Joe Louis Walker can play guitar and that’s the truth. The Chicago-based blues singer has been a presence on that city’s music scene for decades now, releasing albums on an almost annual basis since the late 1980s. Alibums such as 1990’s Gift and 2003’s Between a Rock and the Blues reveal a musician with serious guitar chops as well as a gospel-tinged megaphone of a voice.
There's no question that Joe Louis Walker deserves all the attention he should receive with his first Alligator release. Through sheer persistence and hard work, Walker has as much if not more cred, talent, and journeyman status than any other blues player of his generation. In addition, he's been releasing albums since 1986, making this one -- somewhere around his 25th -- an impressive achievement in itself.
Having come of age in San Francisco during the height of acid rock, Joe Louis Walker has always displayed more dexterity than the generation of blues artists that preceded him. His formal training in music and deep knowledge of other styles, ranging from jazz to gospel, has also set him apart. But now with this shift to Chicago label Alligator, after two albums for Edmonton-based Stony Plain, Walker is intent on reaching the widest demographic of blues fans out there.