Walker/Katz/Robson: Journeys to the Heart of the Blues (Alligator/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

I'm a Lonely Man
 Walker/Katz/Robson: Journeys to the Heart of the Blues (Alligator/Southbound)

Although singer-guitarist Joe Louis Walker would be the immediate name-hook here for blues enthusiasts, the prime mover behind this was respected British harmonica player Giles Robson who met Walker at a Dutch festival, sat in with him and hatched the plan to record in upstate New York with him and pianist Bruce Katz (who had played with Ronnie Earl, Gregg Allman, John Hammond and others).

So it's just a stripped-down acoustic three-piece where they go back to material by Sunnyland Slim (It's You Baby), Washboard Sam (the rollocking You Got to Run Me Down), Blind Willie McTell (the brooding and coiled anger of Murderer's Home), Roosevelt Sykes (the earthy roll of Feel Like Blowin' My Horn) and Dave Bartholomew (Real Gone Lover) among others.

Katz is a powerfully impressive player here whose stylistic shifts between barrelhouse, Chicago barroom and touches of stride make for engrossing listening: check Hell Ain't But A Mile and a Quarter, and Chicago Breakdown.

This is earthy and traditional blues for those who know the reference points of Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Bukka White, Walter Horton, Sonny Terry . . .

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

Otis Taylor: Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs (Telarc)

Otis Taylor: Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs (Telarc)

A copy of this album has been in and out of my player for at least two months and I assumed it had already been released some time back and I'd missed my chance to comment. But the amount of... > Read more

Jeff Healey: Last Call (Stony Plain/Southbound)

Jeff Healey: Last Call (Stony Plain/Southbound)

When the singer/blues guitarist Jeff Healey first emerged in the late Eighties there were two critical camps set up: those who heard him as a fiery young player in the tradition of a Stevie Ray... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

NZ EPs by Shani.O

NZ EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases by New... > Read more

JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON;THE MAKING OF A MASTERPIECE by MICHEAL STREISSGUTH

JOHNNY CASH AT FOLSOM PRISON;THE MAKING OF A MASTERPIECE by MICHEAL STREISSGUTH

A hip comedy club, New York, late 1980s. The stand-up delivers a one-liner which has the smart set baying: "Does anyone know why Johnny Cash still wears black?"  At the time... > Read more