Joe Louis Walker

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guitar, vocals, harmonica, piano
born: December 25, 1949, in San Francisco, California


Joe Louis Walker (with Matt "Guitar" Murphy and Billy Boy Arnold) - Just Say You Love Me (1997)

Former San Francisco-based bluesman Joe Louis Walker was just a teenager when he burst upon the scene and set off on a course that would put him in the company of legendary guitarist Mike Bloomfield. And that wasn't all. During his formative years, he shared stages with John Lee Hooker, Thelonius Monk, The Soul Stirrers, Steve Miller and Jimi Hendrix.

Walker's rise to blues prominence came to a self-imposed halt when mentor Bloomfield died at a young age, prompting Walker to change his lifestyle. He dropped out of the music business, enrolled in college, and earned degrees in music and English. His musical performances were still regularl, but with a decidedly different slant, as he worked as part of the Spiritual Corinthians gospel group.

In 1985 he returned to the blues, formed his stellar band The Bosstalkers, and signed to HighTone Records, which released five albums before Walker moved to PolyGram's Verve/Gitanes label, where he recorded six albums. Witness To The Blues is his debut release on the Stony Plain label.

Produced by fellow Stony Plain artist and award-winner Duke Robillard, Witness to the Blues features a scintillating duet by Walker and Shemekia Copeland in a reprise of the Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson R&B classic, "Lover's Holiday." Stony Plain Records is distributed in the U.S. by Koch Entertainment; in Canada by Warner Music; and this CD has been licensed for release in Europe by Dixie Frog.

With the stellar backing of Robillard on guitar, Bruce Katz on keyboards, Jon Ross on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums and a horn section of Doug James on sax and Scott Aruda on trumpet, Joe Louis Walker explores the many colors of the blues palette, including Delta and Chicago styles, Memphis soul, gospel and even rockabilly. More than half of the album's 11 tracks were written by Walker, and he adds his own distinctive interpretations to several covers, including "Rollin' and Tumblin'" and "Sugar Mama" (which includes special guest Todd Sharpville on guitar).

Joe Louis Walker is a true blues virtuoso whose skills as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer have earned him a dedicated legion of fans around the world. He's recorded with B.B. King, James Cotton, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Steve Cropper, Ike Turner, Huey Lewis and Branford Marsalis, among many others in a storied career that covers 18 solo albums, two live DVDs and a number of compilations and guest appearances. He's played on two Grammy Award-winning albums and won three Blues Music Awards (formerly known as W.C. Handy Awards). In addition to his hot-ticket shows in the U.S., Walker has become an international ambassador for the blues overseas, having played at countless festivals throughout Europe, South America, Australia, the Middle East and Asia.

Albums:
- Cold Is The Night [Hightone 8006, 1986] with Eric Ajaye, Patrick Moten, Henry Oden
- The Gift [Hightone 8012, 1988] with Steve Berlin, Henry Oden, Jimmy Stewart plus Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love (The Memphis Horns)
- Blue Soul [Hightone 8019, 1989] with Eric Ajaye, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Henry Oden, Jimmy Stewart, Wayne Wallace
- Live At Slim’s, Volume 1 [Hightone 8025, 1991] with Huey Lewis, Henry Oden, Angela Strehli
- Live At Slim’s, Volume 2 [Hightone 8036, November 1992] with Huey Lewis, Henry Oden
- Blues Survivor [Polygram 519063, October 1993] with Henry Oden, Lucky Peterson
- JLW [Polygram 523118, June 1994] with Kenny Aaronson, Terry Adams, James Cotton, Jimmy Destri (Blondie), Steve Ferrone (The Average White Band), The Gospel Hummingbirds, Branford Marsalis, Henry Oden, Chris Spedding, Angela Strehli, Tower of Power
- Blues Of The Month Club [Polygram 527999, September 1995] with Steve Cropper, Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love, Tony Saunders
- Great Guitars [Polygram 537141, April 1997] with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Steve Cropper, Otis Grand, Buddy Guy, Robert Lockwood jr., Scotty Moore, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Bonnie Raitt, Otis Rush, Taj Mahal, Ike Turner
- Preacher And The President [Verve 533476, August 1998] with Steve Cropper, Jim Horn, Clayton Ivey, Carl Marsh (Shriekback), Chris Sandoval plus Roger Hawkins and David Hood (both Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section / Traffix)
- Silvertone Blues [Verve 547721, October 1999] with James Cotton, Alvin "Youngblood" Hart, Chris Sandoval, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
- In the Morning [Telarc 83541, July 2002] with Steve Holley, G.E. Smith
- Pasa Tiempo [Evidence Music 26126, October 2002] with Leon "Ndugu" Chancler (Santana), Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag), Robert Hurst, Carla Olson, Wallace Roney, Phil Upchurch, Ernie Watts
- She’s My Money Maker [JSP 2157, May 2003]
- Ridin’ High - Live [Hightone 8162, September 2003] compilation of his 1991/1992 Live At Slim's albums plus 3 new tracks
- New Direction [Provogue 71482, August 2004]
- Playin’ Dirty [JSP 8801, September 2006]
- Witness To The Blues [Stony Plain 1337, September 2008] with Shemekia Copeland, Doug James, Bruce Katz, Duke Robillard, Todd Sharpville

