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 his vocal and guitar spice.
The opener, " You're Just About To Lose Your Clown" is Beale Street BBQ, soulful and funky, lead off with Walker's signature distorted style. "Joe's Jump" is a blues rave-up in the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan. "Where Jesus Leads" boasts Walker's rural gospel roots a la Al Green. There are many other influences and shades. Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter, Otis Redding, they are all here in Walker's vocal tradition. Throughout, the piquant of the music is Walker's gutsy guitar, never so slick to annoy or bore and always revelatory and compelling...as it the entire disc.
Track Listing: You're Just About To Lose Your Clown; In The Morning; Joe's Jump; Leave That Girl Alone; Where Jesus Leads; Strange Lovin'; Do You Wanna Be With Me; If This Is Love; 2120 South Michigan; Strangers In Our House. (Total Time: 52:49).
Personnel: Joe Lewis Walker-Guitars And Vocals; G.E. Smith-Guitar; Andrea Re-Backup Vocals, Percussion; T-Bone Wolk-Bass; Steve Holley-Drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.