The Blues Foundation announces the 2013 inductees for the Blues Hall of Fame, including contemporary, progressive bluesman Joe Louis Walker, soul blues singer Otis Clay, blues guitarists' guitarist Earl Hooker, pianist Little Brother Montgomery, The Blue Yodeler Jimmie Rodgers, and early Chicago guitarist Jody Williams.
The induction ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 8, at the Memphis Marriott Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee, the night before the 34th Blues Music Awards. With living musicians like B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and legends like Muddy Waters and , the Blues Hall of Fame consists of blues music’s best and brightest stars.
The Blues Foundation is now raising the capital needed to showcase these legendary performers and their work by establishing Blues Hall of Fame exhibits at its 421 S. Main headquarters in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The Blues Hall of Fame will honor inductees year round, provide interactive and educational exhibits, and create a place for serious blues fans, casual visitors, and students to congregate, celebrate and learn more about the Blues. The Raise the Roof! campaign hopes to raise the remaining funds necessary to commence construction in the fall of this year. www.blues.org
Joe Louis Walker has been nominated in an unprecedented 4 categories in The Blues Foundation's 2013 Blues Music Awards!
Online voting is underway for members and ends March 1, 2013. Click here to vote for Joe! If you are not a member, it is a great way to support the Blues, so please join The Blues Foundation and cast your ballot for Joe Louis Walker.
B.B King Entertainer Of The Year
Joe Louis Walker
Contemporary Blues Album
Hellfire - Joe Louis Walker
Blak & Blu - Gary Clark, Jr.
Blues Live - John Nemeth
Candy Store Kid - Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods
Show of Strength - Michael Burks
Stronger For It - Janiva Magness
Contemporary Blues Male Artist
Joe Louis Walker
Gary Clark, Jr.
Joe Louis Walker
The BMAs are universally recognized as the highest honor given to blues artists. The 34rd Annual Blues Music Awards will be presented in Memphis on May 9, 2013 at the Cook Convention Center, and will be broadcast live in their entirety in Sirius XM's B.B. King's Bluesville, channel 70.
JOE LOUIS WALKER TO PERFORM AT THE KENNEDY CENTER AS PART OF THE "WOMEN, MUSIC AND DIPLOMACY" ALL-STAR GALA CONCERT HONORING FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
Legendary bluesman and master guitarist Joe Louis Walker will perform in Washington, DC at The Kennedy Center on Sunday, September 23 as part of the "Women, Music And Diplomacy" concert hosted by the Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz. The gala event will honor former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and will feature Walker along with other artists including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, George Duke, Patti Austin, and will also include special guests Aretha Franklin and Chris Botti.
The event will highlight the contributions of women in jazz over the past century. The multi-generational group of all-stars will pay tribute to artists including Lena Horne, Anita O'Day, Mary Lou Williams and Ella Fitzgerald.
Walker, who last played the Kennedy Center in 1995 when B.B. King received his Kennedy Center honors, is thrilled to be included, saying, "I am very excited to be part of this historic event. It is an honor and privilege to be back at the Kennedy Center, and I look forward to being a part of a positive musical presentation that accentuates the very influential music that America has given to the world."
Released earlier this year, Walker's latest CD, Hellfire, has been hailed as the best of his long career. NPR Music says Joe is "a legendary icon of modern blues" who plays "powerful, gritty blues rock. Hellfire is a fierce album expertly incorporating intense solos into blues, spirituals and crashing rock jams."
The Wall Street Journal states, "Mr. Walker's raspy, powerhouse voice is out front while his stinging guitar cuts through the uncluttered arrangements."
In August, Walker was inducted into the New York City Blues Hall Of Fame, receiving the Legendary Blues Artist award.
Award-winning blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Joe Louis Walker will appear on TBS's CONAN on Monday, March 5. Walker, along with his band, will perform the song Ride All Night from his new Alligator Records debut CD, Hellfire. Billboard says Hellfire is "one of the strongest albums in Walker's canon...gutbucket blues, joyous gospel, Rolling Stones-style rock crunch, and aching R&B... a heavenly showcase for Walker's virtues."
