Larry “Rex” Rexford
Rex has always had a passion for music. In elementary school, he participated in every choir, choral group, or talent show possible. That continued into middle school and high school. One summer, after returning from an out-of-town visit, he discovered that his dad had picked up a used electric guitar and amp for him. Excited, the youngster eagerly signed up for lessons at Playground Music in Fort Walton Beach, investing his own money in learning to play. Songs that had been pent up inside his head now had accompaniment and a voice. Quickly, Rex began to seek out other musicians to collaborate and learn with. Any opportunity to jam was met with great enthusiasm.
During his senior year at Fort Walton Beach High School, Rex landed in the school’s jazz band and also accompanied the choral group, Voices of Valhalla.
The school’s two jazz bands were filled with some very talented musicians. Mr. Earnest Hebson was the band director. He had high expectations for his bands. Every day was a drill in sight-reading and improvisation. Rex jumped on board, learning weird chords and how to connect the dots, mostly through trial and error.
Music was always the side hustle. In 1991, he married Jackie and joined the US Coast Guard. Since the military likes to move people around, Rex was always trying to find musicians to perform, collaborate with, or record with. The venue might have changed but the passion never did.
After leaving the military in 1998, Rex, Jackie, and their son Andrew settled in Gulfport, MS. The passion continued to connect Rex with other musicians. Several bands and casual jam sessions eventually lead him to found Malachi, a Christian Rock band, in 2002. The band lasted 13 years, performing original, guitar-driven music. The band released two CDs and recorded enough material for another two or three CDs. While most of the founding members were consistent, the band had over 20 musicians that had participated in the band’s ministry, although no more than 7 at one time. Bob Wren joined the group about two years in and stayed until the group disbanded. This was the first time ever that Rex was both writing and performing original songs.
Aside from The Kiln Billys, Rex also plays on the praise team at Crosspoint Church, teaches guitar, records original music at his home studio, and collaborates and produces recordings with other songwriters.