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14.2.11

Dave Walker


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Dave Walker - Walking Underwater - 2007 - Iron Horse

Thirty years may have elapsed since his Savoy Brown pomp, but you wouldn't know it from Walking Underwater. With the Walker lungs as loud and leathern as ever, and a band that blisters as brutally as the Brown ever did, Walking Underwater is one of those albums that you hear for the first time, and it immediately transports you back to a time when all British blues records were capable of sounding this good. The chiming bluster of the opening "Little Susie and Mr Tight" is the fanfare that draws you in, but ten Walker band originals don't let up for a moment, whether pumping through the downbeat shuffle of "I Can Make It on My Own," lamenting the piano-led passion of the title track, or frolicking across "Black Steel Blues" -- and a word here for guitarist Jim Lewis; if you've ever wondered what Paul Kossoff would have sounded like if he was really Robin Trower, "Walking Underwater" and "Weep No More" will answer your question. New blues albums are ten a penny these days. But truly great ones have been at a premium since the mid-'70s went out of fashion. Walking Underwater is the album we've been waiting for since then. © Dave Thompson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/walking-underwater-r1271594

The most underrated British blues singer comes to the surface again - with a mighty splash. Strange it may seem but Dave Walker's name is subscribed to the dark recesses of the blues history, his work with SAVOY BROWN and FLEETWOOD MAC and short stint with BLACK SABBATH notwithstanding. Having moved to America, Walker, in his own words, was "shiftless hippie for a few years, working on ranches and doing a lot of manual jobs", and this experience has enriched Dave's understanding of his chosen genre. Cue "Walking Underwater", the singer's best work to date which funnily starts with a fine slice of walking blues that is "Little Susie & Mr. Tight", and one will be forgiven for thinking it's a late '60s recording. While it's not that easy to sound natural in such a lyrical idiom, in "Rabbit's Foot Charm" and "Crazy Baby" the veteran is totally convincing. Smooth "Blues From The Bottom" may feel a tad melodramatic, yet the emotional pinnacle emerges in the drama of the title track, a deeply moving ballad where the voice glides over the instrumental bedrock and fathoms the human desperation while Robert Britten's crystal piano soothes the heat. And if that's not enough to go down, the next in line is "Weep No More": a heavy gloomy piece splicing Dave's doomy vocals with Jim Lewis' crying guitar. But "Hard Headed Woman" with its powerful slide closes the album with a great dose of rocking panache. There's sadness and there's madness, and that's what they call the genuine blues. © ***** http://dmme.net/reviews/reviews37.html#dawalk

Just get this one- it’s like expensive kid leather gloves that you never take off (not even when you pick your nose!) O.K., say you meet a gorgeous woman (or hunky guy for you blues gals out there) you want to introduce to the blues but don’t want to take the risk of scaring her off with the machinations of Jon Spencer Group or Barrence Whitfield and the Savages? Just put on Dave Walker’s latest beauty, “Walking Underwater” – she’ll love the sound and, hopefully, want to stay a while at your messy apartment after “Hard Headed Woman” (the last cut) trails off. Those familiar with Dave, know he is a consummate blues singer (maybe The consummate blues singer of our time) - so smooth and so earthy at the same time. It’s a little hard to believe he’s not black and not from the U.S. of A- it’s got to be his life struggles after WWII in England’s forgotten back waters: “Black Country” a sooty, constantly rainy “museum” for the industrial revolution (I’ve been there and, as a hard drinking Welshman, I just fell in love with these working class blokes- like family. They live the blues and pay their dues every day. They remind me a lot of the fighting Irish- but without the bloodied heads- after a long night of pullin’ ales and lagers at pubs like the Red Lion- where, as Garrison Keller would say, the women are strong, the men love their song and the children are above average). If you’re looking for something solid as a rock and fresh at the same time, get this flawlessly performed and produced CD- it’s a disk you can build a collection around. It is that good; not even one slightly disappointing cut. © 2008, Mel Miller Mel Productions for the BluesSource.com 2009-02-03 © 2006-2010 BluesSource.com, Clarksdale, MS http://www.bluessource.com/readreview.php?id=222

