By Pati deVries.
Forty Below Records announces the signing of celebrated Blues and Roots musician Joe Louis Walker. A Blues Hall of Fame inductee and six-time Blues Music Award winner, NPR described Walker as “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues”. His 2015 release Everyone Wants a Piece was nominated for the Contemporary Blues Grammy. Walker did a duet with B.B. King on his Grammy Award-winning Blues Summit album and played guitar on James Cotton’s Grammy winning album Deep in the Blues.
Regarded as one of the greatest bluesmen of his generation, Walker’s output spans the gamut of American Roots music. His playing "blows all over the map…gutbucket blues, joyous gospel, Rolling Stones-style rock crunch, and aching R&B. Walker’s guitar playing is fine and fierce." opines Billboard.
A brilliantly lyrical guitarist, soulful singer and prolific songwriter, Walker has toured extensively throughout his career, performing at the world’s most renowned music festivals and earning a legion of dedicated fans. He has recorded with Ike Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Steve Cropper, opened for Muddy Waters and Thelonious Monk, hung out with Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and was a close friend and roommate to Mike Bloomfield.
Walker’s 1986 debut album Cold Is the Night on HighTone Records announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output for Verve, Alligator, Hightone, and others has only served to further establish Walker as one of today's leading bluesmen. The New York Times raved, "Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. His guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair." Rolling Stone simply calls him "ferocious." Walker long ago earned his rightful place among the pantheon of legendary electric blues singer/guitarist/songwriters like B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Luther Allison. Blues Revue calls Walker "one of contemporary blues' most dynamic and innovative. musicians, releasing consistently exciting music... soulful, heartfelt and spellbinding." Living Blues effused, "His fretwork is indelibly stamped with his own trademark blend of emotional heat and impeccable precision. Even at his most flamboyant, Walker sounds as if he's playing ideas, not just notes.
Already at work with Producer Eric Corne (John Mayall, Walter Trout, Sugaray Rayford), new music is expected this fall with a full-length album following in early 2023.
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.