Q&A with veteran Blues legend Joe Louis Walker - released a brand-new CD/DVD "Viva Las Vegas Live"

"I miss the older blues guys company. I hope live music is still being played. I fear live music won't be played!"

Joe Louis Walker: Viva Blues World

On May 10th, 2019, Cleopatra Entertainment - in association with Cleopatra Blues - released a brand-new concert film Viva Las Vegas Live from Grammy Award-nominated Blues legend Joe Louis Walker. Directed by Brent Backhus, this stunning 85-minute concert was captured in all its glory at the infamous Boulder Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada last summer during Walker’s 2018 U.S. tour. In support of the new CD/DVD release, Joe Louis Walker has announced a world tour and has revealed that he’ll also be releasing a brand new studio album on the Cleopatra Blues label in 2020 that will feature guest appearances from blues and rock icons alike.

Joe Louis Walker’s career has spanned nearly six decades – and 24 studio albums – since first picking up the guitar at his childhood home in San Francisco at the young age of eight. Joining the local musicians’ union in his early teens enabled young Joe to perform publicly with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Buddy Miles, Thelonious Monk, Willie Dixon, Nick Lowe, John Mayall, Muddy Waters and even Jimi Hendrix. By the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Walker had already collaborated with and performed with multi-Grammy Award winning artists such as B.B. King (on King’s Blues Summit album) and James Cotton (on Cotton’s Deep In The Blues album) as well as enjoying the rare honor to perform at the Presidential Inauguration of President George H. Bush. In 2013, Walker was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, later being nominated in four categories for a Blues Music Award. In 2015, his album Everybody Wants A Piece was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best Contemporary Blues Album” category.

Viva Las Vegas Live is available on global digital platforms along with the home entertainment version that will be packaged in a gorgeous, four-panel, 2 Disc Digipack containing a DVD and audio CD of the concert. The all-region DVD’s bonus features include an exclusive interview with Walker that was filmed backstage at the venue plus a rare, behind the scenes slideshow of Joe and his band as they prepare to storm through ten, smoking tracks in front of their adoring live audience.

Interview by Michael Limnios                      Photo by Arnie Goodman

How has the Blues influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Blues music in today’s age, mean many things to many people. But to me, it’s simply, my heritage and my culture.

How do you describe your songbook and sound? Where does your creative drive come from?

I leave to other people to try to deserve my music. For me it’s basically my musical DNA.

Are there any memories from Viva Las Vegas (Live) which you’d like to share with us?

Yes, I remember a lot of people being very excited to be part of the experience.

"Blues is a healer like John Lee Hooker said. Blues means credibility."

(Photo by Arnie Goodman)

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your nearly six decades career?

If you don’t know something..., as somebody that does. Don’t be afraid to take chances.

What touched (emotionally) you from CLEOPATRA RECORDS? What is the hardest part making a world tour?

Cleopatra has been fantastic. The hardest part of touring is that sometimes it’s very hard to eat the way one eats at home. Especially if one is a vegetarian.

Do you consider the Blues a specific music genre and artistic movement or do you think it’s a state of mind?

For me, Blues is my perpetual state of being.

What do you learn about yourself from the blues culture and what does the blues mean to you?

Blues is a healer like John Lee Hooker said. Blues means credibility.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice has given you?

Not one meeting, but many! Make your music inclusive!

Are there any memories from 'Everybody Wants a Piece' your previous studio album which you’d like to share with us?

Having the dog bark on "35 years old…

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss the older blues guys company. I hope live music is still being played. I fear live music won't be played!

What were the reasons that made the 60s to be the center of Psychedelic Blues/Rock n’ Roll researches?

Adventurous young people.

What has made you laugh from Lightning Hopkins and what touched (emotionally) you from Michael Bloomfield?

Lightnin Hopkins mystery…

"I leave to other people to try to deserve my music. For me it’s basically my musical DNA."

What is the impact of Blues music and culture to the racial, political and socio-cultural implications?

I think it made people more tolerant!!!

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

Africa 200 BC, so I wouldn’t have to deal with technology.

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