One rule of thumb with any successful project is commitment and determination. If you are embarking on a career as a musician/songwriter, you had also better develop along the way, a thick skin and lose any aversion to hard work you may have. Being a performer may look like nothing but a good time, but ask Landis Frier and he will tell you that it requires all of the above, and keeps asking for more, if you want more. He does.
More than one year ago, yours truly interviewed Frier as he was just starting out. His gigs were small, in venues like Mellow Mushroom, playing while folks ate, drank, and socialized. Landis has gone from as simple a beginning as you can have, to becoming one of the area’s busiest performers. It’s been a non-stop train of sweat and creativity that has pulled him along, and he has no plans to disembark anytime soon. He has played at a number of locations here routinely, including One Trick Pony, and Bayou’s. He has opened for acts like, The Swinging Medallions, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and The Tams, at the Sasser Flea Market, which has become renowned in the area for bringing some well-known, nostalgic acts to their outdoor venue.
Each time Frier opened the night in Sasser, as soon as he came off stage, he loaded up and headed back to Albany to play another gig that same night. He may very well be a wordsmith when penning his music, but ask him what it’s like to be dashing all over southwest Georgia to get in front of as many folks as possible in a single evening, and he just sums it up with; “Crazy”, but he’s smiling as he says it.
Frier is not content to only be a very busy local act. He has put his soulful country sound on the road and it has taken him to among other places, Statesboro, Valdosta, Brunswick, Tallahassee, Atlanta, even Nashville; (Tennessee, not Georgia), and as far west as Colorado. I asked the 24 year old, what took him to Nashville, thinking it was a particular event or booking, but again, his one word answer revealed exactly where his head is at theses days; “Ambition.”
His casual, easy-going demeanor and laid back style will fool you. It’s only been a couple of years since Frier made the exciting but risky decision to set aside anything resembling a normal life, and put his efforts into the music. His first CD, a collection of original material simply titled “Landis Frier”, is rich in musical talent and passion. Songs like “Tennessee Woman” and “Dirt Roads”, offer up a sound that is both comfortable and unique. From the beginning, those locals that have known Landis for years, have been surprised by the gritty, older feel of his singing style. It’s clear that he not only puts his all into songwriting, but his performance, as well.
Just when you would think that he had hit a hard-earned stride as a solo act, Frier is just days away from playing live with a full band. “It’s going good.”, Frier said. ” I’ve got a good four piece band put together. I love playing acoustic, but I’m ready for that full band show.”
Soon joining Landis on stage will be Jack Martin on lead guitar, Tom Holloway on bass, and Michael Ladson on drums. Yet, even as this new group gets things put together and fine tuned, Frier is already thinking about making it six, with the addition of keyboard and steel guitar.
Landis has made full use of social networking to get the word out. “I get anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent of my bookings off the internet”, he said.
You can keep up with him on Facebook, and catch a few songs and videos at his own site, www.landisfrier.com. He stressed though, that it’s still a matter working the phone and hitting the road to get in front of club and venue managers. “It’s a lot of running, a lot of gas money, a lot of holes in my socks because I’ve walked in these boots too far…”, said Frier, “…it’s a lot of beating down doors.”
Keep an ear out for this young man, but you won’t have to strain yourself because his sound is getting louder by the minute. The band is the next thing on the menu, and he is already four or five songs into his next CD. You can always count on Landis Frier to having something good cooking.