Album Reviews

Joe Louis Walker

Everybody Wants A Piece

Artist:     Joe Louis Walker

Album:     Everybody Wants A Piece

Label:     Provogue

Release Date:     10/09/2015

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Joe Louis Walker is one of the most prolific and creative artists on today’s blues scene.  Throughout his decades long career, Walker’s proven adept at performing music that spans the full blues spectrum. He brings passion and a deft touch to anything he performs, be it traditional acoustic blues or hard charging blues-rock. Walker’s last few releases have leaned towards the latter style, and Everybody Wants A Piece is no exception. While Walker doesn’t shy away from rock-tinged arrangements and guitar pyrotechnics, his voice has the power and the mileage to keep up with the crunching riffs and stinging solos.

For this writer, the most rewarding tracks on Everybody Wants A Piece are those that are firmly rooted in blues tradition. The instrumental slow burner, “Gospel Blues,” and the no-nonsense shuffle, “Young Girls Blues,” both remind listeners that Walker can be an excellent keeper of the traditional blues flame. On both tracks, the musical chemistry between Walker’s guitar and Phillip Young’s keyboards is top notch. A cover of Buddy Guy’s “Man of Many Words” makes for joyous listening. The rhythm section settles into an effortless funk groove, while Walker’s voice and guitar brim with all the energy and playfulness of Guy in his prime. “35 Years Old” sports an easy, back porch jam session feel, and gives listeners a taste of Walker’s inimitable slide guitar.

Everybody Wants A Piece makes it clear that after decades of touring and recording, Walker shows no signs of slowing down. That’s wonderful news for blues fans.

– Jon Kleinman

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