Larry Garner at Leisure Tyme April 17

Larry Garner at Leisure Tyme April 17

By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer

Blues festival headliner Larry Garner & The Road Lizards will perform Leisure Tyme, 1434 N. Main St., Thursday, April 17.

As part of a series of promotional parties being held to promote Garner’s new album, Embarrassment to the Blues?, this guitarist/singer/songwriter will bring some of the road to the club scene. He has performed with top billing at many major festivals, including Tampa Bay Blues Festival, N. Atlantic Blues Festival, Cool Jazz, Hot Blues Fest and many other venues. He has toured Europe more than 30 times, and has found the time to release seven albums in his career.

Garner has appeared on the covers of Living Blues (January/February 1999) and Blues Connection (December 1998), recorded with music legend Al Green; received a Living Blues Critics Award nomination for Album of the Year; and became a Louisiana Hall of Fame Inductee in 2002. Garner is a seven-time W.C. Handy nominee, the winner of the 1998 Mr. Blues Award and B.B. King’s Lucille Award and the BBC’s Jazz FM award for Bluesman of the Year, and is the receiver many other prestigious forms of critical recognition.

This nationally-acclaimed guitarist started as most do. He was born in New Orleans and grew up in Baton Rouge, La.; this beginning has been the basic root of his blues style. He has spent his child to adult life immersed in the blues tradition, growing up listening to Silas Hogan and Clarence Edwards. He took guitar lessons at a young age from two gospel guitarists, and made his professional debut in a gospel quartet. He then continued his career as a bassist for The Twisters, replacing his cousin who died in the Vietnam War.

Garner played the local club scene of Baton Rouge until he won his first award in 1988, which led to his first record deal with John Stedman and JSP. Eventually, Garner ended up signing with Thomas Ruf’s label, Ruf Records.

Garner, 51, is still expressing the blues everywhere. Bringing his group Road Lizards to Leisure Tyme will introduce Rockford to a live performance of the real thing. Show starts at 9 p.m., runs until 1 a.m., and there is no cover charge—as in, it’s a free show—amazing! Information: 962-0957.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!