Alligator Records'Hellfire, the label debut from Joe Louis Walker, is available now. The award-winning guitar slinger, passionate vocalist and gifted songwriter has been releasing groundbreaking music since 1986 and has toured -- and continues to tour -- worldwide. The New York Times raves, "Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. He delivers no-nonsense, gutsy blues. His guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair." Rolling Stone simply calls him "ferocious."
Reviews are in:
Hellfire displays influences form both the classic blues community and the psychedelic rock scene. …loud Hendrixianvirtuosity here, “Exile On Main Street”-era Stones there. Delightful, down and dirty blues.
--Los Angeles Daily News
One of the strongest albums in Walker’s canon. Hellfire blows all over the map…gutbucket blues, joyous gospel, Rolling Stones-style rock crunch, and aching R&B. Walker’s guitar playing is fine and fierce. Hellfire is a heavenly showcase for Walker’s unduly underappreciated virtues.
On Hellfire, Mr. Walker plays jump blues; slow, searing blues, Rolling Stones-style rockin’ blues; electric country blues; Chicago blues and gospel blues. His raspy, powerhouse voice is out front while his stinging guitar cuts through the uncluttered arrangements.
--Wall Street Journal
Hellfire is Walker’s most rock-oriented release. His wah-wah inflected solo on Hellfire digresses with the kind of fierce embellishments that Jimi Hendrix might’ve conjured. The slow-burn What’s it Worth spins ever wilder and wider into outer space with each solo. Walker attacks these songs like the gospel vocalist he once was. His ferocious guitar playing conveys desperation and determination in the face of some pretty heavy moral choices.
Boundary-pushing blues rocker Joe Louis Walker is a modern and legendary blues icon. [He plays] powerful, gritty, heavy blues rock. Hellfire is fierce. The album showcases Walker’s famous ability to shred. He expertly incorporates his intense, racing solos into blues, spirituals and crashing rock jams.
Walker's discography includes 23 albums and two DVDs. He has won four Blues Music Awards, including the 2010 Album Of The Year Award forBetween A Rock And A Hard Place (Stony Plain Records), and has been nominated for 43 more. Walker's also recorded as a guest with some of the blues world's best-known artists, including appearances on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton.
Hellfire was produced by songwriter/drummer Tom Hambridge (producer of Buddy Guy's two most recent Grammy-winning CDs, Skin Deep and Living Proof, as well as albums for Susan Tedeschi, George Thorogood and others). Walker, who wrote or co-wrote seven of the CD's eleven tracks, says it's the hardest rocking and most deeply soulful album of his career. His blistering blues guitar playing and gospel-tinged vocals effortlessly blend throughout the album. The psychedelic overtones of the title track (a harrowing and personal tale of the struggle of good versus evil) give way to the slow, simmering and pleading What's It Worth? and full-force rock of the Stones-y Ride All Night. Walker's original showstopper Soldier For Jesus (featuring vocal harmonies from The Jordanaires, who also appear on Don't Cry) fits seamlessly alongside the other selections, making perfect thematic sense in the tradition of Al Green, Marvin Gaye or Prince, who all successfully combined carnal desires and gospel devotion.
Joe Louis Walker was born in San Francisco on Christmas Day of 1949. His parents were both from the South and they brought their love of blues with them when they headed west. Joe's dad played blues piano, and his mom played B.B. King records. Walker picked up the guitar as a child, and by the time he was 16 was regularly backing touring blues artists rolling through town. San Francisco's music scene was quickly becoming a melting pot of blues, jazz and psychedelic rock, and Walker was right in the center of it.
As a 16-year-old, Walker was the house guitarist at San Francisco's famed musical playground, The Matrix, where he played with or opened shows for everyone from Lightnin' Hopkins to Jimi Hendrix to Thelonious Monk. He was also a regular at The Fillmore West. These ear-opening surroundings explain the ease with which Walker blends blues, rock, gospel, jazz and country, making it seem as if walls between the styles do not exist.The blues legends Walker accompanied shared not only musical knowledge but also their personal wisdom with the teenage up-and-comer. Fred McDowell, Ike Turner, Albert King, Freddy King, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Lightnin' Hopkins and many others taught, fed, and chastised the youngster. Inspired by what he learned, Walker developed his own fiery, melodic, and always unpredictable guitar attack.
