Get this crazy baby off my head!


Joe Louis Walker

Joe Louis Walker - In The Morning - 2002 - Telarc

An outstanding album by the great West Coast bluesman. If you like traditional or modern blues, this album should appeal to you. Joe Louis Walker has created a wonderful mix of gospel, funk, R&B, and electric and acoustic blues on this album, which is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy his marvellous "She's My Money Maker" album.


1 You're Just About to Lose Your Clown - Johnny McCrae
2 In the Morning
3 Joe's Jump - Joe Louis Walker
4 Leave That Girl - Joe Louis Walker
5 Where Jesus Leads -
6 Strange Loving - Joe Louis Walker
7 Do You Wanna Be With Me? - Joe Louis Walker
8 If This Is Love (I'd Rather Have the Blues) - Joe Louis Walker
9 2120 South Michigan Avenue - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
10 Strangers in Our House - Joe Louis Walker


Joe Louis Walker (vocals, guitar)
G.E. Smith (guitar)
T-Bone Wolk (bass)
Steve Holley (drums)
Andrea Rea (percussion, background vocals)


Joe Louis Walker may be too young to have run with the legendary itinerant bluesmen like Robert Johnson or Honeyboy Edwards, but he’s paid his dues and earned his proper blues degree nonetheless. Born to migrant workers on Christmas day in 1949, Walker grew up in the West Coast blues renaissance of the 1960s. He left home at sixteen and moved in with guitarist Mike Bloomfield in San Francisco’s fabled Haight-Ashbury scene, where he joined the scores of guitarists emulating the blues-rock fusion of titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. By the ‘70s, Walker had veered away from the blues and turned to religion—a detour that led him to a gig with a gospel group called the Spiritual Corinthians. But when the Corinthians played the 1985 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Walker reconnected with his roots and assembled a blues outfit called the Boss Talkers. The group wrote some fine original material that landed on Walker’s first album, Cold Is the Night, released in 1986. More than thirty years after his musical awakening amid the blues-rock heyday, Walker is still in the game and still making innovative and engaging music on stage and in the studio. He joins the Telarc label with the release of In the Morning, a wake-up call to jaded fans, critics and musicians who think they’ve heard and seen and done it all. In the span of ten tracks, Walker fuses electric and acoustic blues, R&B, soul, gospel and funk into a whole that’s broad enough to appeal to blues traditionalists and progressives alike. In the Morning opens with the uptempo and Santana-flavored "You’re Just About To Lose Your Clown," then segues into the gospel-influenced title track, complete with rich backing vocals (for an even more overt gospel message, check out the spiritual "Where Jesus Leads" a few tracks later, crafted in the tradition of Sam Cooke’s early recordings with the Soul Stirrers). Other highlights include the smoky "Leave That Girl Alone," a desperate ballad punctuated by some well crafted lead guitar work, and the punchy, light-hearted instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue." And like all good bluesmen, Walker ends on a poignant note with the acoustic closer, "Strangers in Our House." He pushes it all forward with guitar chops that are smoldering one minute and fiery the next, and a powerful vocal attack that captures the full emotional spectrum of the blues, from the painful to the playful to the joyous. Walker understands instinctively the significance of eclecticism, growth and rebirth as part of the musical experience. His awakening process is never over. He knows that, even in the darkest hours of the blues, at the end of the longest and hardest road, there’ll be something worth listening to In the Morning. © 2007 Concord Music Group, Inc. unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved

No bluesman so successfully segues from the secular to the sacred as singer and guitarist Joe Louis Walker, one of the genre's most complete artists. In the Morning continues the Walker tradition of providing a comprehensive catalogue of blues styles and attitudes, from historic roots to contemporary innovations. Walker does some first-class soul-shouting while unleashing a succession of electrifying guitar lines on the propulsive, percussion-driven opener "You're Just About To Lose Your Clown". He closes the album with "Strangers In Our House", a dark acoustic showcase about love gone cold that is the album's most extended selection, as well as its most compelling demonstration of the rich emotional resonance of his voice. The eight songs in between include everything from the bouncy "Joe's Jump" to the instant R&B classic "Leave That Girl Alone" to some soul-stirring gospel on "Where Jesus Leads". The guitar work, both electric and acoustic, is uniformly excellent in all contexts, including the esoteric Stones instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (the address of the legendary Chess Records studio). Walker's gospel background colours everything he sings and his expansive guitar supplies emphasis without overwhelming the songs. © Michael Point, amazon.com

