Larry Pearson (JUDGE PARKER)

by Philippe Archambeau

( )

Hello Larry,
I discovered the Judge Parker cd in 2003 and I got a shock… As soon as, I thought : how such a good band could have been unknown of many Southern Rock fans ? I searched on the Net, but unfortunately your website was not up to date. I could contact you with your producer Chris Golden. So we are very happy you can answer to our questions for our website 'Road to Jacksonville' (in French and in English) and I want to thank you for that.

RTJ : Before talking about music, can you explain us how did you choose the name of your band ? Was Judge Parker a famous defender of the Law in the Far West ? So I think you can tell us more about the real Judge Parker ?

Larry Pearson : Judge Parker is from Fort Smith, Arkansas. It's an old town with a lot of history. Judge Isaac C. Parker "The Hanging Judge" was brought in to give law and order over the Arkansas and Oklahoma territory over 100 years ago. After you hang a few bad men, others think twice about breaking the law. In the movies "True Grit" and "Rooster Cogburn", John Wayne worked for Judge Parker.

RTJ : First, to begin and for the French fans, can you tell us about the story of Judge Parker band ?

Larry Pearson : Me and my brother Arthur formed the band in the fall of 1988. We had William Lee Golden (long bearded singer from The Oak Ridge Boys) and Jim Dandy Mangrum ( lead singer of Black Oak Arkansas ) in our corner. Supporting us in so many ways. We have also played in their bands supporting them. I have been asked to fill in on vocals for Molly Hatchet twice.
Once for Danny Joe Brown in 1992 and again for Phil McCormick in 2002.
These guys were always nice to us since the early eighties.
It's having people that believe in you that helps keep you going.

RTJ : You come from Arkansas, don't you feel too lonely in your country to play in this particular musical style ?

Larry Pearson : NO! We're in the heart of the South. These people love this kind of music.
We're located between the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Black Oak Arkansas, ZZ TOP
and Elvin Bishop.

RTJ : Is it easy for you to create real Southern Rock in your area ?

Larry Pearson : It comes natural when your in a place where southern rock is appreciated.

RTJ : Can you introduce the other musicians to us ?

Larry Pearson : Arthur Pearson-guitarist; Robert Takatch-bass/vocals; Victor Lukenbaugh-drums

RTJ : Do you have the same musical tastes and influences ?

Larry Pearson : We like a lot of the same kinda stuff, but we have different tastes in music and entertainers as well.

RTJ : Your first cd was issued in 1998. Can you tell something about it ?

Larry Pearson : The 1st CD was a 10 year anniversary of songs from that decade, that we felt was the "Judge Parker" sound. We had Chris Golden produce it, son of William Lee Golden and Johnny Sturdivant engineer, grandson of Kitty Wells, Queen of Country Music. We brought in a few other players and recorded it at the Kitty Wells Studio in Madison, Tennessee. One of the songs was called "Elvis and Jerry Lee", ironically we had a former back up singer for Elvis Presley, Greg Gordon and a former lead guitar player for Jerry Lee Lewis doing this project with us. This CD is called "Judge Parker/Judge Parker" and can be purchased through our website:

RTJ : I have noticed on your cd some different typical Southern Rock influences, such as the Allman Brothers (She Still Does), Charlie Daniels (Louisiana Rain), with the violin like in
'Fire on the Mountain'. Are these two famous bands the real and main influences
of the Judge Parker band ?

Larry Pearson : Yes, Charlie Daniels and the Allman Brothers are big influences of ours,
as well as Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker etc.

RTJ : I feel the Outlaws on the nice ballad 'Sweet Delta Water' and some Skynyrd on
'Slow Down Irene', don't you think ?

Larry Pearson : We write these songs and have a lot of people say that it reminds them
of another bands. But then again, some say we have our own sound. Every entertainer has
influences, and if you listen close you can hear it or see it in what they do.

RTJ : What did you do between 1998 and 2005 ?

Larry Pearson : We toured the United States. Opened a lot of shows for some really famous people including, Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Minnesota Fats, Kentucky Headhunters,
Confederate Railroad, Jackyl, Pat Travers, Molly Hatchet, Chris Ledoux, Marshall
Tucker Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Greg Allman, Dr. Hook, 38 Special plus headlining a lot of big shows ourselves.

RTJ : What are your songs about ?

Larry Pearson : Our songs are about the southland and the people who live here. Love,
pain and having a good time and learning what goes around comes around.

RTJ : Which are your best souvenirs when you played with your band ?

Larry Pearson : Pictures, videos. We sell a lot of T-Shirts and CDs at the shows3.
RTJ : Can you earn your living with the music ?

Larry Pearson : So far, so good. Enough to be happy and Thank God for everyday that i'm not
in a chicken plant or in the oil field anymore.

RTJ : Do you really feel from the South in your spirit and in your soul ?

Larry Pearson : Yes, you can hears it in the music, because it's in my soul 100%.

RTJ : Has the rebel flag a special meaning for you ?

Larry Pearson : The rebel flag is a symbol of the south. It's not a black or white issue.
I see it for what it stands for and wave it proudly.

RTJ : Your website is now up to date, where can we find your album ?

Larry Pearson : The CDs are for sale at the shows and through the website. Also you can contact me at And I want to hear from all of you out there in the world. Let me know how much you love southern rock and support the new south.

RTJ : Can you tell us if we can expect a new Judge Parker cd soon ? Do you have some musical projects ?

Larry Pearson : Just put out a new CD called "Judge Parker/Sound Medicine" it was recorded at (former Doobie Brother) Michael McDonalds studio in Nashville. Produced by Robin Blakeney and Bud Reneau. We were very thankful for all the support and dedication put into this project,
as well as the others before.

RTJ : Musically talking, how do you consider Europe and France from the United States ?
(we do have some good Southern Bands here !)

Larry Pearson : We've never been to Europe or France. We would love to go.
I'm not familiar with the music but would like to hear it.

RTJ : Usual question on Road to Jacksonville (fans enjoy it !), if you have to spend
the end of your life on a desert island, what could be the albums you take with you ?

Larry Pearson :
Bob Seger - Live Bullet
Allmand Brothers - Live At Fillmore East
Black Oak Arkansas - Ain't Life Grand?
Blackfoot - Strikes
The Outlaws - Bring Em Back Alive
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors

RTJ : Have you anything else to say to the French fans ?

Larry Pearson : Bring us to your Country. Buy our CDs and keep southern rock alive.

Thank you Philippe. Create a great day.

Larry Pearson/Judge Parker

RTJ : Thank you Larry, and I hope that J

arker can show his traditional and true Southern Rock in Europe !