Larry Garner was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1952 and
was raised around Baton Rouge. He has been influenced by many of the Baton Rouge
blues scene: Lonesome Sundown, Silas Hogan, Henry Gray, and Guitar Kelly. He
writes his own material and this reflects his upbringing and surroundings. Larry
had his first guitar at eleven years old and he tells a great story in his live
act about being taught a blues lick, which he practised and practised and was
then "encouraged" by his proud parents to play at the church. You
need to see his arm movements, as he tells the story, to fully understand the
level of skill he had reached...
He then moved through various musical styles before, rather
inevitably, settling on The Blues. Larry served in Korea, still playing The
Blues and then returned to Baton Rouge to get married. A family followed and
he got a good job with Dow Chemical while playing Blues gigs in the evenings.
As Larry continued to play further afield from Baton Rouge he started to reach
a wider audience and in 1988 he won the BB King "Lucille" Award for
The big break came in 1992 at the Burnley Blues Festival in
England, where he was a big hit and this led to the London based JSP records
signing Larry in 1993 (To general disapproval from his parents!) and "Double
Dues" and "Too Blues" rapidly followed. Allegedly "Too Blues"
was so called because a record company had turned him down in the past because
his music was - "Too Blues"!
The Gitanes Jazz label in France (Owned by Verve) heard the
JSP recordings and when Larry made another storming live appearance, this time
in the "New Morning" club in Paris, they decided to sign him. Subsequently
"You Need To Live A Little" came out in 1995 to be followed by "Baton
Rouge" in 1996. Larry left Verve in 1997 and subsequently he recorded "
Standing Room Only " with the German Ruf label (Luther Allison recorded
on the same label). These days Larry seems to be touring all the time and if
you get the chance, go to see him, because the man is definitely worth seeing
I first came across Larry's work when I found a single track
on a sampler album that I just could not get out of my head. That track was
"Thought I had the Blues" from his second album for the JSP label,
"Too Blues". When I first searched for any fan sites on the web I
was astonished to find not one existed. In fact all I could turn up were a couple
of old reviews of the first two albums and a couple of photos... Thanks to some
feedback from a couple of readers who saw my first humble attempt at a web page
(How did you find it?!), I have found out that Larry often tours in the UK!
As a result I first went to see him at "The Brook" in Southampton
in June 1997 and you can find a review on another page.
"Embarrassment To The Blues? Live In Europe"
"once upon the blues" - RUF1044
"Standing Room Only" - RUF1024
"Baton Rouge" - Verve 529 467-2
"You Need to Live a Little" - Verve
ConcertBuero Andy Loesche
Schlafweg 28, 96173 Oberhaid, Germany