The Blues is enjoying something of a renaissance right now. A dedicated coterie of young Turks (see piece on Connor Selby) and battle-scarred veterans continue to deliver new takes on this most beguiling and influential of musical genres. Just last year Buddy Guy impressed with his acclaimed ‘The Blues Don’t Lie’ album. And now another vet, JOE LOUIS WALKER, steps up to the plate to deliver another new blues set that offers much the same magical music menu as Buddy’s.
72 year old Californian, Walker is one the last living connections to the forefathers of the blues. He’s worked with people like B.B. King, Muddy Waters and James Cotton and he’s a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. He’s toured extensively throughout his career, performing at the world’s most renowned music festivals. He has recorded with Ike Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Steve Cropper, opened for Muddy Waters and Thelonious Monk, hung out with Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and was a close friend and roommate to Mike Bloomfield.
On music he debuted in 1986 with ‘Cold Is The Night’ and has since released music on labels like Verve, Alligator and High Tone. But his latest album, the ten track ‘Weight of the World’ is released on February 17th courtesy of Forty Below Records.
Like most blues greats, Walker knows that despite the stylistic limitations of the genre, an inspired performer can deliver plenty of variety and that’s the hallmark of ‘Weight of the World’. Old school soul collectors should try the brassy, bold ‘Don’t Walk Out That Door’ and ‘Is It A Matter Of Time’ – throwbacks to the great days of people like Bobby Bland and Little Milton. Great stuff. ‘You Got Me Whipped’ is another delight. Here the reference point is Mose Allison and with it’s Hammond swagger, it would be a great vehicle for Georgie Fame. ‘Blue Mirror’ is a classic boogie blues while ‘Root Down’ proffers a jaunty take on the classic sound. Most intriguing track is the slow groove that is ’Hello, It’s The Blues’.
‘Weight of the World’ is released on February 17th via Forty Below Records and it will only add to the current blues renaissance.