Monday, May 16, 2011

Larry Garner live

Back in the early 90s Louisiana bluesman Larry Garner was a real force on the blues scene. I saw him at the 100 Club in 1993 and again in 1996 and at the New Orleans Jazzfest. So it was good to see him again last night playing with the Norman Beaker Band at the Half Moon in Putney. He made his name at Tabby's Blues Box in Baton Rouge during the 80s. After two successful albums on JSP - Double Dues and Too Blues - he recorded several more albums before rather fading from the scene and apparently suffered a serious illness, before recording an album called Here Today Gone Tomorrow in 2008. Since then he has toured extensively with the Norman Beaker Band but this was his first appearance in London since the 90s.
Larry remains a great guitarist and vocalist with a good line in humour between numbers. Maybe he spent a little too much time in a fairly short set talking rather than singing and veered away from the blues on a couple of occasions with a touch of funk and even a bit of rap. But the band gave him excellent support and his power on numbers such as Cold Chill , Keep on Playing the Blues, Champagne and Reefer and a final Hoochie Coochie Man shows he is still a bluesman to be reckoned with.


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