Walker met guitarist Michael Bloomfield in 1968 and the two became fast friends. Bloomfield helped push Walker's blues in a more rock-fueled direction, and he became the single biggest influence on Walker's sound. The two shared an apartment for years and remained close friends until Bloomfield's death in 1981. From 1975 to 1985, Walker performed nothing but gospel music, playing and singing as a member of The Spiritual Corinthians. In 1986, after Walker returned to playing the blues, Hightone Records released his debut CD,Cold Is The Night. Firmly rooted in blues, gospel, R&B and rock, the album caught the attention of music fans around the country.
With each subsequent release, Walker's audience continues to grow, as his touring schedule continues to expand. He's played major European festivals, including Northsea Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Notodden and Montreux, as well as festivals in Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. He's appeared on national television, with performances on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, The Don Imus Show and Later With Jools Holland in the UK.
Fans and critics have been celebrating Walker for years. Blues Revue calls Walker "one of contemporary blues' most dynamic and innovative musicians, releasing consistently exciting music. No matter what he's singing, Walker's approach is soulful, heartfelt and spellbinding." Living Blues says, "His fretwork is indelibly stamped with his own trademark blend of emotional heat and impeccable precision-even at his most flamboyant, Walker sounds as if he's playing ideas, not just notes."
Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of celebrated guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Joe Louis Walker, the man Blues Revue called "one of contemporary blues' most dynamic and innovative musicians, who releases consistently exciting music. No matter what he's singing, Walker's approach is soulful, heartfelt and spellbinding." According to Living Blues, he is "one of today's modern musical masters." Walker's Alligator debut will be released in January of 2012.
Alligator president Bruce Iglauer is thrilled to have Walker on board. "Joe Louis Walker is one of the most exciting and passionate bluesmen of his generation. He's a major talent whose music speaks to both blues and rock fans. We're excited to help bring his music to a larger audience than ever."
And Walker's in full agreement. "Alligator has clearly been one of the most important blues labels of our time and I am proud to say that I am an Alligator artist. I look forward to being part of the Alligator family."
Over his 27-year career, Walker has released 24 albums and toured worldwide. He won four Blues Music Awards, including the 2010 Album Of The Year Award for Between A Rock And A Hard Place (Stony Plain Records), and has been nominated for 43 more. He's also recorded as a guest with some of the blues world's best-known artists, including appearances on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton.
Joe Louis Walker was born in the Fillmore district of San Francisco on December 25, 1949. By the time he was 16, he was working the local club scene steadily as an in-demand guitar player. When Walker was 19 he befriended famed guitarist Michael Bloomfield. Bloomfield introduced Walker to many of the day's top rockers and helped push Walker's blues into a more rock-fueled direction. The two were close friends until Bloomfield's death in 1981.
In 1985 Walker released his debut, Cold Is The Night, on Hightone Records, his first of many outstanding albums. Firmly rooted in blues, gospel, R&B and rock, the album caught the attention of music fans everywhere. Over the course of the next 26 years, with each subsequent release, Walker's audience continued to grow, as his touring schedule continued to expand. He's played major European festivals, including Northsea Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Notodden and Montreux, as well as festivals in Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. He's appeared on national television, including performances on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, The Don Imus Show and Later With Jools Holland in the UK.
Fans and critics have been celebrating Walker for years. Living Blues said, "His fretwork is indelibly stamped with his own trademark blend of emotional heat and impeccable precision -- even at his most flamboyant, Walker sounds as if he's playing ideas, not just notes."
The New York Times raved, "Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. He delivers no-nonsense, gutsy blues. His voice is weather-beaten but ready for more; his guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair."
Joe Louis Walker was just named the winner of the 2010 Living Blues Awards - Critics' Poll as "Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)." The winners are all announced in the new Aug/Sept issue of Living Blues, which is hot off the press!
The 2010 Living Blues Awards winners have been announced in the special 40th Anniversary issue of Living Blues. Available now, this special issue celebrates 40 years of the blues as only Living Blues can do it. On newsstands everywhere including Borders, David Kidd, and Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. This year's winners include Buddy Guy, John Primer, Joe Louis Walker, Shemekia Copeland, Chick Willis and many more. And remember, you can go to www.LivingBlues.com for a complete list of all past winners.