For some people, a move to a warmer climate happens after they retire. Several years ago, one Indiana musician decided that he didn’t want to wait that long.
Larry Crane and his family would often visit the Sunshine State while on vacation. After his wife Lynette was offered a job in Sarasota in 2000, he considered his options, packed up and moved to Florida.
“We had been coming down here for a while,” Crane says. “My wife found a good job down here, and my daughter was going to college, so I said, ‘Why wait?’”
Crane, an original member of John Mellencamp’s band, released an EP of his own material in 1989. The CD, Eye for an Eye, featured “Independence Day,” a song that became popular in Indiana.
Two years later, Crane left the Mellencamp band and began a solo career. Since then, he has released two more CDs of original material, and until a couple years ago, performed shows in and around Indiana on a regular basis.
For Crane and his wife, the move from Indiana to Florida did involve a period of adjustment to the slower-paced lifestyle.
“It took some time to get [used to] the rhythm of the place,” he says, “and for the first four to five years we lived down here, I was going back to Indiana at least once a month for gigs with my band.”
These days, Crane is quite content to spend the majority of his time in Florida, playing in bars around Sarasota, and working on his golf game.
“I’m really not interested in traveling so much these days. I’m real happy doing what I’m doing down here,” he says. “I have a regular Monday golf game with a guy who is originally from Fort Wayne. ... [And] I recently shot my best round ever, 39 on the front nine and 42 on the back nine.”
About the differences between the music scenes in Florida and Indiana, Crane says that “there are more Dickey Betts-style guitar players down here. The guys I work with down here are working six nights a week, every week.”
Crane plans to return to Indiana soon to work on a new CD with his longtime friend and producer Alan Johnson. According to Crane, the material on the new project “will definitely have a country feel to it.”