Christmas Special!

Wondering what to get the blues fan with everything this Christmas? Well, you could do worse than to give them a copy of my album... it's had great reviews and it's not just the same old songs yet again!

BUY NOW for the special price of £6.50 - normally £10 - (includes UK p&p)

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“One of the good things of reviewing CDs is that, once in a while, you get a real masterpiece to review, a record you normally would never had heard… Such a record is ‘Love vs Blues’ by Paul Garner. Although he was born in England, he grew up in New Zealand, and he also returned to this island to record his first album.

“Why is this CD that good? First of all the style Garner plays in. One way or the other he succeeds in merging jazz with blues. Since the band that recorded the album with him plays a lot as a jazz-quartet, it’s not that odd of course, but Garner stays loyal to his blues-roots (just listen to the slide-guitar he plays on ‘Louisiana Blues’). Further you can not deny the strength of Paul as a musician, and I’m not talking about his sublime guitar-playing only. The man owns one of the most magnificent voices I heard on cd this year. In a number of songs he even made me think about Jamie Cullum, the young million-selling artist, who personally is responsible for the rebirth of jazz in the UK.

“The sum of his qualities as a musician and his exceptional talent for songwriting is incredibly high. The swinging ‘Tequila Amnesia’, the instigating ‘Another Day In New Orleans’ or the breathtaking ‘Goodnight My Love’, they are all highlights recorded between other highlights (twelve to be exact, all written by Garner himself). I think ‘Love vs Blues’ is a cd every music-lover should hear once if he or she can. I’m not pushing this record because, as I said earlier, the influences of jazz are more than present, but I can speak for myself and say that this album probably will be in my personal top 5 of this year.”

Steven Verhoeven - (Belgium/Holland), Oct 2005
This translation was provided by Bobtje Blues.
For the original Dutch-language text see this page.

“Singer/guitarist Paul Garner was born in Bedford, raised in New Zealand and is based in London. Garner returned to NZ to record Love vs Blues with the support of three of the country's best blues musicians. The album of 12 original songs demonstrates a maturity of touch and talent that belies Garner's relatively young age (26).

“The title track opens proceedings in a light Latin-jazz tinged mood. Garner is a good guitarist and has the voice to match. The band's style is firmly rooted in the blues with several forays to the blues/jazz border. There is a nice variation in pace too, but none of this fazes the band (keyboards, bass and drums plus harp on three tracks): they are equally at home on slower blues like "Just Got Out Of Jail" and more uptempo numbers like the excellent toe-tapper "Blue Morning Light".

“The band get a little funky for "Another Day In New Orleans" which is reminiscent of Anders Osborne. This is followed by "No Truth To Tell", another fine song with shades of Mose Allison to it, thanks largely to Liam Ryan's keyboards. After a quick stroll through "Bread & Circuses" the album ends in style courtesy of the late night club feel of "Goodnight My Love".

“Love vs Blues shows that Paul Garner is a fine talent. His style occupies the same sort of territory as Ronnie Earl and Sonny Black, with a measure of Anders Osborne thrown in for good measure. Hopefully blues clubs up and down the country will be booking him when he gets back from his December tour of Japan because, on the evidence of Love vs Blues, Paul Garner certainly deserves to be heard by a wide audience.”

Rating: 8 (recommended) - Gordon Baxter - Blues In Britain magazine

“Paul is obviously comfortable playing such a range of material but the album certainly isn't brick a brack. Paul's stylish guitar work and his wonderful 'smooth-as' band, featuring organ, keep all the songs distinctly Paul's even though the musical style varies. To me the stand out tracks are the longer numbers. "Just Got Out Of Jail", at nine minutes, features beautiful organ work by Liam Ryan followed by mood-setting guitar work. This song reminds me of the emotion-enticing work of Roy Buchanan. The music combines so well it tells a story in itself. The seven-odd minute "Blue Morning Light" has Nigel Masters on bass laying down a great groove over which organ and guitar solos overlay. Here Paul features a more Robert Cray sounding solo. The nearly nine minute "Goodnight My Love" is a wonderful ballad to wind up the album, very laid back contemporary blues with a very impressive guitar solo, again emotion-enticing.

“Paul has a great line up of musos with those already mentioned, plus Warren Houston on drums and percussion and Paul's old man, Mike, on three tracks playing harmonica. Paul shows himself to be a generous musician giving all ample time to showcase their skills, which for a debut solo album is great work. I think some artists try to show off too much at the detriment to the songs and to the band playing with them, but having played professionally since his early teens Paul has learnt the most valuable lesson, that of playing music as a team. This band sets wonderful moods which is a great asset for a songwriter to have and this is an album of really good songs, unlike so many other blues albums that feature some great solos. This is certainly an impressive start to a solo recording career and I have no doubt we will be hearing a lot more of Paul Garner.”

Ross Mortimer - Rooster Blues review, Australia