Blues The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Wed, 28 Oct 2020 21:52:27 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Joe Louis Walker & Bruce Katz & Giles Robson ‎– Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues (2018) Joe Louis Walker & Bruce Katz & Giles Robson ‎– Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues (2018)

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1 	Mean Old Train	3:03
2 	It's You, Baby	3:31
3 	I'm A Lonely Man	6:22
4 	You Got To Run Me Down	3:15
5 	Murderer's Home		5:47
6 	Feel Like Blowin' My Horn	5:46
7 	Hell Ain't But A Mile And A Quarter	3:58
8 	G & J Boogie	2:17
9 	Poor Kelly Blues	4:45
10 	Chicago Breakdown	2:54
11 	Hard Pill To Swallow	6:00
12 	Real Gone Lover		4:41

Joe Louis Walker - guitars, vocals
Bruce Katz - piano
Giles Robson - harmonica


Journey to the Heart of the Blues features three positive blues masters. Anything with the wonderful Joe Louis Walker on guitar is bound to be a winner; add US keyboard ace Bruce Katz and a superbly inventive pinch of UK blues-harp player Giles Robson to the mix and you have an album that is solidly anchored in traditional R&B, with boiling boogie-woogie piano rolls, guitar shuffles and wailing harmonica. The 11 tracks included feature many old standards from the blues cannon including “Mean Old Train,” “Hell Ain’t But a Mile and a Quarter,” (where Katz is stunning), and “Chicago Breakdown.”

From the very start, this is an album that demands and merits attention. Robson’s harp has clear flashes of Little Walter, Sonny Boy and all the command that might be expected from an advanced player of the instrument in the blues genre. Walker is his usual self, full of delicious licks and fretwork that comes straight from the heart of the music. Katz is, as always these days, a piano revelation, burning it up when needed before taking the time to slip in some soulful syncopation that never seems to upstage the other guys and yet, inexplicably, manages to do just that from time to time.

However, this is clearly a composite job, a collaboration between three blues players who each have a place and know exactly how to work together with no real need for anyone to try to outshine another. And, despite the temptation that must surely exist to simply excel with the competitive musicianship here, each of the three players succeeds in bringing something fresh, full of flavour and ringing with ability and style to the table , while never losing sight of the strength of ensemble playing that shines and sparkles. An excellent bit of old-school R&B and a release to catch at the first opportunity. ---Iain Patience,

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Fri, 02 Nov 2018 15:21:48 +0000
Joe Louis Walker – Hellfire (2012) Joe Louis Walker – Hellfire (2012)

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01. Hellfire (4:48)
02. I Won’t Do That (5:01)
03. Ride All Night (4:24)
04. I’m On To You (3:30)
05. What’s It Worth (6:17)
06. Soldier For Jesus (5:50)
07. I Know Why (5:13)
08. Too Drunk To Drive Drunk (3:57)
09. Black Girls (5:23)
10. Don’t Cry (5:00)
11. Movin’ On (4:35)

Joe Louis Walker - Composer, Guitar, Harmonica, Slide Guitar, Vocals
Max Abrams - Saxophone
Roy Agee - Trombone
John D'Amato - Guitar
Tom Hambridge - Drums, Mixing, Percussion, Producer
The Jordanaires - Vocals (Background)
Tommy Macdonald - Bass
Rob McNelley - Guitar (Electric)
Wendy Moten - Vocals (Background)
Matt White - Trumpet
Reese Wynans - Hammond B3, Piano


