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Stage Buzz: Joe Louis Walker

Joe Louis Walker

Joe Louis Walker (photo: Michael Weintrob)

One of the most vitally exciting contemporary blues artists on the scene, a Joe Louis Walker show almost guarantees a dynamic performance, drawing upon his eclectic influences. A celebrated blues master who spent a decade as a gospel singer and even more years dabbling in the blues/rock/funk stew of his hometown of San Francisco, JLW has always refused labels or boxes.

But it’s his innovation that makes him so dazzling, as witnessed by his 2012 tour de force, Hellfire (Alligator), which skillfully blended blues with doses of rock and gospel. Known for his ferocious guitar chops as well as his soul-grabbing vocals and tightly -crafted songwriting, Joe Louis Walker offers the total musical package.

Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame last year, JLW has just released Hornet’s Nest (Alligator) which promises to be another showcase for his fresh treatment of traditional blues.

Tonight @ City Winery, Chicago

– Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

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