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Joe Louis Walker

Without a doubt one of the most exciting and innovative artists gracing contemporary blues, guitarist Joe Louis Walker has glowed like a shining blue beacon since the release of his 1986 debut album for HighTone, Cold Is the Night. The disc announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output has only served to further establish Walker as one of the leading younger bluesmen on the scene. Joe Louis Walker is the total package, as tremendously assured on a down-in-the-alley acoustic solo outing as he is performing a thoroughly modern R&B-laced number with his latest crew of Boss Talkers.

Walker traveled a circuitous route to the top of the blues game. He was born on December 25, 1949 in San Francisco. At age 14, he took up the guitar, playing blues (with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock) on the mushrooming San Francisco circuit. For a while, Walker roomed with Mike Bloomfield, who introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead and taught him some very useful licks. Walker even made a brief pilgrimage to Chicago to check out the blues scene there.

But by 1975, he was burned out on blues and turned to God, singing for the next decade with a gospel group, the Spiritual Corinthians. When the Corinthians played the 1985 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Walker was inspired to embrace his blues roots again. He assembled a band, the Boss Talkers, and wrote some stunning originals that ended up on Cold Is the Night (co-produced by Bruce Bromberg and Dennis Walker).

More acclaimed albums for HighTone -- 1988's The Gift, Blue Soul the next year, and two riveting sets cut live at Slim's in 1990 -- preceded a switch to the major Verve imprint and three more discs that were considerably more polished than their grittier HighTone counterparts.The LP The Preacher and the President appeared in 1998, followed a year later by his Blue Thumb label debut, Silvertone Blues. At the dawn of the new millennium, Walker changed record labels, joining Telarc Blues, and releasing In the Morning in 2002. He didn't stay at Telarc long, moving to Blues Bureau International for 2004's New Direction, then to JSP Records for 2006's Playin' Dirty, before settling in at Stony Plain Records for 2008's Witness to the Blues, 2009's Between a Rock and the Blues, and 2010's Live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. Walker seemed to find a more stable home at the venerable blues label Alligator Records; he made his label debut with 2012's Hellfire, and in 2014 returned with the fiery Hornet's Nest. ~ Bill Dahl & Al Campbell, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

schoberg1
you have my screamin heart.
Really feelin this cat.
Still feel bad about hurting the rear of his van in Novato . He gave me a tape of his. Been listening ever. The Man is a Real Class act. Oh, then there's his music, Real true deal.
Nightzzz is falling, I gotzzz the boozezzz bluzzz
7.3 3m 14y
Where yat ? I voted you into N.O. La killer blues man
mrschaffins
i heard him and always thumbed down but now its a shame got me really took a while but now i know..... he is really good
Bammm!!!
ra5710
Blues of the Month club got me though my divorce in the 90's. October is over!
Was just introduced to JLW at the first Big Island Jazz and Blues Festival this past Friday (06/01/12) and, wow, did he ever put on a good show along with many other great artists. Having the Pacific Ocean in the background along with the evening stars made for a memorable evening.
audilaw
JLW has many sounds and knows blues, rock, funk, you name it.......he puts on an unbelievable live show, so catch him in your area.... I know I sound like an advertisemen t but its true!!!! He's been playin the blues for a good long while....so he's got alot of good tunes to draw from. You won't be disappointed in any of his albums, theres a few slow songs and redo's but he's got it going on....
A women is made to be loved. Mr. Walker said so, over and over and over again. If he couldn't come up with any lyrics he should have just made it an instrumental .
see bob porters show portraits in blue on wbgo 88.3 fm newark nj bob has this great show. youll learn from the master and bob is. go to wbgo.org his shows are probably archived
This guys got one of the best voices in blues today.
FIRST TIME HEARIN HIM GOOD STUFF KINDA LIKE ROBERT CRAY
Hmmmmm, here I was listening to Otis Taylor and JLW pops up. A bit more funky good stuff; kind of like old cheese.
Cross them roads Joe.
I feel in love with Joe's music in 1988 with The Gift, the music is soulful, heartfelt and he just rocks them blues
my favorite slow melodic blues tune...
not familiar with him;however, i will be buying his music asap
rockmo
Rockmo Louis~ since I first heard A Quite a few years Back I've never ceased to be Impressed,Wi t h the people he's appeared with, the Band he appears with and continues to come out with a distinct style that only the master's can acheive, everytime he comes to town as well as on his CD's<(:-{>
love your blues joe. keep it up.
Wow never heard him before thanks Pandora !
Love da Blues!!!!
hcizenith
His live performances are outstanding. See him if you get a chance.
God bless you Mr. Walker
love it good stuff
kjbrookshire
TOP NOTCH!!!
Never heard of him 'til now, but he is fantastic!!!
never heard of him but he's good.
hcizenith
JLW is brilliant live! If you ever get a chance to see him, especially at Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco, don't miss it.
he is good and that is thumbs up on the blue scale!!!
Same here....firs t time I've heard him. Good stuff!!
first time I have heard him play. I like it so far.

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