Proxima Parada means next stop in Spanish.
While attending Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo a dozen years ago, Nick Larson believed the next stop was health care. Larson was studying to become a physical therapist. However, Larson fell in with a couple of Cal-Poly students who were musicians and his path changed dramatically.
“I never dreamed of becoming a professional musician,” Larson said while calling from Austin. “I just thought I would work a conventional job. I was well on my way there but things changed because of the band my friends and I were in.
“We were having so much fun with the band that we thought we should keep it going and one thing led to another and it worked out for the band but not for me in health care.”
The kinesiology major never experienced the 9-to-5 existence since his band has been the focal point since he graduated in 2012. The soul-funk band recorded its debut album “Sounds of Music” in 2013 and has taken small steps over the years.
“It’s been a slow, organic process for us,” Larson said. “But it’s been worthwhile. I’ve been so passionate about music my whole life. I just didn’t think it was going to be my career.”
Larson, 34, grew up in Sacramento, obsessed with the Beatles and Bob Dylan.
“Those two recording artists have had an incredible effect on me but I also have to mention the impact Ray Charles’ raw and unfiltered voice has had on me,” Larson said. “Ray Charles was an original.”
Soul and R&B have been Larson’s favorite genres since reaching adulthood. Those sounds are all over Proxima Parada’s latest album, “Second Brother,” which followed up the group’s second album, 2019’s “Kind Reminder.”
Larson and his bandmates, bassist Kevin Middlekauff, guitarist Josh Collins and drummer Aaron Kroeger recorded the album not long after the pandemic commenced. “I wrote 20 songs in 2020,” Larson said. “I made good use of the pandemic. Why not take advantage of all of the time we had?”
A number of “Second Brother” tracks will be played at the District Bar. Proxima Parada will also preview tracks from a recently completed but as yet untitled album. At least three new tunes will be played, including the single “Tunnel Through a Mountain.”
“We wrote that while driving in Colorado,” Larson said. “Our surroundings inspired us. It’s about overcoming obstacles that feel insurmountable.”
The next step for Proxima Parada is previewing the new tunes Saturday at the District Bar.
“I’m surprised the Lucky You closed,” Larson said. “We played there in 2019, opening for Blake Braley. We’ve also been part of Allen Stone’s Family Field Trip.
“Spokane is a cool place that we’re overdue to come back to play.”