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Who was/is Joe Louis Walker ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more


Joe Louis Walker

HighTone's other major ‘80s electric blues guitar discovery was Joe Louis Walker. Although he couldn't quite muster the same pop crossover response as labelmate Robert Cray, Walker forged his own distinctive sound, beginning with his 1986 debut album ‘Cold Is The Night.'

Walker came into the world Christmas Day of 1949 in San Francisco. He soaked up the city's rich blues scene in his teens, absorbing his guitar lessons at the Matrix Club. "I used to play with the guys that came in. I played with Earl Hooker quite a bit. I sort of jumped onstage with Lightnin' Hopkins once and got kicked off," says Walker. "Freddie King, he let me play his guitar when he'd come to town. Sam, I'd see Magic Sam when he came to town. Hubert Sumlin, I've known Hubert quite a few years. When he was playing with Wolf, he'd come out and play the Fillmore, the Sunday matinees. Of course, Muddy. I was 16, 17."

Walker roomed with Michael Bloomfield in the Bay Area during the late ‘60s, leading to a 1969 Chicago jaunt. "Bloomfield sent me there," says Joe. "Said Otis Rush had a gig, which I didn't get. But just as well, because I wasn't really cut out to be, at that time, a Chicago guy." He didn't copy any of his heroes too closely. "I was told by many people, ‘Joe, don't try to be me, and don't try to be somebody else. Be yourself, because a bad version of you is better than you trying to have a good version of me.' I never was one of those guys to sit down and try to copy B.B. King note for note, or Albert King, or Freddy King. I enjoy the hell out of ‘em, but I figure if I'm gonna do this here, I might as well do it and put my own stamp on it."

Walker got away from the blues for an extended time, studying music at San Francisco State University and singing gospel with the Spiritual Corinthians. But a 1985 European tour as a member of the Mississippi Delta Blues Band got him back in harness, and when he returned to San Francisco, Walker formed his band, the Boss Talkers. He sent a demo tape to HighTone bosses Bruce Bromberg and Larry Sloven, and they brought him aboard the label. "He came to us, and he was a local artist to us," says Bromberg. "And we went up to see him. So we went for it."

Bromberg and Dennis Walker, the same pair that produced Cray at HighTone, also supervised ‘Cold Is The Night.' Its brooding, intense title track made a perfect introduction to Walker's haunting attack. The Boss Talkers (keyboardist Kevin Zuffi, drummer Steve Griffith, and bassist Eric Ajaye replacing Henry Oden on this track only) were stark and tasty throughout the LP, cut in Los Angeles.

Like the champion boxer of the same name, Walker kept on punching at HighTone with ‘The Gift' (1988), ‘Blue Soul' (1989), and two volumes of ‘Live At Slim's' in the early ‘90s before moving over to better-bankrolled PolyGram for a half-dozen discs later in the decade. His rough-edged vocals strike just the right balance with his electrifying fretwork, and he's highly adept on slide as well as single-string soloing.

Walker knows what his fans expect. "Basically, if I make a Joe Louis Walker record, it's not like ‘Joe Louis Walker plays this or that.' They're gonna like the record because of what I try to do," he says. "I think that people will enjoy it. I hope they do. If they don't, I always like to say, ‘It ain't my first record. It won't be my last!'"

 

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

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Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!



More information about Joe Louis Walker on de.Wikipedia.org
 
 
   
 
Joe Walker Louis & The Bossta: In Concert - Ohne Filter
Art-Nr.: DVD6521
 

Item in stock

(1991 'In-Akustik') (59:29/10) 'Recorded live at the 'Ohne Filter TV Studio', Baden-Baden, Germany, June 3, 1991' -  One of the greatest exponents of contemporary westcoast blues. He mixes Chicago style blues, some r&b, a shot of rock, and Memphis...

Instead of:$9.15 * $4.58 *

Joe Louis Walker: Every Wants A Piece (180g, 2-LP,)
Art-Nr.: LPPRL74741
 

Item in stock

(2015/Provogue) 11 tracks. When Joe Louis Walker have an entry in the Blues Hall of Fame, four Blues Music Awards and a half-century stage experience on the credit side. With his new album 'Everybody Wants A Piece' underpinned the 65-year-old American once more its...

