Puresouthernrock.com did an interview in April 2010 with Judge Parker´s Larry Pearson, who just returned from European tour.
Judge Parker has long history since you started the band back in 1988, can you briefly talk about your past in late 80´s and during nineties before your debut album?
We just kept touring,writing songs and doing showcases for any record label that would show interest. The more we stayed busy the more chances we had to keep the band together and not have to work real jobs.
A lot of the big shows were very memorable. Being the opening act is never easy, most of the time the crowd doesn’t even know who you are. Having Johnny Cash, June Carter, Bill Monroe and Tom T Hall setting in the front row of a Judge Parker show smiling and clapping their hands was something I’ll never forget. It’s available to view on YouTube along with other live videos.
Your latest album, Along for the Ride, came out last year, have you been pleased with the fan reaction and reviews for it?
Yes, the fans really like this album. Here are 10 songs that contain positive lyrics about lessons in life. Make the best of a bad situation, keep telling yourself that things can and will get better if you make the right choices. We want our fans to put this CD on and get more than just the music.
You guys are from Arkansas, which introduced Black Oak Arkansas and couple other great bands to the southern rock scene back in 70’s. Does that have much to do with influencing your musical style?
We grew up listening to Black Oak Arkansas and had all of their records. I never dreamed that I would actually play in the band. Jim Dandy Mangrum and Rickie Lee Reynolds asked me and my brother Arthur to join the band because we knew most all of their songs, lived in the Arkansas and were all good friends. Over the last 20 years we have went out with them from time to time and have a lot of fond memories of being in the band and touring all over the US. I played bass guitar and sang harmony, while Arthur played lead guitar. They have also supported Judge Parker and have influenced our styles indeed. Their new album “Memphis Mean Tymes” contains one of my songs entitled “Sweet Delta Water” I’m very excited about that and look forward to working more with them in the years to come.
What’s the music scene in Arkansas now days?
I don’t know. We’re always on the road a lot mostly out of state, so we don’t keep up with the scene in Arkansas. When I do come home I’m here with my family.
Have you seen any growth of popularity with southern rock over the past couple of years?
There has been more growth in the last few years for southern rock. Country music has reached the border with crossover styles as well as some of the red dirt sounds.
You guys just came back from European tour, can you tell us a little about that?
This is where southern rock is king at this time. We toured Holland, Belgium, France and Spain with sold out shows and die hard fans of Judge Parker. We are the new southern rock there, they welcomed us with open arms and we sold more merchandise in 3 weeks in Europe than we do in 3 months here in the States. Another tour is in the works for September that will be twice as long and they will add Spain, Italy and Scandinavia.
Besides live dates, any other future plans for Judge Parker?
There are T.V. documentary specials that we have done, some are still being edited. “Living on the Edge” which is being shown on Canadian television, features the music of Judge Parker while it focuses on the motorcycle gang life styles of the Vietnam Vets. Writing songs for the new CD project, showcasing for more record labels, touring and “Hangin’ in There”…
Thank you, Larry for your time and everybody be sure to check out our Judge Parker profile .