Joe Louis Walker/Watermelon Slim/Janiva MagnessB.B. King Blues ClubMay 18, 2010 B.B. King's Blues Club might not exactly devote itself exclusively to the 12-bar business of its name, but it's certainly the joint to head for when the big-name players hit town. The club also specializes in double or triple-bill old-style revues, where the audiences usually have to prepare themselves for a lengthy barbecue immersion. This particular triple-shot was so charged with energy that the sheer momentum of the performers carried through what was nearing a four-hour show. Even longer for ...read more
The blues ain't the meat and potatoes they used to be. Conforming to the old 12-bar or 9-bar recipe as definition has not happened in 20 years. The brand of blues that San Franciscan Joe Louis Walker serves up on In the Morning is fine Memphis barbecue, a tangy mix of everything from Stax/Volt, Atlantic, Muscle Shoals hot sauce soul to hot and humid Clarksdale, Mississippi mud pie. All of the elements are here. Walker's band, lead by former Saturday Night Live band leader G.E. Smith, is the sharp sauce, providing a sound base from which Walker add ...read more
Tradition-minded newcomers like Alvin Youngblood Hart, Keb’ Mo’ and Corey Harris have spurred an acoustic-blues renaissance over the past few years. Now one of the most respected electric bluesmen on the scene, Joe Louis Walker, has opted to pull the plug on his guit.Named for the 1930s acoustic guitar Walker plays on over half these songs, Silvertone Blues is an excellent listen. Traditional without sounding antique, this 12-song collection offers a fervent mix of devil-fearing Delta blues, Mississippi-meets-Chicago blues reminiscent of Robert Nighthawk, and slide-driven boogie a la Elmore James. Mr. Walker does some serious vocal testifying and ...read more
Joe Louis Walker is one of the most soulful cats in music, blues or otherwise. A great guitarist, Walker also sings with tremendous passion on this release, the San Francisco native's finest collection of songs. It combines blues with soul, funk, and a hint of jazz, and it features jaunty horns and the justifiably famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Producer Steve Cropper helps Joe Louis forge a sound that compares favorably with classic soul purveyors Otis Redding and Sam and Dave. Best cuts include the funky Y&T," the Redding-like ballad Pride of a Fool," and the great soul rave-up Uhh!" ...read more
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