Mike Garner has lived in New Zealand from 1987, and is heavily involved in the New Zealand blues scene. Mike works solo, as a duo, trio, or full band and gigs extensively throughout New Zealand.
His first solo recording, "Shades of Blue" (1993) was well received, and his first NZ band, The Blues Healers, played many major New Zealand festivals.
In 1999, Mike's new band, Stepping Out, recorded a CD titled: "Steppin' Out To The Blues". This album featured a number of original songs. This band played extensively at NZ & Australian festivals, and appeared on NZ Television and ABC Hobart. A live CD was recorded at the Montana National Jazz Festival 2001 - "Live At The Lonestar".
Mike's 2003 solo album "Still Your Lovin Man" consists of originals and acoustic blues standards, with all the instruments played by himself - acoustic guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, harmonica, bass, etc.
In 2003 Mike toured Australia solo, with appearances at many festivals (including the prestigious Frankston International Guitar Festival), and at many top Australian venues, including Sydney's Basement.
"Drivin' With The Blues" was released in early 2004.
In September 2004, Mike played solo concerts in Germany and Italy and in April/May 2005 he toured NSW with percussionist, Warren Houston.
Mike released his 4th CD, "Cad's Alley", in January 2007.
A cut from “Cad’s Alley”, with Jan Preston on piano, also features on a 2007 compilation “Harmonica Masters of NZ” and was played on USA syndicated blues show “House of Blues Hour”, hosted by Dan Aykroyd. Another cut from “Cad’s Alley”, Louisiana Hurricane, won 3rd place in the International Song Competition, Nashville, – the only Americana finalist from the entire southern hemisphere!
Mike appeared at New Caledonia’s arts festival, Live en Août in August 2007 which included dates in Noumea and all around the island. He appeared at the Cook Islands Jazz & Blues Festival, Rarotonga, in March 2008. In 2009, The Mike Garner Band, appeared at the Himalayan Blues Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal. A DVD documentary of the tour, "Kathmandu Blues" was released in 2010, by NZ film maker, Costa Botes.
Mike toured NZ with Queensland's Doc Span in 2009, including a TVNZ 1 appearance; and with UK guitarist, Pete Harris in 2010. He also opened for the Motown stars Four Tops, The Miracles, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, and Jimmy Barnes in front of a 50,000 crowd at Mission Estate in Feb 2010!
Mike's 6th CD, "Why A Woman Gets The Blues" was released in August 2011 by Ode Records.
In 2014 and 2105 Mike toured and performed in Japan with harmonica virtuoso, Neil Billington. They returned in October 2016 for the "Live Magic" festival in Tokyo.
Mike's 7th CD, "40 Below Blues" was released in October 2016.
In December 2016, Mike's 4 piece string band, The Bay City Ramblers, played at Australia's Norfolk Island Jazz Festival.