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CD Review
Phillip Walker
"I Got A Sweet Tooth"
Black Top CD BT-1146
by Dave "Doc" Piltz
Phillip Walker's latest CD, I Got A Sweet Tooth, is a strong display of some of Walker's sweet sounding guitar and sharp, soulful vocals. Recorded at two different studios in March and April 1997 with two different bands, Walker demonstrates why he has become a popular visitor to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Phillip Walker was born in Louisiana and raised in South Texas. However, he has spent the last 39 years of his life working out of Los Angeles, California. Combine that with a stint as the guitarist for Clifton Chenier's zydeco band and you have an explanation for Walker's unique blend of Louisiana, Texas and California sounds.

I Got A Sweet Tooth is a blend of Louisiana funk, West Coast swing and Texas blues all rolled into one CD. Although Walker is credited as the writer of only two of the eleven songs on the CD, "Rub Some Good Luck On Me" and "It's All In Your Mind," all of the songs clearly have Walker's sound. Several of the songs include some "signature" horn arrangements by Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff. On "How Could I Be Such A Fool?" you get a dose of fine horn work coupled with some great guitar by Walker on his Gibson ES-335. Six songs feature horn arrangements and five utilize a stripped down horn-free sound.

Other highlights of this CD include "Drag Me Down," "My Name Is Misery" and the title song, "I Got A Sweet Tooth," all featuring outstanding guitar work by Walker. On "Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time," Walker's guitar stands out more than on some of the other songs, possibly because the song offers a horn- free Texas sound, allowing Walker a greater presence. Sam Cooke's, "Laughin' and Clownin," is almost all Walker and his guitar with only sparse accompaniment from the band. The song has lots of feeling and Walker's guitar really shines.

The best part about I Got A Sweet Tooth is that there are no songs that appear to be thrown in as "filler" to complete the CD. Every song demonstrates Walker's commitment to his craft and is a joy to listen to from beginning to end. After listening to this new CD, I am definitely ready for another dose of Phillip Walker live.

This review is copyright 1998 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, all rights reserved.

Mailbox E-mail Ray Stiles at: mnblues@aol.com

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