There's no question that Joe Louis Walker deserves all the attention he should receive with his first Alligator release. Through sheer persistence and hard work, Walker has as much if not more cred, talent, and journeyman status than any other blues player of his generation. In addition, he's been releasing albums since 1986, making this one -- somewhere around his 25th -- an impressive achievement in itself. Entering his early sixties, Walker clearly decided that upping the energy, volume, and rock elements was a conduit for the commercial acceptance that has heretofore eluded him. So he joined with veteran producer/drummer Tom Hambridge, whose work with Buddy Guy proves that he knows his way around hot guitarists aiming to increase their marketplace visibility. The result is an often relentlessly busy recording that frequently feels forced, strained, and pushed to the edge, not necessarily in a good way. As Walker should know at this stage in his career, intensity in the blues world doesn't equate with playing and singing louder than the other guy. It has more to do with dynamics and subtleties in the vocals and performance. Both are, if not entirely lost, often absent on this well meaning but somewhat misguided album, which seldom mines the natural soul/blues/gospel groove Walker is capable of. The opening title track kicks off with crisp church-inspired beats, organ, and fine-tuned lyrics about good and evil, but loses the plot with Walker, who shouts more than sings, and displays a fret-slashing, wah-wah-enhanced, Hendrix-drenched guitar solo that's overwrought and undercooked. Walker is talented enough not to scream or fret-shred to make his point, something that Hambridge doesn't seem to grasp as everything is ramped up to 10 on the majority of these eleven songs, seven of which were penned or co-written by Walker. The guitarist's religious roots are covered on "Soldier for Jesus," and he even heads into more polished R&B territory for the "love-will-keep-you-alive ballad" "I Know Why," the album's most tranquil track also nearly derailed by Walker's smooth vocals that devolve into vein-popping utterances as the song progresses. That approach is more appropriate for the following Bob Seger-styled "Too Drunk to Drive Drunk," a simplistic yet energetic rocker likely crafted for concert singalongs by intoxicated crowds. Much better is "Don't Cry," a slick funker of the Johnny "Guitar" Watson variety that rides a slinky groove with backing soul singing providing the spiritual relevance. Elsewhere, on "What It's Worth," Walker's sharp, lyrical observations about success begin with a throbbing heartbeat of bass but quickly escalate into another volcanic explosion of notes that loses the stripped-down grit they started with. On "Black Girls," he praises the titular females for adding soul to music, then negates his words with a somewhat soul-less slide workout that, along with the backing vocals, makes the tune cluttered and too long. A closing cover of Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On" shows how comfortably Walker adapts the country standard to a blues/gospel format without losing the original's straightforward yet effective concepts. Walker and Hambridge are seasoned pros, and with fellow road warrior Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan) along on keyboards, everything is expertly played. But the album tries too hard to make its points, generally misplacing Walker's organic, rootsy appeal and obvious talents in the process. While it might indeed open him up to a larger audience, it does so at the expense of what makes Joe Louis Walker one of the finest living blues musicians. --- Hal Horowitz, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:04:14 +0000
Joe Louis Walker – Hornet’s Nest (2014) Joe Louis Walker – Hornet’s Nest (2014)

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01 – Hornet’s Nest
02 – All I Wanted to Do
03 – As the Sun Goes Down
04 – Stick a Fork in Me
05 – Don’t Let Go
06 – Love Enough
07 – Ramblin’ Soul
08 – Ride On Baby
09 – Soul City
10 – I’m Gonna Walk Outside
11 – Not in Kansas Anymore
12 – Keep the Faith

Joe Louis Walker - Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hambridge - Drums, Tambourine, Percussion and Background Vocals
Reese Wynans - Piano, Wurlitzer Piano and Hammond B-3 Organ
Rob McNelley - Guitar
Tommy MacDonald - Bass


It’s a time of consolidation for Joe Louis Walker, an attacking blues guitarist who has, forever it seemed, been the best modern player to never get his due. That changed in a big way with 2012′s aptly named Alligator debut, Hellfire. All of a sudden, Walker was garnering album of the year awards and, in a move as surprising as it was overdue, induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Why mess with a good thing, right? In keeping, Walker’s forthcoming album has a similar feel, and a lot of the same things that Hellfire had going for it. If that doesn’t make Hornet’s Nest, due February 25, 2014 via Alligator, the same kind of jolt-inducing triumph, it still provides more than enough reasons to recognize Walker for his determined focus in the face of so many years of relative obscurity. Not for nothing, after all, did he once title an album Blues Survivor.

As with Hellfire, which was somehow Walker’s first new studio effort since 2009, Hornet’s Nest features Tom Hambridge has producer, drummer and songwriting partner — and that’s, no doubt, a principal reason for the continuity between the two projects. He imbues most everything with a tough muscularity that suits Walker, just as it did on the most recent Hambridge-helmed albums Buddy Guy and James Cotton. And, again like those two earlier legends, Walker’s unique instrumental voicings — his guitar is by turns seething and then desperate, salacious or else sad — glues it all together.

The title track barges out with a tough statement of purpose, surrounded by Walker’s boiling asides. A smart backing band also featuring keyboardist Reese Wynans, guitarist Rob McNelley and bassist Tommy MacDonald then finds a nervy groove on “All I Wanted to Do,” and Walker takes advantage of that space — exploring darker, more lovelorn areas with his vocal, while adding some punchy brass from the Muscle Shoals horn section.