Joe Louis Walker / Otis Grand:
- Guitar Brothers [JSP 2153, May 2002]

He appears on the following albums:
Various Artists - Feds (Original Soundtrack) [GNP 8014, 1988]
Kevin Brown - Rust [Hannibal 1344, 1990]
Otis Grand - He Knows the Blues [Volt 3410, November 1990]
Branford Marsalis - I Heard You Twice the First Time [Columbia 46083, 1992]
B.B. King - Blues Summit [MCA 10710, 1993]
Kitty Margolis - Evolution [Madkat 1004, 1993]
Little Charlie & the Nightcats - Night Vision [Alligator 4812, 1993]
Various Artists - Brace Yourself!: A Tribute to Otis Blackwell [Shanachie 5702, 1993]
James Cotton - Living the Blues [Verve 521238, 1994]
Various Artists - Hightone Records: The First 10 Years [Hightone 2001, June 1994]
Otis Grand - Perfume and Grime [Sequel 282, 1996]
James Cotton - Deep In The Blues [Verve 529849, August 1996]
Paris Slim - Bleedin' Heart [Globe 18, September 1996]
Otis Grand - Always Hot [Indigo 505, March 1997]
Jimmy Thackery - Switching Gears [Blind Pig 5045, January 1998]
Robert Lockwood jr., - I Got To Find Me A Woman [Verve 537448, March 1998]
Shemekia Copeland - Turn the Heat Up! [Alligator 4857, May 1998]
Mike Lawson - Ticket to Fly [Sumertone 5110, May 1998]
Lucky Peterson - Lucky Peterson [Polygram 547433, October 1999]
Peter Green & Nigel Watson Splinter Group - Hot Foot Powder [Artisan 10828, May 2000]
Various Artists - Blue Xmas: Christmas Blues Instrumentals [Evidence 26118, October 2001]
Various Artists - Sweet Emotion: The Songs of Aerosmith [Pilot 50068, May 2002]
Various Artists - Hey Bo Diddley: A Tribute! [Evidence 26124, July 2002]
Otis Grand - In Grand Style: The Otis Grand Collection [Castle 578, April 2003] 2 CD set
Various Artists - Blues on Blonde on Blonde [Telarc 83567, April 2003]
Various Artists - Exile on Blues Street [Telarc 83571, August 2003]
Fillmore Slim - The Legend of Fillmore Slim: Blues Man / King of the Game [Mountain Top 777, 2006]
Various Artists - American Music: The Hightone Records Story [Hightone 8195, September 2006] 4 CD Box set

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DVD:
- Blues Summit Concert [MCA 10847, September 1995] B.B. King with Ruth Brown, Albert Collins, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Irma Thomas, Joe Louis Walker
- Hellhounds on My Trail - The Afterlife of Robert Johnson [Winstar Home Entertainment, 1999] Sorts through the numerous myths about Johnson and the few extant facts about his life. with Robert Lockwood Jr., David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Eric Clapton, Joe Louis Walker, Irma Thomas, Keb' Mo', Guy Davis, Roy Rogers, Rory Block, Henry Townsend, Peter Green, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bill Morrissey, Sonny Landreth, Bob Weir, Marcia Ball
- Live at ‘On Broadway’ [Blues Express 4001, September 2001] Recorded: December 16, 1999 in San Francisco, CA
- Ohne Filter, Joe Louis Walker & The Bosstalkers in Concert [Inakustik 6521, June 2003] Recorded: June 3, 1991 in Baden Baden, Germany

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