Larry Garner was comfortable in the 9-to-5 routine, and making a good salary working for Dow Chemical in the 1970s, until he was forced to change that routine.
‘There was an accident on the interstate, and I took a detour to avoid it,’ remembers Garner. ‘I drove by this place that had a sign outside on wheels, with a couple lights that said Blues Jam Tonight. I went in, and they said to be back at 10 that night. I went home and told my wife about it. She said: “You know you’ve got to go to work tomorrow.”
‘I went anyway, played, and got home at 2.30 in the morning. That was Tabby’s Blues Box.’
And so a new career in the blues was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Larry was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame in 2002. The BBC honored him as its Bluesman of the Year, and he was honored as Blues Songwriter of the Year three times.
Larry Garner & The Norman Beaker Band play at The Cellars at Eastney on Sunday. Doors 8pm. Tickets £13. Go to thecellars.co.uk