Hornet’s Nest continues with that kind of rhythmic, almost metronomic balance. He unleashes ear-melting outbursts of emotion on “As the Sun Goes Down” and “Ramblin’ Soul,” while winking his way through “Stick a Fork in Me.” He has a ball with a cover of “Don’t Let Go,” then finds the deeper soul in “Ride On, Baby.” He boldly enlivens what sounds like a floorboard-rearranging house party on “Soul City,” only to travel all the way to the bottom of a brown bottle on the slide-driven “I’m Gonna Walk Outside,” Finally, there’s an emotional reaffirmation on the closing “Keep the Faith,” which finds Ray Walker, Curtis Young and Michael Black joining in for their second turn on vocals, following “Don’t Let Go.”

If none of it breaks new ground, if all Hornet’s Nest really does is confirm his newfound legend, well, that’s not such a bad thing. Joe Louis Walker put a lot of miles behind him before arriving at this place. It’s only right that he should drop his bags and sit a spell. --- Nick Deriso,

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:55:18 +0000
Joe Louis Walker - Blues of the Month Club (1995) Joe Louis Walker - Blues of the Month Club (1995)

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01. Blues Of The Month Club				play 
02. You've Got To Loose 
03. Lost Heart 
04. Bluesifyin' 
05. Hidden Fellings 
06. Play'em Where They Lay				play 
07. Get It Right 
08. I'm Not Comin' Over 
09. Second Street 
10. Your Lyin' Eyes 
11. Street People

Joe Louis Walker (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, background vocals); 
Steve Cropper (guitar); 
Andrew Love (tenor saxophone); 
Wayne Jackson (trumpet); 
The Memphis Horns (horns); 
Mike Eppley (piano, organ, keyboards, background vocals); 
Curtis Nutall (drums); 
Melvin Booker (background vocals).


There may not be a finer all-around blues artist in the U.S. than Joe Louis Walker, whose third album for the Verve label impresses from start to close. Emotionally connected with gospel and soul as well as blues, he injects his confident singing and sophisticated, lyrical guitar-playing into an appealing program of eight originals and a song apiece from R&B great Ike Turner ("You've Got to Lose"), world-famous R&B scribe Dan Penn (with songwriting help from fellow Nashville resident Gary Nicholson on the title cut), and his dependable Bosstalkers band ("Second Street"). For certain, Walker's individual way with a song is memorable, inviting return listens. Special guests this time around include bass great Steve Cropper, who helped Walker produce the record; the ever-busy Memphis Horns; and, not least, the church singers The Spiritual Corinthians. ---Frank-John Hadley, Editorial Review


Walker's latest is, alas, also his weakest to date -- strange, since he shares production credit this time with the legendary Steve Cropper. Once again, some songs drag on far after their logical conclusions; also, Walker doesn't quite possess the pipes to effectively belt the old Jackie Brenston rouser "You've Got to Lose." The title track, with Cropper co-featured on guitar, is a clever piece of material, but overall, the slick production values strip some of the grit from Walker's incendiary attack. --- Bill Dahl,

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Wed, 23 Nov 2011 09:57:38 +0000
Joe Louis Walker – Blues Survivor (1992) Joe Louis Walker – Blues Survivor (1992)

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01.Help Yourself 06:53
02.Shake For Me 06:49
03.My Dignity 05:39
04.Young Girl's Eyes 04:22						play
05.Part Of Me 07:25
06.Bad Thing 05:12
07.You Just Don't Know 05:50
08.Put You Down, Baby (Album Version) 04:49		play
09.Blues Survivor 06:38
10.Rainy Nights 05:24
11.Workin' Blues 05:04

Joe Louis Walker And The Bosstalkers:
Joe Louis Walker (guitar, slide guitar, vocals), 
Tim Devine (saxophones), 
Jeff Lewis (trumpet), 
Mike Eppley (keyboards),
Henry Oden (bass),
Paul Revelli (drums).


By no means a bad album, Walker's major-label debut just wasn't quite as terrific as what directly preceded it. The studio atmosphere seems a bit slicker than before, and the songs are in several cases considerably longer than they need to be (generally in the five- to seven-minute range). A reworking of Howlin' Wolf's "Shake for Me" is the only familiar entry. --- Bill Dahl, AMG


I love this CD. Joe Louis Walker cuts some great recordings, and this is my favorite. My favorite is "My Dignity," which is borderline jazz and builds to a great climax during the saxophone solo. Other high points include the infectious grooves and great guitar playing on "Shake for Me" and "Young Girl's Eyes," as well as the story telling of "Blues Survivor." "Part of Me" is a great ballad blues, but far from placid. It has lots of emotional hills and valleys. "Bad Thing" has awesome guitar and piano solos. The horns in the recording also compliment it very well. Trust me. This CD will not bore you. At first listen, you might associate JLW's style with Robert Cray's style, but JLW's voice is more dynamic, and he has a rare talent for presenting many different styles of blues on this, as well as most of his CDs.

