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Larry Garner -Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Dixiefrog Records

Enhanced CD with 11 songs (62:16 minutes) and 1 video; Library Quality

Style: Blues / Soul

Dear Larry Garner,

I know you are not “Dear Abby,” but I need advice.


Igno Ray Moose

1. When driving on an Interstate highway, how should I proceed?
Larry Garner: “Slower Traffic, Keep Right!”

2. There is only one Coca Cola left in the fridge, what should I do?
LG: “Don’t take my (or your) wife’s last coke!”

3. Is there a heaven or hell?
LG: “In the end, I sure hope there is an evil place for evil to go.”

4. Where is the best place in Louisiana to hear blues?
LG: “Go To Baton Rouge”

5. What about recreational drugs?
LG: “...You see, I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with taking a toke of reefer, but I don’t mess with them chemicals that’s made by man [meth]; it’ll rot your teeth out!” from, and based on, Muddy Water’s “Champagne and Reefer”

6. What is Life all about?
LG: “Here Today Gone Tomorrow”

Living life, paying attention, and living with joy seems to be the credo of too-often-under-the- radar Larry Garner. Truth be told, Larry is one of contemporary blues’ finest. Human observation becoming songs is the genius of Garner who almost exclusively performs his own material. As you can see, many of his song titles and lyrics are like good “advice,” and the above is a very small sampling.

From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 56-year-old Larry Garner is one of a handful of Contemporary Blues artists that actually plays blues, not rock. He is the epitome of a triple threat: a great singer, a terrific guitar player, and a witty songwriter. He is a three time recipient of Blues Songwriter of the Year award in Paris, a 2002 Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame inductee, and a five time nominee for a WC Handy Award in Memphis.

Folks in Europe were followers of Larry Garner long before most blues fans in the states. He had already toured extensively overseas, with two albums to his credit (debut on JSP in 1994), before Verve records issued his stunning 1995 domestic debut, “You Need to Live a Little.” 2008’s “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” is his eighth album featuring 10 original songs and one Muddy Waters cover.

Famous for telling stories from his experiences, the album opens with “Bull Rider” in which Larry relates how, at one of his Colorado concerts, he met a 21-year-old with the rough hands of a much older man. Garner failed at trying to guess his occupation - “Bull Rider.” But, why was he at a blues show instead of a country music concert? When he told Larry he loved the “lowdown dirty blues” and even had three of Garner’s CDs, Larry says, “I shook his ole rough hand again!” The song is musically a tasty guitar led, mid-tempo romp with keyboards, bass, and drums and background vocals by The Joe Sisters.

A real standout is an ode to BB King titled, “For You Mr. King.” Besides Garner on guitar, Jared Daigle, who tours in the US with Larry, shows off incredible fret work. Shedrick Nellon, another road warrior, appears on bass while Nelson Blanchard plays keyboards and Kirk Meyer drums, as they do throughout the CD.Other guests are: Stanley “Buckwheat Zydeco” Dural on accordion in “Heavy Pieces,” Henry Gray playing piano and Oscar “Harpo” Davis on harmonica in “The Last Coke,” plus Miguel Hernandez – bass; Rudolph Richard, Andy Squint, and Elvin Killerbee – guitars; and JR Daniels – saxophone in various songs.The embedded video that plays on computers is a 2003 showcase of Garner’s guitar playing. Recorded at Le New Morning in Paris, France, Garner performs a stirring rendition of Henry Gray’s “Cold Chills” backed by drums, bass, and keys.

Yes, I know – So much blues; so little time. But, if Larry Garner is an artist you have missed, then I guarantee you will enjoy his original music, life stories, and “advice.” If not, I will fax you a check refund.

Reviewer James “Skyy Dobro” Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ and Blues Blast contributor. His weekly radio show “Friends of the Blues” can be heard each Thursday from 4:30 – 6:00pm on WKCC 91.1 FM in Kankakee, IL

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