Memphis barbecue... The blues ain't the meat and potatoes they used to be. Conforming to the old 12-bar or 9-bar recipe as definition has not happened in 20 years. The brand of blues that San Franciscan Joe Louis Walker serves up on In the Morning is fine Memphis barbecue, a tangy mix of everything from Stax/Volt, Atlantic, Muscle Shoals hot sauce soul to hot and humid Clarksdale, Mississippi mud pie. All of the elements are here. Walker's band, lead by former Saturday Night Live band leader G.E. Smith, is the sharp sauce, providing a sound base from which Walker add his vocal and guitar spice. The opener, " You're Just About To Lose Your Clown" is Beale Street BBQ, soulful and funky, lead off with Walker's signature distorted style. "Joe's Jump" is a blues rave-up in the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan. "Where Jesus Leads" boasts Walker's rural gospel roots a la Al Green. There are many other influences and shades. Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter, Otis Redding, they are all here in Walker's vocal tradition. Throughout, the piquant of the music is Walker's gutsy guitar, never so slick to annoy or bore and always revelatory and compelling…as it the entire disc. © C. Michael Bailey, All material copyright © 2008 All About Jazz and/or contributing writers/visual artists. All rights reserved.

It isn't too often when a new recording conveys that feeling of satisfaction, becoming a treasured work of pure listening pleasure. When it does, you really can't help but want to share it with everyone you know. One such recording In The Morning, the latest release by veteran blues artist Joe Louis Walker. In The Morning is a first-rate recording from start to finish and can easily be described as refreshing, enjoyable: a genuine feel good album. In The Morning covers many styles of blues, from delta and soul, to gospel and R&B, reflecting the music that defines the artist himself. With a career spanning several decades, Walker continues to remains loyal to his love of gospel and his passion for blues. Walker is a gifted guitar virtuoso who has a very natural style and an instinctive ease when performing. On In The Morning Walker maintains an equal balance on each track, his solo work enhancing the sound without expanding far beyond the song's original intent. In The Morning offers up a pleasant blend of blues styles and tempo changes that truly compliment each other. Every track highlights Walker's dynamic, highly energetic style as a performer. The artist's soulful spirit certainly delivers a sound that somehow manages to be as smooth as silk and sizzling hot. The album's 10 tracks are a tailored fit, enhancing both Walker's expressive vocals and blazing fretwork. In The Morning has a clear, well-defined sound, with plenty of room for Walker's emotional spirit to shine, starting with the opening track, the Latin-flavored "You're Just About To Lose Your Clown." The title track, "In The Morning," is a light, soulful tune, the first of two definitive gospel tracks, highlighting the wonderful background vocals of Andrea Re. "Joe's Jump" switches gears with it's upbeat, foot stompin' shuffle and snappy guitar solos. It sounds like Walker is really having one heck of a good time with this one. The mood changes on, "Leave That Girl Alone," a jazz-influenced soul tune with some impressive guitar leads. Walker's voice howls and woos in the background, a nice effect. The second gospel tune is, "Where Jesus Leads," a genuine tribute to the genre, as Walker delivers a strong vocal performance quite similar to that of Al Green's preachin' style. One of the stronger tracks on In The Morning, and a personal favorite, is "Strange Loving." This is a powerful number, with it's gritty, swamp rock style of R&B. Walker's vocals are full-bodied, as he groans and growls, shouts and moans with a sound reminiscent to that of Wilson Picket. This is certainly one of those tunes having all the necessary ingredients for top 10 single status. "Do You Wanna Be With Me?" is a hip, soulful tune, with a slight disco feel. Walker dances across the fretboard with incredible ease, his solo work is infectious, guiding the focus back towards a more R&B sound. Walker closes the album in grand finale style, saving his very best for last with "Strangers In Our House." This final track is an all-acoustic Mississippi delta blues tune, showcasing Walker's talents both vocally and on bottleneck. He delivers a vocal performance loaded with raw, gut wrenching emotion. Walker draws you directly into the story and, once he's got you, there's no letting go. In The Morning highlights the music of Joe Louis Walker's impressive career. It's like a having a front row seat to experience one of most dynamic soul and blues artists in the music industry today. Walker worked on this recording with some of the very best musicians in the business, G.E. Smith on guitar, Andrea Re with backup vocals and percussion, T-Bone Wolk on bass, Steve Holley on drums and David Maxwell on keyboards. Walker has paid his dues and racked up plenty of mileage through the years, performing all across the country. Born on Christmas Day in 1949, Walker was raised in a household heavily influenced by Gospel music. His parents owned a collection of blues recordings that sparked Walker's interest with the genre, and by the age of 14 he began playing guitar. Two years later, he left home and headed for San Francisco, finally residing in the Haight-Ashbury district, sharing a room with guitarist Mike Bloomfield of the Butterfield Blues Band. Walker spent the next decade opening for and playing with some of the most influential blues artists of that period, who are now legends of the genre. Walker played with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Lightin' Hopkins, Freddie King, Lowell Fusion and even Jimi Hendrix and his mentor, Mississippi Fred McDowell, a major influence on Walker's style. Even though he continued performing, the lifestyle during that time period began taking its toll. In 1975, Walker just up and left, leaving behind a promising career in blues. Shortly after, he joined a gospel group called The Spiritual Corinthians and continued performing with them for another decade. Walker's gospel group performed at the 1985 New Orleans Jazz Festival. While there, he felt a strong pull back towards the blues. After touring in Europe, Walker formed his own band, The Bosstalkers, and returned to San Francisco to begin performing at various blues clubs. Walker never looked back, he signed a record deal, and was eventually awarded three W.C. Handy Awards in 1988, 1989, and 1990 as Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year. Walker and the Bosstalkers changed labels in 1992 and won the W.C. Handy Award for Best Blues Band in 1996. He began recording with blues artists like James Cotton and B.B. King while writing material for several others. Walker was making a name for himself, recording ten solo albums since his Handy awards, slowly making his way up the ladder with several well known blues artists. Walker has a devoted following, yet this talented contemporary blues artist is still somewhat overlooked, not receiving the kind of recognition he so rightly deserves. Walker is one of only a few artists with the versatility and experience to incorporate the sounds of gospel and blues together with such perfection. Walker reaches both ends of the emotional spectrum on In The Morning, from pleasure and pain to sorrow and joy. His talents have been nurtured through time and life experience, earning him the title of bluesmaster. In The Morning is a great example of the man and his music, a reflection of the sound that fills his heart. Walker's high powered performance certainly indicates he has no intention of slowing down. © Pamela L. Dow, December 2002, www.bluecoupe.com/jazz/jlwalker.html