As I listened to "WALKING UNDERWATER", by DAVE WALKER, I found myself thinking that what I was listening to was such good stuff and I couldn't believe that I had never heard of this artist before. Wondering why, I just had to find out if there were more of his music that I might be able to get my hands on. As it turned out, having done stints with Savoy Brown, Black Sabbath and Fleetwood Mac, and having recorded several dozen discs, I've probably heard DAVE more times than I could imagine. On DAVE WALKERS newest release - "WALKING UNDERWATER" - DAVE, on vocals, guitar and writer of most tracks, is joined by: ROBERT BRITTEN on piano, organ and guitars; MIKE GILLAN on drums; CRAIG HALL on bass; SHEAMUS CONLEY on lead guitar; JIM LEWIS on lead and slide guitar. On the opening track, "LITTLE SUSIE & MR. TIGHT", it just took the opening guitar chord by JIM for me to decide I was going to like this disc. Then, DAVE started singing and my decision was reaffirmed. He's got one of those very articulate, attention commanding, yet melodic voices, that were made for singing. For reasons I'm finding difficult to explain, this is one of the more interesting discs I've listened to in many a year. The conviction with which some of the songs are sung brought back memories of the way RICHARD HARRIS presented "MACARTHUR PARK", and the chills I'd get from hearing PROCOL HARUM do "A WHITER SHADE OF PALE". Meanwhile, instrumentally, MIKE OLDFIELD'S "TUBULAR BELLS" occasionally came to mind. I can see I've got my work cut out here. Choosing just a few tracks to comment on is going to be a challenge. "I CAN MAKE IT ON MY OWN", the next track, is a good place to start. Nothing fancy here and nothing fancy needed.....just five minutes of DAVE intriguing me with his vocals, while JIM works his magic on guitar with the rhythm section getting my fingers snappin' and my foot tappin'. Great stuff! Phenomenal would be the word I'd pick, if only given one, to describe the title track - "WALKING UNDERWATER". This is one of the songs I had in mind when I made my earlier references. With this year's Blues Music Awards still several months away, I've already got one of my nominations for the following years "Song of the Year". ROBERT on piano, SHEAMUS on guitar, MIKE on drums and DAVE on vocals are astounding. "BLACK STEEL BLUES" takes it up a few notches. This one's three and a half minutes of smoke caused by wailing guitar (SHEAMUS), thunderous rhythm (JIM & CRAIG) and fierce piano and organ (ROBERT). And yes, DAVE had something to do with it as well. This one easily reached 7-8 replays. At just under three minutes, "RABBITS FOOT CHARM" is an all too short - but oh so very sweet shuffle. With a smooth, soft rhythm going on behind them, DAVE on vocals and ROBERT on piano run with this one. Once again, the replay button came into play. "CRAZY BABY", "WEEP NO MORE", "BLUES FROM THE BOTTOM", "GIRL TROUBLE" and "HARD HEADED WOMAN" make up the rest of the tracks - which if I had the space, I could sit here and talk about all night long - on "WALKING UNDERWATER". I can't see how, but if I haven't made myself perfectly clear yet, let me just come right out and say it - ya gotta get this disc. I've just got done picking the winner of the 2007 BLEWZZY AWARD - which will be announced soon - and here I am, three weeks into `08 and thinking "WALKING UNDERWATER" may very well be this year's disc to beat. Check DAVE out at www.aboutdavewalker.com/. From there, you know the drill.....You tell him the Blewzzman sent ya and you're here to buy the disc. BY & © PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO, © January 2008 © 1998-2008 Mary4Music.com. All Rights Reserved http://www.mary4music.com/CD42.html

Dave Walker's name is unfamiliar to many people but the guy is a modern day blues and rock legend who has performed with Savoy Brown, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac and many more great bands. Since the '60's with various bands, he′s played venues from Birmingham, England to Carnegie Hall, Woodstock 1989, and beyond. "Walking Underwater" is a fantastic album, and will keep your faith in real music alive. Dave Thompson of allmusic.com called "Walking Underwater" "one of the most authentic-sounding discs of the last few years". This is phenomenal blues rock and VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Dave's incredible bio @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Walker#Savoy_Brown Buy Dave's brilliant "Mostly Sonny-A Tribute To Sonny Boy Williamson" and join Dave Walker in preserving the great blues tradition

