MUSIC & POETRY: Larry Neeff & George Vlastos
August 13, 2012 • 7:30 p.m.
Metro Coffee Company
Larry Neeff began playing at age 10. “My parents inherited a piano and I was instantly hooked.” Larry began playing professionally at 15. “I was too young for a car, didn’t have a girlfriend, so I actually had money!’
After two years of music study at Casper College and two years at Metro State. He played with a variety of rock bands, including Zephyr out of Boulder, Co. When he met Thumbs Carlyle the legendary country guitar player offered him a gig in Las Vegas where they were opening act for artists like Merle Haggard, Steve Warner, Alabama and the Oakridge Boys. He also played with famed guitarist/ steel guitarist Buzz Evans for over ten years, and wrote the title song to his first CD “ It’s a hard life”.
In 1980 he won the Wyoming Songwriter contest with “Out Of The Frying Pan”. While living in San Diego, he became a member of the San Diego Songwriters Guild, and worked as a studio musician for Jack Temchien who co-wrote many songs with Don Henley of the Eagles
He recently retired as musical director at the Word Christian Fellowship Church after more than ten years. “My wife and I recently spent some time in Costa Rica. We’re hoping to go back soon and do some volunteer work with the children and play some music with a little latin spice to it.” I’ll send you all a coconut!”
George Vlastos has been writing consistently the past twenty-five years, but the past few years have been particularly busy in terms of his poetry. In 2010 Vlastos received an MFA from the University of Wyoming in Poetry and was also listed on the Wyoming Arts Council’s Artist Roster. At the 2011 Casper College Humanities Festival he presented Pilgrim vs. Pilgrimage, part of a memoir written in prose and poetry about his travels Greece. In 2012 he was the featured artist at the WyoPoets Annual Conference as well as the recipient of the Neltje Blanchan Fellowship, awarded to a writer whose work, in any genre, has been influenced by nature.
When Vlastos learned that he would be slated on the same night as Larry Neeff, he said, “Fantastic! Larry has been one of the biggest influences upon my spoken-word performances. When he and his wife Donna opened up the Daily Grind Coffee House back in the mid-90’s, Larry provided a venue for Casper’s writers that has never been surpassed. It allowed me to gain some much needed confidence in sharing my writing. Larry was always urging us on to try new things, to become comfortable with an edgy approach, to make the audience respond to what we were trying to express.”
Currently Vlastos teaches at Star Lane Center, a problem-based high school program in Casper focused on integrating curriculum around both regional and global issues. He is also an occasional Cretan villager where his family raises olives and produces olive oil.
Beverages will be served from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. and at intermission.
Partial funding is from the Wyoming Arts Council through the National Endowment for the Arts and Wyoming State Legislature.