Larry Carlton says he and his wife, Michelle, were “warmly received” when they relocated to Nashville from Los Angeles 15 years ago. But the guitarist — known for composing the theme song for TV’s “Hill Street Blues” and “Who’s the Boss” and for sessions with Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, the Four Tops, Michael Jackson and many others — is quick to dispel the notion that he made the move for business reasons.
“It wasn’t to get into the sessions scene here,” says Carlton, 63. “Every once in a while someone will send me some tracks and want a solo, which I’ll do at the studio in the house.
“But, really it was to live a quieter, more rural lifestyle. And it worked. This is home.”
When Carlton leaves that home these days, it’s most likely in the company of his trio, with whom he recently released a live DVD filmed last year in France. He has, of course, worked with many larger ensembles — including a short tenure in the all-star group Fourplay — but the trio has become his preferred form of expression these days.
“I love having a keyboard player,” says Carlton, “but it limits a little bit of the material I do. With (a trio), I’m The Guy. I can freely alter the course any way I want to.
“When the keyboard player’s there, I don’t dictate the harmony so much, and this way I can do that and really just play free and open with the rhythm section. It’s really enjoyable.”
The Larry Carlton Trio performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Callahan’s Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $50. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.
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