Joe Louis Walker: Hellfire (Alligator)

 |   |  <1 min read

Joe Louis Walker: Soldier for Jesus
Joe Louis Walker: Hellfire (Alligator)

From the opening title track this often incendiary album is a conflagration fed by tough blues, psychedelic guitar playing and Walker's frequently soulful voice.

He reaches to the fist-tight Chicago style (I Won't Do That) but also invites in Elvis' backing group the Jordanaires for the raw testifying of Soldier for Jesus ("on the frontline fightin' the devil all the time") and the funky pop-step of Don't Cry which sounds like a radio hit in a better world.

Equally though, he hits an after-work pedal-to-the-metal groove on Too Drunk to Drive Drunk (which you'd also love to hear someone like Little Richard roar and piano-hammer his way through with Stevie Ray on guitar) and turns the mood down for the winelight ballad I Know Why.

And he closes with road-rockin' country-fried treatment of Hank Snow's Movin' On.

Walker last appeared at Elsewhere with his Rhythm and Blues Cruise album which was good as far as it went, but this one really is where you should tune in for its blues-based diversity.

He's an artist deserving wider recognition.

Want more blues? Then start here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

Howlin' Wolf: The Howlin' Wolf Album (Set on Down)

Howlin' Wolf: The Howlin' Wolf Album (Set on Down)

One of the assertions on the cover of this album – released in 69, reissued after a long absence – isn't true. Bluesman Howlin' Wolf had been an “early adopter” of... > Read more

R.L. BURNSIDE CONSIDERED (2015): Blues from before fame

R.L. BURNSIDE CONSIDERED (2015): Blues from before fame

For many decades before his career was given a high-profile resurrection by the Fat Possum label in Nineties (and he toured with the likes of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), R.L. Burnside was... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Youssou N'Dour: Dakar-Kingston (Universal)

Youssou N'Dour: Dakar-Kingston (Universal)

After decades of almost becoming the biggest star out of Africa and commanding a global audience (support from Peter Gabriel, the 7 Seconds single with Neneh Cherry, Mandela concerts and so on)... > Read more

COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK, a film by BRETT MORGEN

COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK, a film by BRETT MORGEN

In the final third of this sometimes uneven but always fascinating two-hour documentary about Kurt Cobain there is considerable previously unseen home footage. There we see Cobain, his wife... > Read more