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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.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.