Born in 1938 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Larry Johnson is an expert East Coast Country Blues man who sings the blues, backed by his beautiful "Stride Guitar" style (a two-finger pick style using thumb and first finger). He has also appeared in a number of films.
one of the, few remaining, great elder statesmen of the authentic
The re-emergence of Larry Johnson has been one of the delights of recent years for fans of live acoustic blues. When he started playing music, as a transplanted Georgian in New York City in the 1960s, Johnson was a friend and apprentice to such venerable artists as Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Big Maybelle and, especially, Rev. Gary Davis. Like a handful of other aspiring bluesmen in New York at the time, Johnson availed himself of Davis's guitar lessons. Among Davis's pupils, Johnson has probably come closest to mastering the guitarist's awesomely complex style. That style has long since been incorporated into Johnson's own high speed, hard-picked but sweet sound, which also borrows from Blind Boy Fuller and ragtime.
As he enters his sixties and acoustic blues experiences another renaissance, the onetime young upstart has become an elder statesman. And, having practised diligently even during the years he wasn't performing, he remains at the peak of his powers, causing jaws to drop with his supremely confident picking. A Johnson performance flows from one piece to the next in stream-of-consciousness style. He continues to improve his skills, retaining the sense of wonder toward the guitar that developed as a youth.
struck me how a man could get such harmony from six wires and a
piece of wood," he says.
- Steve Cheseborough, Living Blues #145 close