I also love the way the recording is produced. There is just enough reverb (and not too much) so that if you turn it up real loud on a nice stereo, it sounds just like you are in a blues bar with a killer sound system. All of JLW's other CDs are great too (especially "JLW," which features the Tower of Power horns, & "Blues of the Month Club,"). Even though the horns on this CD aren't T.O.P., the compositions and production of this recording are what give it the edge for me. --- RHR3 "Music Lover/Book Fan" (Rockford, IL USA)

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Sun, 30 Oct 2011 09:39:03 +0000
Joe Louis Walker - Between A Rock And The Blues (2009) Joe Louis Walker - Between A Rock And The Blues (2009)

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(3:57) 1. I'm Tide
(3:50) 2. Eyes Like A Cat
(4:58) 3. Black Widow Spider
(6:41) 4. If There's A Heaven
(4:23) 5. Way Too Expensive
(5:33) 6. I've Been Down
(4:08) 7. Prisoner Of Misery
(7:34) 8. Hallways
(5:43) 9. Tell Me Why play
(7:21) 10. Blackjack
(4:46) 11. Big Fine Woman play
(4:17) 12. Send You Back

Joe Louis Walker (vocals, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, slide guitar);
Sugar Ray Norcia (harp);
Doug James (saxophone);
Bruce Katz (piano, organ);
Jesse Williams (acoustic bass, electric bass);
Mark Teixeira (drums, percussion).


San Francisco blues guitar king Joe Louis Walker has been purveying his biting brand of West Coast blues since the '60s, with time off for good behavior (literally -- he spent years going "straight" attending school and playing gospel). On Between a Rock and the Blues he manages to keep one foot in the L.A. blues he grew up on (T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, et al.) and the other in a more modern sound, both in his songwriting and his impassioned fretwork. On the likes of "Eyes Like a Cat" and "Way Too Expensive," Walker's seasoned band whips up a sassy, swinging, old-school jump blues feel, while "Tell Me Why" leans into a classic-sounding Chicago-style shuffle. Walker's voice, still lithe and clear at 58, rings out authoritatively over it all, and his concise, stinging guitar makes no apologies for asserting its dominion over all it surveys. An unplugged stab at Delta blues on "Send You Back" feels less convincing, but other cuts, such as album-opening "I'm Tide" [sic] and "If There's a Heaven" show off a crunchier, grittier, more rock-inflected guitar tone and a compositional sensibility to match. When Walker taps into this more modern-sounding mode, though, it's important to realize there's no pandering involved. Even though his roots go back way further, he didn't begin establishing his own sound as a solo recording artist until the '80s, so it's entirely natural for his style to have picked up some rock & roll attack along the way. Crucially, he never overdoes it, maintaining just the right balance between the understated and the in-your-face. He hasn't stopped growing as a songwriter either -- Walker's original tunes dominate the album, and they reveal both a strict avoidance of lyrical blues tropes and a knack for deftly inserting thoughtful observations in between burning riffs and gut-level grooves. ~J. Allen

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Mon, 07 Mar 2011 09:26:58 +0000
Joe Louis Walker - Great Guitars (1997) Joe Louis Walker - Great Guitars (1997)

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01. Low Down Dirty Blues
02. First Degree
03. Mile High Dub
04. Fix Our Love
05. Every Girl I See
06. Cold And Evil Night
07. Hop On It
08. Nighttime
09. Sugar
10. In God's Hands
11. High Blood Pressure

Line Up:
Joe Louis Walker - Vocals,Guitar
G.E. Smith - Guitar
T-Bone Wolk - Bass
Steve Holley - Drums
Andrea Rea - Percussion,Background Vocals


