Michael J Smith
-1975-76 Begins writing and performing in Toronto with Steve Merchant
-1977-78 performing as a solo. begins classical guitar studies with Norm Chapman, then Ivan Maracle, at the same time as Jazz guitar studies with Howard Spring.
-1978-86 Humber College Music & York University (Gtr/comp.)
-1982-84 Copyist/Arranger with Music Director Ron Dann CBC TV's "Country in my Soul" With Host Sylvia Tyson
-1984 first CCM vinyl LP Living Jesus (Request a download)
-1985 first pop radio single Calling Me Back/ B side: Just a Way
-1987 Second Pop radio single I Rely
-1987 Second CCM album We Are A Family (Request a download)
-1988 - third pop single Glad for You (Produced by Chad Irschick)
-1995 - Celtic Folk/Roots CD: Wish I Was With Them Again with Murray Daigle CD (Margaree Sound)
-1997 Caught in the Light Country CD - Produced by Mike Francis
-1st country radio single Right Beside Me
-2nd country radio single/video Back to Paradise
-rd county radio single Only Make-Believe
-1999 Nashville's Best Compilation CD: Gathering of Friends Produced by Dick McVey
-2006 Male Vocalist of the Year (Durham Region Music Society)
-2006 Album of the Year (DRMS)
-2014 Parking For Meatballs - as LJ Folk (Vocal Jazz)
-2018 Near Me - as LJ Folk (Vocal Jazz)
-2020 In The Moonlight (6th Studio Album)
1st Folk/Roots radio single Good For You
-2022 - Acoustic Rainbow Roots Sampler: Gathering of Friends
Background: Set list from coffeehouse days before music studies. Check out the time and key signatures!
His award-winning voice has been described as "sheer perfection" (Lesley Mitchell-Clarke - WholeNote Magazine) Over 45 years Larry Folk has written and performed in a variety of styles. From simple folk ballads to the swinging standards of the American Songbook, Larry delivers the goods with style, ease and emotion.
A great story teller, Larry's ability to write lyrics that create stunning visuals for his listeners is matched perfectly to his masterful acoustic guitar playing. When he began performing regularly in Toronto's coffeehouses in the 70's, Larry's early songs mused about love and the beauty of the vast Canadian wilderness, but didn’t shy away from more serious subjects such as the unjust and misinformed treatment of North America's Indigenous Peoples. In the 80's he sang on Ottawa's Parliament Hill and at Toronto City Hall during rallies to end Apartheid in South Africa, performing his original song Amandla! Ngawethu! (Power to the People!)
Larry's songs continue to challenge the status quo, confronting our complex relationship with the planet (Take What You Want From the World) political divisions (Feeling Lost in America) the loss of innocence (Woodstock Nation) and his response to Covid 19 (A Hit of Love). His piece Nunca Mas was written in resonse to the Atrocities inflicted on the citizens of Argentina by the Military in the 70’s. The title is the name of the committee formed to investigate what happened, and translates as “never more.”
Larry began his recording career in the 80's releasing albums and singles that span a variety of genres including CCR, Pop, Rock, Country, Celtic/Roots, and Jazz. His 6th studio album In The Moonlight sees Larry returning to his folk roots. Upcoming plans include two follow-up folk CDs Embracing Folk and Thru a Dark Lens (both coming in 2022)
In The Moonlight includes a new version of Gathering of Friends, a song of good-bye that has been a listener favorite since its release on his 1997 album Caught In The Light. A re-release of that album with new takes and alternate mixes is slated to coincide with the album's 25th anniversary in 2022.
He has performed with Cape Breton’s John Allan Cameron, legendary soul-singer George Olliver, country artist Rena Gaile, a cappella jazz group Hampton Avenue and as a session singer on recordings by Susan Aglukark, John McMurchy, CBC TV’s A People’s History and on commercial jingles. He was a chorus member on the Rita MacNeil Show, (CBC TV) and subsequent Rita MacNeil Specials on CTV, and was an arranger/copyist on Sylvia Tyson's Country in my Soul (CBC TV) with music director the late Ron Dann who also produced Larry's first recordings.
For more about Larry’s jazz releases visit: ljfolk.com