Episode 153: Chris Laterzo
Air date: 2.10.2016
Take one look at Los Angeles-based musician Chris Laterzo and you’ll have a pretty good idea what his music sounds like. He’s scruffy, with unkempt hair, a 4-day shave and a sleepy-eyed grin; he could easily be a character from one of his own traveling songs who stumbled out of the van and into the desert to chase a butterfly. But Laterzo is no slacker dope - there is a bit of Renaissance Man in his musings, and although he pays his bills with a teacher’s salary when he’s not on the road, his overall affect is that he’s a sage moonlighting as a teacher and not the other way around. Laterzo’s five albums are filled with rockers, twangers and waltzes, and like Neil Young, the legacy artist that serves as his stylistic magnetic north, Laterzo writes about subjects as disparate as spaceships and the juniper and pinon blurring past his window on an all-night drive to the next gig. The usual complement of Americana instrumentation is on full display on his newest release, West Coast Sound; acoustic and electric guitars jangle and grind, pedal steel swells lean into choruses, drums sit pleasingly just behind the beat and Laterzo’s warbly tenor - equally capable of doing justice to soft, vulnerable ballads and roadhouse rockers - shines down upon all of it.