Joe Louis Walker is the John Henry of the blues, a guy who works hard and isn't afraid to put his back into his music. Hornet's Nest is the man's tenth studio album since the dawn of the 21st century, and not a few journeyman bluesmen would be very, very happy to come up with a session this strong and diverse with twice the time to prepare. Walker and his band are in tight, ferocious form on Hornet's Nest, with Walker's blazing lead guitar work supported by Reese Wynans' rollicking keyboards, Rob McNelley's able second guitar, Tommy MacDonald's rock-solid bass, and Tom Hambridge's aggressive but tasteful drumming.
Joe Louis Walker’s career has been as varied as it has been long. From an early age, Walker was part of the burgeoning and influential San Francisco blues scene, having first been exposed to the music by his Southern immigrant parents. Already playing in the clubs at 16, he was at home backing established acts and setting in motion a later career that would blend blues, jazz and psychedelic rock.
Listen to the first track of Joe Louis Walker’s second release for Alligator and 25th record overall and you will swear you are hearing a song from the early 1970’s Rolling Stones. “Hornet Nest”—both the song and indeed the entire album by that name—rocks. This is the real deal. When you think greatest bluesmen working today, Walker’s name does not come first to mind with the general public.