An In Depth Interview with John Latini
John Latini may have grown up in Queens, New York, but he’s as truly a son of Michigan as if he’d been issued a passport. It’s not just that this singing, songwriting, guitar-slinging, uber-performing bluesman seems to be a perennial nominee for every Southeast Michigan music award, and winner of many, including the Metro Detroit Songwriting Grand Prize in 2004 and the Detroit Blues Challenge winner in both 2008 and 2009, and songwriting honors in North Carolina and Texas. And it’s not just that he’s been awarded an official Proclamation from Paul Schreiber, mayor of his Ypsilanti home town, or that he received a “Letter of Recognition and Appreciation” from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
It’s more that, whether he’s fronting his band the Flying Latini Brothers, working as a duo, or most often, commanding the stage alone, John Latini personifies the best that the heartland, and especially Michigan’s righteous rock history, have to offer: an honest, straight-ahead, no-nonsense commitment to real songs about real people. Latini also knows that all the best American music flowers from blues roots, and whether he’s tearing it up at a blues fest or captivating a room with original songs, folk and blues go arm in arm in his music like the blood brothers they are.
In addition to being a serious crafter of clever, literate songs, Latini is the purveyor of a slick, blues-soaked, economically hard-driving guitar style— but more than anything he’s an intense, incandescent performer, with an emotional, testosterone-charged voice that the Ann Arbor Observer called “alternately celebratory, remorseful, seductive and dangerous.”
A popular, well-established voice in Michigan, he’s begun to build an enthusiastic fan base throughout the Midwest and beyond to Colorado and New York. Now, Smokin’ Sleddog Records artist John Latini is more ready than ever to break out to a much wider audience.