Bluesman Larry McCray was the first to record Warren Haynes’ anthem “Soulshine.” Larry is an old, dear friend of Warren’s and I have had the pleasure of hanging out with the two of them together. That was backstage at Pine Knob outside Detroit. Warren was playing with Phil and Friends, and we were in the dressing room, and Larry repeatedly called Phil “Mr. Weir.” This was an awesome thing, and Phil never corrected him and he had a very nice chat with Larry, who is as warm and generous and funny as you might imagine from watching him perform.
Even beyond this Warren link, I feel very connected to Larry, who was buddies with my guitar mentor Tim “Tragocaster” Lamb. If you read Big in China, you know how important Trag and jamming with him at the Otisville Hotel in Otisville, MI were to my musical development. Well, Larry lives nearby and also popped up there often. Trag was always trying to get Larry there when I was there but sadly the stars never aligned.
Larry McCray doing “Soulshine,” a great version of a great song.. in tribute to my old buddy Tim “Tragocaster” Lamb: