Influenced by a dizzying array of Delta masters including, Eugene Powell, Jack Owens, Wade Walton and others, Little Toby Walker's "Cool Hand" offers a wide variation of sounds and styles in this fifteen track disc that runs close to an hour. He chose a Martin 00016 in addition to his 1930 National Triolian, going the old route with no overdubs throughout a baker's dozen of originals with two classics. "It's Tough" opens the set with Walker displaying blazing speed on a rhythm-repetitive cut that also shows some convincing vocals and for "Sleeping Alone," he captures a Son House feel, thanks to his gruff voice and direct slide. "Give Me That On-Line Religion" takes a humorous spin on how easy it is to find salvation without ever leaving the comfort of a personal computer, while "Ride With You Tonight" displays his storytelling skills, but with more than six minutes of jawflapping, it sputters and stalls,and never quite makes the freeway. "Mojo Mama" shows more fine guitar skills and the driving rhythm of "Baseball Blues" plays the foil for his mannish abilities, but it's "Ride This Train" where he pulls out all the stops. Delivering crushing figures and brash slide on his Triolian, this is where the heart of the man seems his best, and the instrumental quotes from "When The Saints Go Marching In" is nothing short of brilliant. "Pretty Polly" and "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad" are smooth and uncluttered and the closing track was recorded 'live' in his hotel room while at the International Blues Challenge, a competition he won earlier this year. Search this out at: www.littletobywalker.com where you can sample a few tracks, or you can drop a line to Toby at: firstname.lastname@example.org - a fine effort well-worth looking up.
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