Georgia Southern professor Dan Larkin will bring his voice to the Emma Kelly Theater stage on March 10. His performance will be the last in this season’s ONE Series.
Born and raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Larkin moved to Statesboro in 2018 by way of Memphis, Tennessee. He attended graduate school in Memphis, and finished his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2017. He is currently a tenure track professor in the Philosophy Department at GSU.
Growing up, Larkin says he was exposed to a lot of different singer/songwriters, as his father listened to mostly classic rock by groups like the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Larkin says he’s been a singer “forever,” having grown up singing with his sisters in the church choir. He started playing the guitar at 15, and performed with his first band, Madmartigan, when he was 16.
“I ended up playing in a few bands in high school, and continued to develop my voice there, but I would say that it was not until the past five or six years or so that I actually started to like the way my voice sounded,” he said. “I always gravitated to the more raspy, rougher singers, and so I guess it just took a long time for me to figure out how to get the sound I wanted out of my singing voice.”
Larkin says his first “real” band, Liam and Me, was signed in 2006 with a small Indie label, Thrive Records. The band toured the country for a few years.
Larkin describes his music as a mix of every genre. He likes classic rock, alternative country and great singer/songwriters.
“While I appreciate a wide range of styles, my favorite genre has always been neatly placed in the singer/songwriter genre. People like Ray Lamontagne, Justin Vernon, James Taylor, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, Van Morrison. All of these have been enormously influential to my own playing, and so it is always a joy to play their songs whenever gigging around town,” he said.
Larkin says that his parents were always supportive of his “foolish endeavors.” He also points to bandmates, Matt O’Dowd, Kevin McKenzie and Jon Briks from his first band, who he credits with pushing him to become a better musician all around. Friends and bandmates from The Whiskey Republic, his band in Memphis while in school there, including Chris Vickers, Seth Hendrix, Joel Duggar and Kevin Blair, also pushed him to improve.
“Here in Statesboro, I have to say that the music scene as a whole has been just incredibly welcoming on the whole. Being able to get to know everyone around town, play with them, see them play, it has just been a real privilege and radically different from gigging around in a bigger city like Memphis,” he said.
While playing a singing is certainly fun, Larkin says the best part is when he gets to play with other musicians.
“There is something about the camaraderie of musicians, the trust between each other and the unexpected changes that arise in a performance that just cannot be matched,” he said.
As for his performance at the Averitt, Larkin says he is truly looking forward to it, although he admits he was shocked he was asked in the first place.
“I want to thank Mical Whitaker again for the opportunity to do so. I have decided that I will be playing songs that have a special meaning to me for one reason or another,” he said, adding that he hasn’t finalized that list yet. “But I can say for sure there will be a James Taylor song in the mix.”
Larkin loves the way the ONE Series allows the performer and audience to engage with each other more than a normal performance would. He’s also appreciative of the opportunity to be able to play songs that truly matter to him, and share that with the community.
Music, for Larkin, is a release, and it just makes him happy.
“To be asked to perform in such a venue for this community that I am incredibly thrilled to be a part of,” he says, is something he never expected to happen, and he’s humbled to share the same stage as previous ONE performers.
“I am very excited to be able to share my music and a bit of my story with everyone,” he said.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $20, and can be purchased at averittcenterforthearts.org, or by calling 912-212-2787.