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music: Local Bluesman getting Notice

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Garland acknowledges that things are going well at the moment. "We're starting to have people call us," he notes. "And they're good calls. We're getting the rooms we want." Garland reports the Kennedy Center promoter was so pleased with the performance and the turnout that another date is already being discussed for this fall.

Garland appreciates the opportunity he's been given in opening for King. "If you can play in front of a couple thousand people, you start to get noticed. When you get a shot, you have to make the most of it." Part of Garland's show that night will likely be his version of "Aberdeen Mississippi Blues," penned by Bukka White, B.B. King's cousin.

Local guitarist Ivan Appelrouth, who has toured nationally with jump-blues outfit Big Joe and the Dynaflows, is impressed by Garland's recent success. "Regardless of what Congress says, trying to give lip service to the genre," Appelrouth states, "it's tough out there. So for somebody's career to be moving up these days means a lot." To Joel Katz, executive director of the Carpenter Center, Garland was an obvious choice. "He's one of the most talented people in Richmond," Katz says. "And his genre worked well for the B.B. King audience. It was pretty much a 'no-brainer.'" Katz says the roughly 2,000 seats for B.B. King are almost all gone. — Andy Garrigue

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