Joe Louis Walker - Witness to the Blues (Stony Plain, 2008)
Guitarist and singer Joe Louis Walker is one of the most consistently brilliant blues musicians of the past twenty years. Combining old school gut bucket blues with Walker's own roots in gospel and soul, he creates music that is both traditional and unique. This album shows several different facets of Walker's musical makeup, like the hard core blues of the standards "Sugar Mama" and "Rollin' and Tumblin" and the wonderful slide guitar workout "100% More Man." His soul and gospel roots come through on the tracks "Witness" and the duet with Shemekia Copeland, "Lover's Holiday." Joe Louis Walker really is the complete package as both an instrumentalist and a singer and that is on display here. It's hard to be impartial on this one, as JLW is one of my favorite musicians, but this is a fine album that deserves a wide audience.
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