Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 14, 2014

A high-rise release for 'Fair Weather Friend'

Pancake will host party Saturday on top floor of Skytower

ASHLAND — Larry Pancake is taking his new album, “Fair Weather Friend,” to the highest place in Ashland where he and his band can host a Party-From-the-Top-Down release party — the top floor of The Skytower at 1212 Bath Ave.

The Saturday event in Ashland is the culmination of three years of effort divided between two local recording studios and featuring a collection of the area’s most recognized musicians.

“I was trying to record something people could relate to. Every song on the album is different,” he said, citing the shifts and changes between tracks that range from rock to blues to country. “I wanted to record something that ... people would like every song.”

Pancake, who grew up in Flatwoods and counts the late Mike Murphy and Billy Ray Cyrus alongside Paul Rogers and Paul Thorn among his greatest influences, learned his first guitar chords from his uncle, Delbert Pancake. “He’s always been there for me, he’s not a fair weather friend,” Pancake said of his uncle. The singer and songwriter said he sang in church as a youngster, although he didn’t realize he was capable of “carrying a tune” until he signed up for chorus “as an easy class” in high school.

“My first job out of high school was playing at clubs,” he recalled, applauding a young local musician at an acoustic jam at a restaurant in Boyd County. Since those early days, Pancake has shared many big stages, including time alongside his friend, Eddie Money. Pancake jokes Money’s wife has said she likes his version of “Give Me Some Water” better than her husband’s original rendition, and jokes his “more country” version of the song may have influenced Vince Gill’s version of the tune.

He has appeared in several local television commercials: two for First & Peoples Bank and Trust; two for C&H Heating and Cooling; one for VAM Vocal Acoustic Monitors; and “one for Park Avenue Carryout. My line was ‘Hey, we’re out of beer, man!’”

Pancake wrote most of the songs on his new album, and shared the studio spotlight with a band built around the foundation of drummers Dewey Frye and Josh Kitchen, augmented by basslines from Corky Holbrook and Wes Messser, Stephane Scraggs’ mandolin, the guitar of Phil Osborne along with the talents of Bobby Burnette and Andy Caudill’s keyboards. To round out the album’s eighth track, Pancake recruited an unidentified harmonica player for a taste of vintage tube-amp and bullet-mic feel.

Tickets for the party are $10. Other local appearances will be opening for Money’s Aug. 30 show and acoustic sets for the Greenup County Fair and Greenup Old Fashion Days.

For more information, search for him on Facebook or visit his website at larrypancake.com.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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