Lori Larson

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Minneapolis resident Lori Larson is best known for her work as the lead singer for Red Red Groovy, an intriguing, unorthodox group that, in the '90s, brought elements of electronica and club/dance music…
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Minneapolis resident Lori Larson is best known for her work as the lead singer for Red Red Groovy, an intriguing, unorthodox group that, in the '90s, brought elements of electronica and club/dance music to a psychedelic rock foundation. But she has since become a solo artist and moved in a very different musical direction that is somewhere between new age and adult contemporary. Larson is not a native of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area; she was born in Morris, IL, where she came from a musical family who included, among others, a jazz-friendly grandfather who played with some members of Tommy Dorsey's big band. Growing up in Illinois, Larson learned to play various instruments (including the piano, the clarinet and the cello) before graduating from high school and moving to New York City (where she was a dancer for a brief period of time). But Larson didn't remain in the Big Apple; opting to move back to the Midwest, the singer settled in Minneapolis -- and that was where she met the other members of Red Red Groovy. That trio was formed in 1990 by songwriter/producer Brett Edgar, whose resume had included mixing tracks for local house and hip-hop artists and working as a DJ at Prince's nightclub Glam Slam. When Edgar joined forces with guitarist Mike Hill and hired Larson as Red Red Groovy's lead vocalist, the group's lineup was in place. Edgar knew exactly what he wanted Red Red Groovy to be; he envisioned a group that would combine '60s-minded psychedelic rock with club/dance music -- and even though their recordings weren't overly danceable, Larson was perhaps the closest thing dance clubs had to Grace Slick in the early '90s. Red Red Groovy was greatly influenced by psychedelic rockers like the Jefferson Airplane and the Doors, but elements of house, techno, ambient and trip-hop were successfully incorporated. 25, the trio's Edgar-produced debut album, was released by Continuum Records in 1993, and three of the songs on that disc were released as singles and became club hits ("The Time Has Come," "Another Kind of Find" and "Come to Me, Ecstasy"). 25 didn't turn Red Red Groovy's members into pop/Top 40 superstars, although it did earn them a small but enthusiastic cult following. Unfortunately, Continuum folded before it could put out a second Red Red Groovy album, and the group's members went their separate ways. Since then, Larson has kept busy with a variety of activities. In addition to doing musical theater in Minneapolis and performing jingles for commercials, Larson has pursued a solo career -- and her solo material is a major departure from Red Red Groovy. As a solo artist, Larson has favored a tranquil, spiritual, new age/adult contemporary approach along the lines of Enya, Sarah Brightman, Robin Frederick, Juliana and Anael. Red Red Groovy, although quite melodic, was much funkier and considerably more rocking; Larson the solo artist is very placid, calm, gentle and reflective. Buoyancy, Larson's first solo album, was released independently on Ruby Records in 2003.