Joe Louis Walker was born to a musical family in San Francisco in 1949. By the time he was 16, San Francisco’s music scene was a melting pot and Walker was right in the center. He opened shows for Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimi Hendrix and Thelonious Monk. He accompanied Fred McDowell, Ike Turner, Albert King, Freddy King, Robert Jr. Lockwood while becoming good friends and roommates with guitarist Michael Bloomfield. Learning from each, Walker developed his own fiery and unpredictable guitar attack, which he applied to gospel music from 1975-1985 with The Spiritual Corinthians.
Prior to joining Alligator Records in 2012, Walker released 23 albums and fostered an international fan base. He garnered four Blues Music Awards plus 52 nominations and appeared on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton. His 2012 Alligator debut, Hellfire, received the Living Blues Critics’ Award for Blues Album Of The Year. The Chicago Tribune said, “His playing is ferocious. His solos spin wilder and wilder with the kind of fierce embellishments that Jimi Hendrix might’ve conjured.” Walker and his band appeared on TBS’s CONAN and in 2013 The Blues Foundation inducted Walker into The Blues Hall Of Fame.
With each subsequent release, Walker’s audience continues to grow. His new CD, Hornet’s Nest, recorded in Nashville and produced by songwriter/ drummer Tom Hambridge, is fierce and untamed, adventurous and fun.
Walker is excited about bringing even more people to his music. “Blues is a big tent,” he says, “morphing into a bigger tent. Young folks like good blues when they hear it, and I’m here to make sure they want to listen.”
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JOE LOUIS WALKER
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