Joe Louis Walker
Everybody Wants A Piece
(Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)
Here’s a record upon which the likable veteran blues man Walker manages to include versions of two of my favourite songs ever. In conversation with Joe, it’s clear he wanted to make a disc full of variety and character and you have to concede he delivers on this.
Opener ‘Everybody Wants A Piece’ is funky as whatever and Walker laughed and nodded when I cited Ernie Isley..it certainly has the St Louis axemaster’s drive. He’s in good voice, too, as the 6/8 passage punches in over a bed of Hammond chording.
‘Do I Love Her’ is a Taj Mahal gem which strikes an unusual mood – broody and emphatic. The reedy harmonica sounds cool. Joe does capture the fire this song demands. Buzz on You has a neat rolling tempo and is catchy with a NO vibe and rocking piano; whilst ‘Witchcraft’ takes a sinister turn and uses space for impact.
‘One Sunny Day’ is as controlled-funky as you could ever be and reflects an edgy situation, with Brit Blues riffing. Churchy organ takes us into ‘Gospel Blues’ with as laidback a tempo as you’ll ever find, easy going talking guitar fills to the fore. The intensity builds but the groove is gripped.
The gospel tune ‘Wade In The Water’ is given an airing, with a harder tempo than you might expect. Then we get Buddy Guy’s ‘Man of Many Words’ which hasn’t been attempted by many although I recall discussing Ana Popovic’s take on the number with her backstage one time.
‘Young Girls Blues’ is a true foot-tapper almost in Freddie King vein and closer 35 Years has Joe giving the slide an outing on a real downhome number.
A great aural scrapbook of a vital performer putting out.
Joe Louis Walker’s new album ‘Everybody Wants A Piece’ is out now on Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. For more information visit: http://www.joelouiswalker.com/