$29.44 *

Joe Louis Walker: Everybody Wants A Piece
Art-Nr.: CDPRD74742
 

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(2015/Provogue) 11 tracks. When Joe Louis Walker have an entry in the Blues Hall of Fame, four Blues Music Awards and a half-century stage experience on the credit side. With his new album 'Everybody Wants A Piece' underpinned the 65-year-old American once more its...

$21.18 *

Joe Louis Walker: Live At Slim's Vol.2
Art-Nr.: CDH8036
 

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(1990 'Hightone') (44:01/09)

$18.82 *

Joe Louis Walker: Hornet's Nest
Art-Nr.: CDAL4959
 

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(2014/Alligator) 12 tracks. "Fine and fierce ... gritty gutbucket blues, joyous Stones-style rock and aching R&B" - Billboard

$19.77 *

Joe Louis Walker: Best Of The Stony Plain...
Art-Nr.: CDSPCD1375
 

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(2014/Stony Plain) 11 tracks

$11.51 *

Joe Louis Walker: She's My Money Maker - The Slide Guitar Album
Art-Nr.: CDJSP2157
 

Item in stock

A must for all you lovers of the sound of slide guitars. Not a regular tuned and played guitar on this CD!! Nothing but bottle necks, and metal tubes. Recorded in California. JOE LOUIS WALKER - slide guitar/vocals, GENO BLACKNELL JR. - kbds, ROBERT WATSON - bass,...

$22.36 *

Joe Louis Walker: Live At Slim's Vol.1
Art-Nr.: CDH8025
 

Item in stock

(1990 'Hightone') (53:57/10) Tolle Live-Alben, live bei 'Slim's 'in San Francisco aufgenommen, mit seinem modernen Blues/Soul und jeder Menge Slide Guitar / His excellent Blues/Soul fusion, and many great slide guitar tunes, recorded 'live' at 'Slim's' in...

$18.82 *

Joe Louis Walker: Live On the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
Art-Nr.: CDDFG8695
 

Currently not available

Recorded live during the 2010er Blues Cruise through the Caribbeans. Great live set featuring many of today's finest blues players. - Digipak. JOE LOUIS WALKER - gtr/voc, LINWOOD TAYLOR - gtr, KEVIN BURTON - kbds, HENRY ODEN - bass, JEFF MINNIEWEATHER - drums....

$18.29 *

Joe Louis Walker: Hellfire
Art-Nr.: CDAL4945
 

Currently not available

Surprisingly, Joe Louis Walker has joined Alligator's great roster of artists. This kind of rather dull bluesrock appears to be a foreign body in the Chicago label's great catalog. Awful, like his recent performance at the 'Lucerne Blues Festival 2011' in Switzerland.

$19.77 *

Joe Walker Louis & Otis Grand: Guitar Brothers
Art-Nr.: CDJSP8821
 

Currently not available

Re-issue. Both were musically raised in San Francisco's blues scene. And this is where their first and only duo album was recorded. Backing is supplied by Joe's then regular band. They sound somewhat stiff; but the guitar players are burning blues fireworks! -...

$19.77 *

Joe Louis Walker: Between A Rock And The Blues
Art-Nr.: CDDFG8673
 

Currently not available

He's one oft the most-experienced artists on the blues circuit. Walker's a great player with a trademark vocal style. Duke Robillard has been producing. And I am somewhat disappointed. There are great moments on this CD like the powerful opening track. You'll get...

$19.77 *

Joe Louis Walker: Witness To The Blues
Art-Nr.: CDDFG8651
 

Currently not available

He performs mostly original blues and soul tunes. With this concept, Walker's still in demand on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. No real surprises here, but excellent craftmanship. Rock solid and entertaining. Digipak. JOE LOUIS WALKER gtr/voc, BRUCE KATZ pno/org,...

$19.77 *

   
 
 
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