Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Music · John Latini
. . . .

John Latini

Kristi Kates - July 26th, 2010
It’s Always the Blues for John Latini
By Kristi Kates
“Blues music is an American folk music, and as such, how can I help
but love it?” says singer-songwriter John Latini, “It’s basic, raw and
full of feeling for those playing it and those listening to it. Blues
lovers are loyal and faithful to the music and will actually leave
their houses to seek it out.”
Latini, who won both the 2008 and 2009 Detroit Blues Challenges, is a
veteran performer most often lauded for his energy and personality
onstage, and he’ll be bringing those characteristics - and a whole
lotta’ blues tunes - to Charlevoix’s Black Cat Concert Series.

MUSICAL MIX
 Growing up in Queens, NY, Latini was exposed to a wide range of music
via his family - and his eclectic musical choices continue today.
“My mom listened to a lot of stuff,” Latini explains, “everything from
Hank Williams to Harry Belefonte, and a lot of ethnic music - Italian
and Irish, but also Middle Eastern belly-dancing music and such. My
older brothers - well, actually everyone - were listening to The
Beatles, The Rolling Stones and then The Band, The Allman Brothers,
and Simon and Garfunkel.”
Latini’s brother eventually made up a family “fake book” of songs with
all the words and chords so that the family could sit around the table
after dinner and have singalongs.
“There were tunes that my parents liked, and tunes that we liked,”
Latini remembers, “and as it was passed around to all the family
members learning to play guitar, they would each add tunes to the
book. It was really cool - and that book is still around!”

TODAY’S SCENE
Today, Latini is still influenced by what he simply calls “great
songwriters,” among them, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, and Ryan Adams,
to name a few.
“Also, many of my friends and contemporaries,” Latini continues, “Dave
Boutette, Jo Serrapere, Josh Davis, Jim Bizer; the list is long, and
includes virtually any songwriters that really care for and work over
their tunes. I so enjoy songs that reveal more and more with each new
listen.”
Latini, who moved from Queens to the Detroit area in 1983 (“my wife
moved here to attend EMU,” he explains), has lived in Ypsilanti since
1988, and he’s been part of Detroit’s Blues Society scene for the past
several years.
As a songwriter, he’s found that most of his tunes lately end up being
about his family and his personal experiences - “although they’re
personal experiences that would be common to many, many people that
have lived similarly,” he says, “I believe that a broader
accessibility is a must if you are writing about personal
experiences.”

FESTIVALS AND MORE
Latini has been sharing those personal-experiences-via-song at plenty
of live dates; he’s got a full schedule booked already through the end
of this year, and says the gigs have been going well.
“I’ve enjoyed playing to some real great audiences, truly discerning
listeners,” he says, “the spring and summer dates have been especially
fun; I’ve always loved playing outdoors, and I like the festival
atmosphere and playing on a bill with other acts. I enjoy the
camaraderie of rubbing elbows with the other players.”
For the Charlevoix show, Latini says he’ll have his regular bass
player, John Sperendi, in tow (they’ll be performing as a duo), and
will be playing plenty of original music.
“We’ll be playing songs from my back catalog, as well as songs from my
upcoming record, which is due out early next year,” he says, “we’re
really excited about this new CD - it’s got great material, great
players and really, really great performances.”
Those performances, of course, will include Latini’s own impressive
guitar skills, as well as his distinctive voice, which he says is
perfectly cut out to bring the blues to every song.
“My vocal ability is basic and raw, and no matter what musical style
I’m singing in, it always comes out a little bluesy. I think it’s the
gravel,” he chuckles.

Singer-songwriter John Latini will be performing as part of the Black
Cat Concert Series on Saturday, July 31 at 8 p.m. The concerts take
place at the Dhaseleer Farm, 15794 Paddock Road in Charlevoix,
telephone 231-675-7768. Tickets for the Latini show are $15; get more
info at
www.blackcatconcerts.com.

 
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