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Little Susie & Mr. Tight - Britten
2 I Can Make It On My Own - Britten, Walker
3 Crazy Baby - O'Keeffe, Walker
4 Walking Underwater - Walker
5 Weep No More - Britten
6 Black Steel Blues - O'Keeffe, Walker
7 Blues From the Bottom - Britten, Walker
8 Girl Trouble - O'Keeffe, Walker
9 Rabbits Foot Charm - O'Keeffe, Walker
10 Hard Headed Woman - Britten, Walker

MUSICIANS

Dave Walker - Guitar, Vocals
Jim Lewis - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar
Sheamus Conley - Lead Guitar
Craig Hall - Bass
Robert Britten - Piano, Organ, Guitar
Mike Gillan - Drums

BIO

With a career that included a stadium-stuffing stint with the pre-Buckingham-Nicks Fleetwood Mac and a contrarily rehearsals-only spell fronting Black Sabbath, plus two solid solo albums so far this century, Dave Walker is rightly proclaimed one of the true warriors of the British blues scene. His last album, a tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson, contains some of the finest interpretations the old bluesman ever received; while his latest, 2007's Walking Underwater, sees him unleash that so distinctive growl across ten originals, to conjure up one of the most authentic-sounding discs of the last few years. Walker is best remembered, however, for the two years he spent helming Savoy Brown. Three albums, including the essential Street Corner Talking and Hellbound Train, plus the less dynamic (but still worthy) Lion's Share mark out Walker's time with the band and, for any number of American concert-goers of a certain age, they remain the definitive Brown sound, raw and rambunctious, exciting and energetic. A native of nearby Walsall, Walker's musical background lay within the same Birmingham scene that conjured Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Black Sabbath, the Move, and half of Led Zeppelin out of the ether, a tough working class district whose audiences took no prisoners, and even in his teens and on-stage with his first band, the Redcaps, his performance was wild and raucous. Walker joined the Redcaps as rhythm guitarist in early 1963, graduating to the microphone when original vocalist Ronnie Brown quit. Lining up now with guitarists Mick Blythe and Roy Brown, bassist Mike Walker, drummer Alan Morley, and saxophonist Mac Broadhurst, the Redcaps were snapped up by Decca, for whom they cut three singles, covers of the Isley Brothers' "Shout" and Chuck Berry's "Talking About You," and a Mick Blythe original, "Funny Things." But all three failed to bother the chart, and the Redcaps broke up. Walker moved onto Beckett, Birmingham superstars who sadly, and strangely, never made their way out of the local circuit. They folded, unrecorded, in 1969, when Walker took on the unenviable task of replacing Jeff Lynne in the Idle Race. This lineup of the band recorded a new album (their third), but their fame spread no further than Latin America. Their version of Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" was an Argentinian number one in the summer of 1970. It was his friend Stan Webb of Chicken Shack who recommended Walker to Savoy Brown (the two bands shared a manager), and it was his wild on-stage performances that recommended him to Fleetwood Mac once the Savoy Brown adventure was over. That sojourn, too, was short -- Walker was present for the recording of their Penguin album, but appeared on just two songs before it became apparent that the ubiquitous "musical differences" really were irreconcilable. The Fleetwood Mac connection was not immediately severed. In 1974, Walker teamed with another of that band's alumni, guitarist Danny Koran (plus Savoy Brown's Dave Bidwell and Andy Sylvester) as Hungry Fighter. But a promising debut at the University of Sussex was followed by disaster when the band lost its equipment in a road accident that also severely injured their road manager and having canceled their next show, the band broke up. Walker relocated to San Francisco in 1975. There he formed Raven, a breathtaking partnership with Quicksilver's John Cipollina, Steve Miller Band guitarist Greg Douglas, and bassist Skip Olson; when Cipollina left to concentrate on the various other bands with which he was then working, his bandmates re-formed as Mistress. Then came the phone call from Tony Iommi that found him flying back to England in November 1977 to join Black Sabbath. Walker was brought into the fold to replace the recently sacked Ozzy Osbourne, and then eased out again when Osbourne was reinstated (for Never Say Die). The Walker lineup never recorded together, but they did make one television appearance, performing an early version of "Junior's Eyes" on the BBC regional show Look Hear in January 1978. Walker returned to the U.S., but his next project, the Dave Walker Band flourished briefly, but by the end of the decade he had effectively retired. He re-emerged in 1986 in a new Savoy Brown lineup, cutting three albums over the next four years: Make Me Sweat, Kings of Boogie, and the concert recording Live and Kickin before departing again in 1991, and it would be 13 years before those oh-so-distinctive vocals were heard again with the release of Mostly Sonny in 2004. Since that time, he recorded with psychedelic revivalists Donovan's Brain and singer Angie Pepper before unleashing Walking Underwater in 2007. © Dave Thompson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/dave-walker-p135520/biography