Rootsier than Robert Cray, more soulful than Jimmie Vaughan, and boasting a gospel background similar to the great Sam Cooke, Joe Louis Walker is a contemporary soul/bluesman who flawlessly and effortlessly mixes his diverse influences. On his first album in three years (and Telarc label debut), Walker proves he's an artist capable of terse, searing guitar solos, as on the R&B "Do You Wanna' Be With Me?"; mid-tempo, jazzy soul such as "Leave that Girl Alone"; or rugged acoustic Delta blues like the appropriate album-closing "Strangers in Our House." Walker -- who began his career playing religious music -- not surprisingly proves himself a more than adequate soul/gospel vocalist in the Al Green vein on the spiritual "Where Jesus Leads." In fact, the Memphis groove is infused through much of this album, with Walker's simmering version of the Stones' "2120 South Michigan Avenue" sounding like a lost Booker T. & the MG's B-side. But he's at his strongest when plowing through gritty, Southern-styled swamp-rocking R&B, as on "Strange Love," the album's strongest track, where he shouts, growls, howls, and testifies like Wilson Pickett in his prime. Walker is in full control throughout, moaning and crooning in a honey-and-grits style that is immediately recognizable. Even when he plays it straight on "Joe's Jump," Walker sounds invigorated, whipping off piercing leads even in a timeworn shuffle style. The opening tracks, "You're Just About to Lose Your Crown" with its bubbling Latin percussion, and the easygoing groove of the title tune smoothly coalesce Walker's soul, blues, and gospel roots. One of the versatile musician's most consistently successful albums, this is convincing proof that Joe Louis Walker is one of the most overlooked and distinctive artists working in the soul/blues genre. © Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide


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 over the last decade. His 1986 debut album for HighTone, Cold Is the Night, announced his arrival in stunning fashion; his subsequent output on HighTone and Verve has only served to further establish Walker as one of the leading younger bluesmen on the scene. He traveled a circuitous route to get to where he is today. At age 14, he took up the guitar, playing blues (with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock) on the mushrooming San Francisco circuit. But by 1975, Walker 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. 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 © Bill Dahl, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Joe Louis Walker is an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. Joe Louis Walker was born in 1949 in San Francisco. He came from a musical family, amidst the early influences of T-Bone Walker, BB King, Meade Lux Lewis, Amos Milburn, and Pete Johnson. Walker first picked up the guitar at the age of 8 and became a known quantity within the Bay Area music scene by the age of 16. Whilst publicly performing through his teens, he soaked up many more influences (especially vocalists like Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Bobby Womack & Otis Redding). Over these early years, Walker's musical pupilage saw him playing with John Lee Hooker, JJ Malone, Buddy Miles, Otis Rush, Thelonius Monk, The Soul Stirrers, Willie Dixon, Charlie Musselwhite, Steve Miller, Nick Lowe, John Mayall, Earl Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix. By 1968, he had forged a close friendship with Mike Bloomfield; they had been roommates for many years until Bloomfield's untimely death. This event was the catalyst that forced Walker into an immediate lifestyle change. He left the world of the blues and enrolled himself at San Francisco State University, achieving a degree in Music & English. Throughout this time, Walker was regularly performing with "The Spiritual Corinthians "gospel quartet". After a 1985 performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, he was inspired to return to his blues roots whereupon he formed the "Bosstalkers" and signed to the Hightone label. Under the auspices of Bruce Bromberg & Dennis Walker, his debut album "Cold Is The Night" was released in 1986. He began a worldwide touring schedule, delivering a further 4 releases in succession for Hightone Records ("The Gift" 1988, "Blue Soul" 1989, "Live At Slims Vol 1" 1991, & "Live At Slims Volume 2" 1992). After the long partnership with Hightone, JLW was signed by Polygram to their Verve/Gitanes label. His first of many Polygram releases ensued with "Blues Survivor" in 1993. This marked the beginning of an eclectic JLW era that merged many of his gospel, jazz, soul, funk and rock influences with his trademark blues sensibilities. 1993 also saw the release of BB King's Grammy Winning "Blues Summit" album, which featured a duet with JLW (a Walker original, "Everybody's Had the Blues"). This was followed up by a live DVD release, featuring another duet with Walker (a rendition of "T-Bone Shuffle"). "JLW" was released in 1994, featuring guests such as James Cotton, Branford Marsalis, and the Tower Of Power Horn-section. During this period, Walker's touring schedule had seen many reappearances at the world's most renowned music festivals (North Sea Jazz, Peer, Montreaux, Glastonbury, The Super Dome, San Francisco Festival, Russian River Jazz, Monterey, Jazz & Heritage, Sapporo Japan, Pistoia Italy, Byron Bay Australia, Cognac France, Ospel, Notodden Norway, Lucerne Switzerland, Beacon Theatre New York, etc.). JLW also spent many years covering all the major western TV networks (Conan O'Brien, Imus, Jools Holland UK, Inauguration for George W. Bush, inducting BB King for President Bill Clinton & Hilary Rodham Clinton into the Kennedy Centre Honors, Ono Filter Germany, Rock n' Roll Hall Of Fame) as well as numerous French, Dutch, Scandinavian, German, Irish, Spanish, Brazilian, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, Taiwanese, Australian and ex-Iron Curtain TV networks. "Blues Of The Month Club" was released in 1995, and was the first of three JLW albums that were co-produced with Steve Cropper (NB. this album also featured appearances from The Memphis Horns & The Spiritual Corinthians). This was followed up by the release of "Great Guitars" in 1997, which became known as one of the best selling blues albums of the decade. Joe assembled a collection of friends & luminaries on this release, creating a body of work that was to become a representation of its era. This myriad of album guests included Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Otis Rush, Scotty Moore, Robert Lockwood Jr], Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Steve Cropper, Little Charlie Baty, Tower Of Power Horns, Ike Turner and others. Also in 1996 JLW played guitar on James Cotton's "Deep in the Blues" a Grammy winning "Best Traditional Blues Album". In addition JLW won his third W.C. Handy Award for "Band of the Year" (1996) which was preceded by two W.C. Handy Awards for "Contemporary Male Artist of the Year" (1988 & 1991). JLW also won the 1995 Bammy (Bay Area Music Award) for Blues Musician of the Year. He then released "Preacher & The President" in 1998 and "Silvertone Blues" in 1999 (his 6th album for Polygram). This stream of albums continued with "In The Morning" (Telarc 2002), "Pasa Tiempo" (Evidence 2002), "Guitar Brothers" (JSP 2002), "She's My Money Maker" (JSP 2003), "Ridin' High" (Hightone 2003), "New Direction" (Provogue 2004) and "Playin' Dirty" (JSP 2006). In 2002, he featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute!, performing the song "Who Do You Love". March 2008, JLW has signed to Stony Plain Records and is recording his first album for the label in April (produced by Duke Robillard). An attractive feature of his work is his frequent recourse to older material or playing styles, which reveals his wide-ranging knowledge of blues history.