Monday, April 07, 2008

Philip Walker - Going Back Home (Delta Groove, 2007)

Veteran Gulf Coast bluesman Phillip Walker (guitar and vocals) leads a tight and swinging band through and hour long album of traditional, yet thoroughly modern blues on this disc. The disc was organized to allow Walker to revisit some of the music of his youth, and there are echoes of legendary blues musicians like Champion Jack Dupree on the strollin' "Bad Blood" and "Sweet Home New Orleans" and Big Bill Broonzy on "Happy Man Blues." Walker's guitar leads an extraordinary jams on "If You See My Baby" and on "Mean Mean Woman," The slow grind of "Blackjack" examines the perils of gambling, with some impassioned singing and snarling yet articulate guitar work. The horn riffs and stinging guitar make the opening "Lying Woman" a highlight. Walker pays tribute to Gulf blues heroes like T-Bone Walker and his distant cousin Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown in fine style with this well played disc. Subtle and well arranged hors fill out the sound and Walker's distinctive guitar and vocal style are memorable. Fans of traditional post war blues should find a lot of enjoyment with this interesting and well played disc.

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