Lari White

Lari White's Biography

Raised in the darkest heartlands of Florida, Lari White has drawn deep on her upbringing for the inspiration behind the eleven tracks on 'Green Eyed Soul', the debut CD release from UK based Mesmerizing Records.

Lari's Granddaddy was a true hellfire-hollering Primitive Baptist preacher, while her Daddy was the electric guitar player in a rock and roll band. Surrounded by music – primarily gospel, R & B and the sweet sounds of artists such as Ray Charles, Al Green and Stevie Wonder, the songs seeped into Lari's soul. Singing in church amidst this fire and brimstone storm, Lari had no doubt about the direction her future would take. A singer and a piano player from early childhood, at the first opportunity, in time-honored fashion, she packed up her possessions and drove 12 hours non-stop to Nashville where she instantly threw herself into the underground artistic community, studying acting and performing with several troupes while all the time working on her own material, which she would play at every chance within the city's teeming live circuit.

She was soon snapped up by a major label, and in the ensuing years earned a Gold record, multiple awards, huge live acclaim and several Grammy nominations. The culmination of all this was actually winning a Grammy for Best Gospel Album, with her stunning version of "Amazing Grace" on The Apostle soundtrack. However, despite her successes, she increasingly felt she was straying from her roots and being pushed towards the Country mainstream – though as she emphatically points out, 'I ain't that Country!'

Lari stepped back from live work and took time to reconsider her future. Still based in Nashville, Lari built her own studio – The Holler – behind her home, and assembled a team of top musicians she had come to know over the years to record the songs which make up 'Green Eyed Soul'.

'Green Eyed Soul' marks a stark departure from Lari's previous work. As far away from Country as it is close to, literally Soul, Lari, like her contemporary Shelby Lynne, doesn't shy away from digging beneath the placid surface into the dark underbelly of life within the insular communities of the deep South. Drawing heavily on her formative influences, Lari wrote and produced the album herself; she blends classic soul/R&B sensibilities with modern technology to tackle subjects such as love and the loss of innocence, conjuring up heady images of languorous, sultry Southern nights.

In setting out to make music with no higher ambition than to please herself, 'Green Eyed Soul' is an album whose hybrid of experience, influences and emotions cuts across accepted genres and speaks directly to the heart.