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State trooper pursuing country music hobby, competing in online contest

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CANTON — Robert E. Larrabee has been interested in playing music and singing songs most of his life.

But with five daughters and a busy work schedule, his musical talent was placed on the back burner for many hears.

The 38-year-old is a state trooper assigned to Troop B and also is a volunteer with the Canton Volunteer Fire Department.

Now he’s managed to bring music back into his life.

About two years ago he decided to teach himself how to play a guitar that his wife, Elizabeth R. “Beth” Larrabee, bought him for Christmas.

The guitar sparked an interest in writing songs and playing country music that continues to grow with the support of his family and friends.

“It’s a nice escape,” Mr. Larrabee said. “It gives me something else to think about and focus on.”

His first song, “Tickle My Heart,” was inspired by his wife and daughter Kayla.

One of his favorites, “When a Hero Dies,” has been entered in the Texaco Country Showdown Songwriters Competition.

To hear the entries and vote, log onto countryshowdown.com. The voting deadline is Aug. 31.

If successful, the finalists will face off in a November competition.

“I’m hoping this gives me some exposure,” Mr. Larrabee said. “I love playing. So far, it’s just been for fun.”

Although he’s mostly performed at family parties, he did get the chance to play at the Canoe Place Inn, Hannawa Falls.

Mr. Larrabee’s interest in theater and singing date back to his time at Pulaski Central School, where he performed in theater, band and chorus.

As a student at St. Lawrence University, Canton, Mr. Larrabee continued performing and taking theater classes.

Although he didn’t pursue acting as a profession, he never lost interest in performing. In 2004 he played Tevya in a community production of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Besides his wife, Mr. Larrabee’s biggest fans are his five daughters, Kiersten, 14, Brianna, 13, Brooke, 10, Kayla, 8, and Jenna, 5.

Meanwhile, he continues to write songs and perform for family and friends.

“I’m waiting to see how far it goes. It’s been a lot of fun,” he said.

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