LMT: 25 funky years worldwide

Mark Rogers, Leroy Emmanuel and John Irvine formed LMT Connection 25 years ago and are  still going strong with five albums to their credit. They play in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 11
Mark Rogers, Leroy Emmanuel and John Irvine formed LMT Connection 25 years ago and are still going strong with five albums to their credit. They play in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 11

LMT CONNECTION – Three Dynamic musicians on a mission dedicated to taking funk music to the final frontier.

The group is comprised of leader and guitarist Leroy Emmanuel, bassist Mark Rogers and drummer John Irvine. They have been together for 25 years, recorded five albums and played over 5,000 shows including 12 tours of Europe (2003 – 2012) and most recently performed in China on the Great Wall of Funk tour (2013).

They’ve also managed remarkably to hold a 16-year residency at the legendary Orbit Room in Toronto on Wednesday nights.

Born in Atlanta and raised in Detroit, Emmanuel began his professional career at the age of 12. Later in life, he went on to record and play live with Marvin Gaye (Whats Goin On, Let’s Get it On albums), Gladys Knight and the Funk Brothers of Motown fame, to name a few.

With his original group the Counts, Emmanuel recorded five albums for Westbound Records, toured all over the U.S. and shared the stage with Kool and the Gang, the Commodores and the Funkadelics. He has played Madison Square Garden, the Apollo and Radio City.

A lifelong native of Niagara Falls, Canada, Rogers started playing drums when he was eight. By 18, he was recognized by Canadian Jazz Festivals as the top drummer in the country for his age group. Shortly thereafter, he began performing with a 10-piece Motown Revue touring all over North America with legendary guitarist Emmanuel. When the Motown Revue came to an end, Rogers and Emmanuel, with bassist John Irvine, formed LMT Connection.

Leroy Emmanuel
Leroy Emmanuel

Ottawa native John ‘Big Bad’ is one of the most exciting bass players out of Canada. Having played professionally since age 12, Irvine’s credits include working for Capitol and RCA Records with such diverse artists as Ronnie Hawkins and Liberty Silver. An innovator with effects, John has designed pedals for Zoom Sound Laboratory and recorded with EDM superstar Deadmau5.

To say they haven’t looked back since would be an understatement. LMT Connection has shared the stage with BB King, the Temptations, jazz organists Joey DeFrancesco and Tony Monaco, the Spinners, Tower of Power, Al Green, Funk Brother Wah Wah Watson, Lee Oskar of War and Alex Lifeson of Rush.

They have released five albums on their own without ever taking a dime of major label money. All releases are through LMT’s self-owned and operated Impression Records and distributed worldwide.

Their repertoire is both familiar and refreshing. Like an arrow pointing in two directions, LMT Connection evokes the Motown era while breaking new ground in contemporary music. And nowhere is this more evident than in their live performance.

LMT Connection has just released its new LP, Expedition. Together they travel beyond mere nostalgia or entertainment into a dimension that transcends age, time or location. But words are only words. There is no substitute for the real experience; an experience that robs words of their meaning. To speak about LMT Connection in the third person is nothing like being there in person. So we’ll let you decide.

Now, are you ready for this Toronto! On Sunday, Jan. 11, LMT will perform at the newly updated Seven 44 Restaurant & Lounge, (previously Chic ‘N’ Deli), 744 Mt. Pleasant Rd. in Mount Pleasant Village, Midtown’s newest dining and dancing spot. Showtime is 5 p.m. Phone: 416-489-7931 for details.

Compiled with information from the LMT website bio and history.