JOE LOUIS WALKER — Hornet’s Nest

Album: Hornet's Nest

Artist: Joe Louis Walker

Label: Alligator

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Joe Walker 2-25

www.alligator.com

 BY TOM CALLAHAN

 Listen to the first track of Joe Louis Walker’s second release for Alligator and 25th record overall and you will swear you are hearing a song from the early 1970’s Rolling Stones. “Hornet Nest”—both the song and indeed the entire album by that name—rocks. This is the real deal. When you think greatest bluesmen working today, Walker’s name does not come first to mind with the general public. And this is an injustice. Walker is one of the greatest bluesmen of this or any generation, a virtuoso of rock, blues, soul and gospel.

 People in the know realize it. In 2013 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, quite an honor for a musician still in his prime. And he has been nominated for a ridiculous 52 Blues Music Awards over the years.

 On Hornet’s Nest you will see why. Walker can do it all, each song delivered in his soulful vocal style. Walker proves this over and over again from the deep electric blues of “I’m Gonna Walk Outside”– which could have come from the Muddy Water/ Willie Dixon songbook–to the gospel of “Don’t Let Go” to the almost Who flavored intro to “Not in Kansas Anymore.”

 And when you learn Walker’s story, you understand his ability to cross genres and excel at it. As a teenager in San Francisco vibrant 1960’s scene, he played with or opened for giants with names like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimi Hendrix and Thelonious Monk. From his mid-20’s to mid-30’s he played nothing but gospel.

 Hornet’s Nest is one of America’s greatest musicians playing at the height of his powers. This is an essential CD for both the serious and casual fan.

 DOWNLOAD: “Hornet’s Nest” “As the Sun Goes Down” and Ramblin’Soul.”

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