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Larry Howard at Cornerstone Blues Jam

About Larry

Larry Howard, born in 1950 in Winter Haven, Florida, was a seminal figure in the Southern rock and gospel blues genres, whose musical career spanned several impactful decades. His journey began in the realm of big band swing music, where he had the remarkable opportunity to play alongside Count Basie during his teenage years. This early exposure to music laid a solid foundation for his diverse and rich career. Howard initiated his recording journey in 1967, moving through various musical phases and regional performances in Florida, which culminated in the formation of the Southern rock band Grinderswitch in 1972.

Grinderswitch, formed with Dru Lumbar, Joe Dan Petty, and Rick Burnett, quickly signed with Capricorn Records. The band enjoyed moderate success and toured with rock legends such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and other prominent acts of the time. Despite never reaching the heights of some of their contemporaries, Grinderswitch carved out a respected niche within the Southern rock scene, known for their energetic performances and soulful music​ 

In 1980, after Grinderswitch disbanded, Howard underwent a profound personal transformation by becoming a Christian. This change deeply influenced his musical direction, steering him towards gospel blues—a genre he would soon come to define. Howard's pioneering project, "Sanctified Blues," is considered the first contemporary gospel blues album and featured notable musicians like the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and saxophonist Jim Horn. This album marked the beginning of what would be a prolific solo career, during which Howard released ten albums and became known as "The Father of Contemporary Gospel Blues"​.

Howard's contributions to music were not just limited to performances and recordings. His deep personal faith and his music's spiritual themes provided solace and inspiration to many. His impact extended beyond the stage and studio into his personal interactions, where he often shared his testimony and supported others in their struggles with addiction and hardship, as evidenced by the personal stories shared by those he helped​.

Larry Howard's legacy is preserved in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, a testament to his influence in both the rock and gospel music scenes. His solo projects, especially noted in the gospel section of the museum, highlight his unique ability to blend blues with gospel themes, creating a powerful and enduring musical heritage. Howard passed away in 2017 at the age of 66, but his music continues to inspire new generations of musicians and fans alike, embodying a legacy of musical innovation and heartfelt ministry​.

Larry Howard singing the blues
Larry Howard playing the blues
Larry Howard playing his favorite guitar

About The New Album

“Ain't Finished Yet” was started more than 20 years ago, and during those years, Larry traveled and preached the gospel in his own special way.

 

After creating and giving away his last album before his passing, American Roots, Larry wanted to return to his own roots and create an album that celebrated his love for the wood and steel of his guitar. He wanted to produce an album that brought together his favorite musicians and friends in a collaboration that embraced his love for the Blues and for Jesus.

Years after his passing, his sons, Bryan and Brandon, and his good friend Skip Frye, have finished his last work for you to enjoy. His grandchildren Sierra and Luke provided the artwork and CD design.

 

While Larry may have gone to Heaven, his sound and his soul on this earth "Ain't Finished Yet!"

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