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Jamming at Graham Central Station

December 3, 2015

 Our contributor Doug Christian digs deeply into the music of the Golden Age, and is very knowledgable about  Soul and Funk amongst other genre's.  Out of Sly and the Family Stone came Graham Central Station.  --TDR

 

Graham Central Station was an American funk band named after founder Larry Graham.

 In 1968 Larry joined Sly and the Family Stone. Their first album “A Whole New Thing” provided a way for people all over the country to hear Larry’s unique bass playing. Their next album had a number of hit singles such as "Dance to the Music" and "Everybody Is a Star," both of which allowed his voice as well as his thump & pop bass style to be heard around the globe. In 1993 Larry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Sly and the Family Stone.

Graham Central Station 's origins date from when Santana guitarist Neal Schon formed the band Azteca along with Larry Graham (bass guitar) and Gregg Errico (drums), both from Sly & the Family Stone, and Pete Sears (keyboards), from Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship. Santana bass guitar player Tom Rutley would move into the bass spot with Azteca.

 

That band, like Santana with heavy Latin influences, would eventually morph into Graham Central Station, while Schon would form Journey. The Larry Graham "Thump and Pop" style has influenced many of our premiere bassists including Victor Wooten, Bootsy Collins and a great many others in the musical genres of funk, R&B and disco.

Graham Central Station's biggest hit was "Your Love," which charted at number 9 in 1975. The group also integrated gospel music into their repertoire, and played with the dichotomy between the funk/rock star image and the "sanctified" gospel group image. Some of their recordings feature the Tower of Power horn section.


In 2011, Graham Central Station opened for Prince on Prince's "Welcome 2 America" tour and Larry with his current band is in Japan at this moment in time which on the last leg of his 2015 "Raise Up" world tour.

 

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