Joe Louis Walker
Evidence Records (ECD 26126-2)
by Dick Houff
Review date: May 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
I've probably spun this disc about a thousand times since receiving it. I have played it for both friends and fellow musicians, alike. Each time; I get a different reaction. Many people are reminded of the 1970s jazz fusion-no way. I remember the period well, and there were no players mixing R&B, straight-up blues, soul, and jazz. No. Joe's got a new brew going, and it's entirely his own mix. Walker's got one of the most soulful voices on the planet, and it really shows on this particular recording. As far as planning and production goes-this one is award winning. The covers are brilliant and well-chosen; his songwriting abilities need no justification-equally brilliant as the covers. Listen to the opening percussion along with Walker's soaring vocals on the Van Morrison classic, "Sweet Thing!" Joe doesn't let you down, and we get the same reaction from the second track: "Direct Me" another wonderful cover by Otis Redding, and Steve Cropper. We are treated to a Walker original on track #3: "Barcelona." This one takes you into a jazz mode where all the performers are spotlighted. Joe gives a standing ovation performance with his rendition of Boz Scaggs' "I've Got Your Love"-powerful vocals. A killer slide greets you on track #5, with a gentle treatment of John Hiatt's "Love Like Blood." Tracks #7 and #8 are both Walker originals that pass the test with ease. "You Get What You Give" is one of my favorites; Walker pours his whole soul into this gem. The final track, "You Can't Sit Down" will have you jumping out of your chair! Two guitars sparking: Joe Louis Walker and Phil Upchurch! My highest recommendations.
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