Q&A with Soulful blues phenom Joe Louis Walker - true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer, and prolific songwriter

"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: Blues Comin' On

Soulful blues phenom and Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Louis Walker is joined by a host of talented friends and peers on his superb new studio album, Blues Comin’ On (To Be Release June 5th on Cleopatra Records). The album features guest performances by fellow blues icons Keb' Mo', Eric Gales, and Albert Lee, plus Detroit soul singer Mitch Ryder, harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, Hot Tuna's Jorma Kaukonen, punk rock vocalist Charlie Harper, legendary session player Waddy Wachtel, and so many more! This album explodes with the passionate playing and soulful melodies that have made Walker a favorite among true blues aficionados including the Rolling Stones.

The first single to be released is the “Old Time Used To Be,” which features guest appearances by Keb' Mo' and John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful. Originally from San Francisco, Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award-winner, celebrates a career that exceeds a half century. His musical legacy as a prolific torchbearer for the blues is proven by his 26 albums. A true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer, and prolific songwriter, he has toured extensively throughout his career, performed at the world's most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. NPR Music has called Walker “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues,” and within the blues world, he is already being referred to as a living legend.

Interview by Michael Limnios        Special Thanks: Bill James (Glass Onyon PR)

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.

How do you describe "Blues Comin' On" sound and songbook? Are there any memories from studio which you’d like to share?

I describe BLUES COMIN ON ‘sound ... as a collaborative grouping of musicians & songs where everyone involved contributed to make a collective musical joint statement of positivity, as well as diversity .... a musical collaborative journey. The songbook touches many subjects , beginning with Gabe Jagger’ initial lyrics on “Feed The Poor” ,, a song hoping to bring light to help I the hungry & homeless...all the way to songs like “ Uptown in Harlem” ,celebrating the vibrant African American community.

"As with any job,… working steady & keep up with things, such as technological advances (Facebook, iTunes streaming, etc. etc.) is a challenge. I believe my music is simply a conversation between myself & the listener. Everybody hears, feels music different, so I just try to connect and hopefully tap into what and how they feel, to let them know that I might be feeling the same way, and maybe we can get through an issue together." (Photo: Joe Louis Walker)

Why do you think that the JLW Blues (and music) continues to generate such a devoted following?

Fortunately, this being my 27th CD has allowed me to have long relationships with music listeners. And most who’ve been aware of my career know that any record I make. will be a bit different from the last record & hopefully musically adventurous!

What moment changed your life the most? What´s been the highlights in your life and career so far?

The moment that changed my life when my mother bought me a guitar years ago. Some highlights have been doing two duets with B.B KING and winning the Grammy for one. The other highlight was talking with R.H. HARRIS of the Soul Stirrers years ago when I was in the Spiritual Corinthians.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would try to form a real musicians Union to help working musicians in times like these

What has made you laugh with John Lee Hooker and what touched (emotionally) you from Muddy Waters?

John Lee Hooker’s witty sense of humor would make me laugh & think.

Muddy Waters made ALL musicians proud to follow in his footsteps, because of the dignified way he comported himself.

"The moment that changed my life when my mother bought me a guitar years ago. Some highlights have been doing two duets with BB KING and winning the Grammy for one. The other highlight was talking with R.H. HARRIS of the Soul Stirrers years ago when I was in the Spiritual Corinthians." (Joe Louis Walker / Photo by Joe Del Tufo)

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experiences with the old blues cats?

Listen, listen listen... ask questions, take care of your business.

What is the hardest part to be a Blues musician today's? How do you want your music and songs to affect people?

As with any job,… working steady & keep up with things, such as technological advances (Facebook, iTunes streaming, etc. etc.) is a challenge. I believe my music is simply a conversation between myself & the listener. Everybody hears, feels music different, so I just try to connect and hopefully tap into what and how they feel, to let them know that I might be feeling the same way, and maybe we can get through an issue together.

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.

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.

"Blues music in today’s age, mean many things to many people. But to me, it’s simply, my heritage and my culture." (Photo: Joe Louis Walker on stage, London UK c.1980s)

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." (Joe Louis Walker / Photo by Arnie Goodman)

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.

Joe Louis Walker - Home

Views: 154

Comments are closed for this blog post

social media

Members

© 2020   Created by Michael Limnios Blues Network.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service