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Larry Garner
Standing Room Only,  Ruf Records CD 51416 1392-2, 1998

 Your basic solid blues album

Blues! To be crass for a moment, you can’t do much better than a black man with a guitar singing de blues. That’s a compliment to the man, folks. Good voice and guitar that doesn’t do much new, but does what it does at the top of the game. Love, money (you don’t need it), individuality, girl troubles ("PMS"): it’s all on this one.

It all rocks off with "A Driving Woman," who will drive Larry fresh outa his mind. Spicy organ accompanies the medium rock rhythm. "Do Your Personal Thing" sounds like someone walking on the beach, which fits the "some people like walking along the ocean / leaving temporary foot prints in the sand" lyrics. I can really relate to this one, as someone who’s remained away from the mainstream for 28 years. He ain’t gonna let nobody stop him, so don’t  you! He he he, plus the female vocals way in the background are a nice touch.

"The Strangers Blues" reminds me a lot of Clapton on one of his many live CDs. It’s cool, mellow, it’s the kind of song you could put on the stereo, then leave your kids alone with. Great babysitter. No one will break in while this song plays. "I’ll Run Cross You" is blues in the best tradition. Tinkling guitar, cymbal, drums, then the voice. A song saying that if I stay here, I’ll run across you again. Reminds me of myself (again), like how it’s easier for me to go into a place of strangers than people I’ve met before. So I keep on traveling. Odd, eh?

True, it’s hard to do anything different with blues anymore. But that’s no reason you can’t be the best of the team. If Larry ain’t best, he’s sure first string.– Ben Ohmart


Larry Garner, guitars and vocals; Steve Potts, drums; Dave Smith, bass; Ernest Williamson Jr., piano and B3; Jack Holder, rhythm guitar; Jackie Johnson and Rebecca Russell, backing vocals.

song titles

A Driving Woman • Do Your Personal Thing • Strangers Blues • Keep The Money • Don’t Start Crying • Out in the Country • I’ll Run Cross You • PMS • Drifter • Cold Chills • 1st Encore

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.