Joe Louis Walker is a powerful blues guitarist and singer whose versatility and musical courage are showcased throughout this frequently rousing set. Walker collaborates (and sometimes battles it out) with Bonnie Raitt, Ike Turner, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Taj Mahal, Robert Lockwood Jr. and the Johnny Nocturne Horns on one song apiece, in addition to having three features of his own. Of the many highlights, "Low Down Dirty Blues" (which features Walker and Raitt jamming on slide guitars), the 1940s jump band feel of "Mile-Hi Club," the Walker-Guy guitar explosions on "Every Girl I See," the joyful encounter with Matt Murphy on "Nighttime" and Lockwood's appearance on "High Blood Pressure" are all quite memorable. This all-star gathering works quite well and is consistently memorable; all 11 selections are well worth hearing. ---Scott Yanow, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Sat, 19 Jun 2010 10:16:58 +0000
Joe Louis Walker - In The Morning (2002) Joe Louis Walker - In The Morning (2002)

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01. You're Just About to Lose Your Clown
02. In the Morning
03. Joe's Jump
04. Leave That Girl
05. Where Jesus Leads
06. Strange Loving
07. Do You Wanna Be With Me?
08. If This Is Love (I'd Rather Have the Blues)
09. 2120 South Michigan Avenue
10. Strangers in Our Mouse

Joe Louis Walker (vocals, guitar);
G.E. Smith (guitar);
T-Bone Wolk (bass);
Steve Holley (drums);
Andrea Rea (percussion, background vocals).


Rootsier than Robert Cray, more soulful than Jimmie Vaughan, and boasting a gospel background similar to the great Sam Cooke, Joe Louis Walker is a contemporary soul/bluesman who flawlessly and effortlessly mixes his diverse influences. On his first album in three years (and Telarc label debut), Walker proves he's an artist capable of terse, searing guitar solos, as on the R&B "Do You Wanna' Be With Me?"; mid-tempo, jazzy soul such as "Leave that Girl Alone"; or rugged acoustic Delta blues like the appropriate album-closing "Strangers in Our House." Walker -- who began his career playing religious music -- not surprisingly proves himself a more than adequate soul/gospel vocalist in the Al Green vein on the spiritual "Where Jesus Leads." In fact, the Memphis groove is infused through much of this album, with Walker's simmering version of the Stones' "2120 South Michigan Avenue" sounding like a lost Booker T. & the MG's B-side. But he's at his strongest when plowing through gritty, Southern-styled swamp-rocking R&B, as on "Strange Love," the album's strongest track, where he shouts, growls, howls, and testifies like Wilson Pickett in his prime. Walker is in full control throughout, moaning and crooning in a honey-and-grits style that is immediately recognizable. Even when he plays it straight on "Joe's Jump," Walker sounds invigorated, whipping off piercing leads even in a timeworn shuffle style. The opening tracks, "You're Just About to Lose Your Crown" with its bubbling Latin percussion, and the easygoing groove of the title tune smoothly coalesce Walker's soul, blues, and gospel roots. One of the versatile musician's most consistently successful albums, this is convincing proof that Joe Louis Walker is one of the most overlooked and distinctive artists working in the soul/blues genre. ---Hal Horowitz, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Fri, 18 Jun 2010 19:30:34 +0000
Joe Louis Walker - Silvertone Blues (1999) Joe Louis Walker - Silvertone Blues (1999)

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01. Runnin' from the Devil
02. Kenny's Barrelhouse
03. Change My Ways
04. Do the Walkin'
05. Trouble on Wheels
06. Letting Go
07. Talk to Me
08. Silvertone Blues
09. Born in Mississippi
10. Crying Won't Help You
11. It's You Baby
12. Bad Luck Blues
Personnel: Joe Louis Walker (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, dobro, harmonica, piano); Alvin Youngblood Hart (guitar); James Cotton (harmonica); Kenny Wayne (piano); Joe Thomas (acoustic bass); Chris Sandoval (drums).


Some critics have tagged this the best blues release of 1999; others weren't nearly as kind. It's a beauty-is-in-the-ear-of-the-beholder situation. Blues "purists" who lament the fact that very few artists today are playing down-home, traditional blues will very much enjoy and appreciate this return to the roots. Fans of more contemporary styles might quickly grow tired of the intense, piercing vocals and upper-register slide guitar work. There are ten originals and two covers (Robert Nighthawk's "Crying Won't Help You" and Sunnyland Slim's "It's You Baby"). Most of the tunes are sparse, gritty duets with either James Cotton on harp, Alvin Youngblood Hart on guitar/vocals, or Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne on piano. Walker sings and plays dobro on the only solo track "Talk to Me." If you long for a modern-day artist with the delivery of a Robert Johnson or a Howlin' Wolf and you like your blues pure and raw, Silvertone Blues is right up your alley. --- Ann Wickstrom, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Joe Louis Walker Sun, 13 Jun 2010 23:23:07 +0000