9 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w aoofc

Eric said...

Greetings Paul, Cool , met Dave several times in the 80's when he rejoined Savoy.
Hell of a nice guy too.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Eric. That is cool. It's always great to meet these "no bullshit" musicians. Savoy Brown's "Sreet Corner Talking" is a great album...one of my favourites. "Tell Mama" is superb. Talk to you soon, Eric

Eric said...

Hi again Paul- Agreed, Street Corner Talking, Lion's Share with Walker are my faves that he was on.
"Hellbound train" was patchy imo sans the title track.

Yeah, Dave and Kim I met several times and hungout with them.
I recall the first time I met Dave when he rejoined Savoy for their "Make Me Sweat" album he was real impressed i even knew who he was! lol
I asked him about his time in Black Sabbath and he laughed and said "Their music was too intelligent for me" about his departure.
Of course Ozzy had returned.
I knew their manager Arnie Goodman casually.
Another nice guy in the business.

A.O.O.F.C said...

COMMENT BY F***** A**** - Thanks for this. Thanks for all of your good work! Yes, please keep my name off the comments. Wish you had an 'anon' option when posting! I'd like to see that new Fugs re-issue twofer of Tenderness Junction and It Crawled Into My Hand up here, but that might not be your fare. Thanks again!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks FA. Thanks for comments. I'll see about that "anon" option. You could use message board. I would use the blogger "anyone can post" option, but I get so much spam and crap messages, it's not feasible at the moment. There's a good Fugs link @ http://
avaxhome.ws
/music/pop/
fugses.html

Few outtakes there also. Thanks, & ttu soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Eric. Good stuff! You've moved in some prestigious music circles. If you're talking to W.Becker or D.Fagen, tell'em I need to speak to them! (LOL)! Cheers, Eric! TTU soon

Eric said...

Thanks Paul, yeah those are two Becker & Gagen) I'd really like to have a sit down with and pick their brain. As I imagine you would as well.
Closest involvement I've had with them is when i worked at Passport records and we reissued "You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It".Which =ed nothing on encountering them.
Maybe one day yet...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Eric. The only interview I ever heard with the duo that lacked their famous/infamous sardonic cynicism was the album they did on Marian McPartland's Piano jazz. Sounded like normal guys! Problem is they keep getting asked the same stupid questions and their answers get more and more vague and sarcastic. A friend of mine who works for a big jazz label has spoken to them, and said that privately they'll always give you a straight answer and explain anything about their music, if you ask them an intelligent question. I know they've lots of stuff in the vaults that could be reworked but that's not their style. I bought that "You Gotta Walk It..." lp years ago for an exorbitant price. I've never played the LP. I have it on CD anyway. I'm reading a new book about them at the moment called The Steely Dan File by Stephen Vincent O'Rourke. Not much I didn't know already, but I'm enjoying it. Seems the great Roger Nicholls is very ill at the moment, and nearly broke paying for hospital treatment. What a shame. Yeah, maybe someday we'll hear a revamped "Second Arrangement"! Excuse me, Eric. There's a pig flying overhead! (LOL)! TTU later