Dead Larry has often been called one of the most ambitious bands to come out of the musically fertile Iowa City scene.
They are a 4-piece psychedelic/funk/rock band. Dead Larry has done very well in Iowa City. Winning 5 battles in ‘08, including a spot at Camp Euforia, a spot with the Friday Night Concert Series as part of the Summer of the Arts program in Iowa City, 5 days of free recording time at Minstrel Studios, and their favorite, a performance slot at the 10,000 Lakes Festival 2008.
Travis Beck from The Daily Nebraskan had this to say about Dead Larry at 10KLF, "An all too short set by psychedelic funk pop band, Dead Larry, from Iowa City, Iowa, was all I needed to realize where the great music truly was. Lead singer/rhythm guitarist Mark McGuiness screamed his lyrics with rock 'n' roll conviction to the raw and dark simplicity of the musical compromise that is the rest of the band. Each member worked their musical niche to create something greater than themselves that is Dead Larry."
Through hard work and a love of playing, they funded their first tour, and have recorded an EP with Miles Nielson of the Wandering Sons. If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, you will. Their songs range from heavily funk inspired pop songs such as Mr. Wishing Well to the dark and driving Dead Man’s Clothes to songs like Christopher that are reminiscent of Irish ballads. The lyrics are haunting and catchy, and are well accompanied by instrumentals that always leave the crowd calling for more. Possessing a great love for classic rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, both their solos and lead riffs are as unique as they are tasteful, and will always impress. Their stage presence is very energetic, and the fact that they love the crowd as much as anything shines through at every show. They aim to please from introduction to encore, putting on the best show they can, from beginning to end. The fun they have on stage bleeds into the crowd, inspiring dancing and toe tapping, while the songs they play are always the main attraction.
They have played on bills with acts such as George Clinton, the Flaming Lips, That One Guy, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, The Breakfast, Jah Roots, the Envy Corps, the Silent Years, Euforquestra, Public Property and many more.
How did we get our name? Well, there was an old man named Larry and he died. Everything in his home was left untouched for over a year. He had no relatives to inherit his belongings so his assets were frozen by the bank. We visited his house by way of a secret passage thru a dark and dusty attic. Everything in his home was just the way he left it, shoes by the bed, burned down cigarettes resting on the ashtray, and a full and extensive liquor cabinet, where he pured his last drink. We borrowed a few things, some clothes which Mark likes to wear to our shows, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong records for Joe’s listening pleasure, a suitcase that we keep our CDs and T-shirts in to sell, and an excellent pair of Loafers. Oh yes, did we mention the suitcase we took was full of all the booze from Larry’s liquor cabinet? We took the funky drank home, had a weekend worth of partying, and in the end started a band: Dead Larry. In Death, Larry inspired us, and through us his name lives on. So came the name 'Dead Larry' and it just stuck. How’s that for a story?