cousin Dorothy. After Cora died a few years back, Dorothy wrote a letter to Larry about those times in 1943 and about his wonderful mother. The letter became basically the first chapter in his book. In the chapter, Larry wrote that his first solo album by Vanguard Records had a tune called "The Dream Thing," but the tune was originally titled "My Cousin Dorothy."