Irving Louis Lattin is a native Chicagoan who grew up during a time when almost every blues legend lived, recorded & performed throughout the city daily. It was common to walk past the neighborhood bars and hear amazing blues and soul music seeping out of the windows & doors every week and especially the weekends. As a kid he got to hang out with blues veterans on Maxwell street and learn to jam. There was also the very potent r&b /soul sounds of his beloved windy city, Chicago. For Irving, the other musical styles are just as strongly influential in his musical upbringing as gospel & blues. Inheriting his mother's musical taste he soaked in songs of the blues, gospel and soul artists who's records & music she loved to play. There were the influential 'non blues' Chicagoan natives like Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Syl Johnson, Tyrone Davis, Ramsey Lewis,The Emotions,The Staple Singers,The Chilites, etc. Irving has always soaked in music of all kinds growing up.
While dancing around the living room one day to the soul song "You're gonna mess up a good thing" by Fontella Bass & Bobby McGlure, Irving had a revelation that he wanted to learn to play the guitar. The oldest of 8 siblings and the only musician in the family, he was driven to learn to play the guitar all the time. It was the last thing he put down heading to school and the first thing he picked up upon returning home. Within 6 months as a teenager he joined his first band with other neighborhood friends, all of them learning to play music along the way. In that first band he started singing background vocals simply to help out. The band had 2 brothers alternating lead vocals so he'd assist the other brother with the oooos & ahhhs in the background. He had no idea that singng would become an intergral part of his talents. I never thought about whether I could sing well or not, I just did it. Add the natural influence of Chicago style soul music, Motown & Memphis/Stax, followed by the british invasion of music to the funk bands of the 70s & 80s and you get Irving's musical foundation.
In the late fall of 1982, Irving landed in New York city armed with an appointment with RCA records who were interested in a song he'd written. The song they liked was to be place with one of the company's artist who'd decided to go in another direction. Finding himself at a crossroad he decided to stay in New York for new opportunities instead of returning to Chicago. The early years were hard but it was the best move for his musical career. The local music scene and lots of record companies had gone out of business in Chicago during this time so he felt that his career could get a boost in the Big Apple. "The interesting thing is that I never planned on living in New York, only to visit the music publishing & record labels", he said.
With rhythm & Blues/Soul music as Irving's base he's been called "the real deal" by lots of folks who've heard him sing and play the guitar. Still, it is as a songwriter that truly tells much more about him musically than just seeing him sing & play. In his songs you hear the range of various musical directions he can go in. His musical influences are much more varied than you might think. Having written songs for many years he has built a body of work worthy of people's attention. Tune in ~