Archive for the Philip WALKER Category

Brooks, Hunter & Walker – Lone Star Shootout 1999

Posted in BLUES, Long John HUNTER, Lonnie BROOKS, Philip WALKER on December 6, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Brooks, Hunter & Walker – Lone Star Shootout 1999 (REPOST)

Blues

Bayfront blues fans are in for one spectacular treat with the reunion of long time friends and musical cohorts Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter and Phillip Walker. Teaming up for the first time in over 4 decades (in support of their new album on Alligator Records, Lone Star Shootout), these three Texas border town legends are ready for one rollicking, no-holds-barred blues super-session. All three started playing guitar and performing in the early 1950’s in the boomtowns of Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas, where blues, early rock and roll, R&B, Zydeco and country music merged and created a lasting impression on their singular brand of blues. Over the years, their solo recordings and performances have inspired and entertained countless fans and have influenced players from Johnny Winter to Buddy Holly to Billy Gibbons. Lonnie Brooks (born Lee Baker and known as Guitar Junior) forges a unique mixture of Louisiana, West Coast, Texas and Chicago blues unlike anyone else on the competitive Chicago blues scene where he has reigned as one of the Windy Cities’ top bluesmen over the past two decades. Lonnie has a dynamic quality to his voice that falls somewhere between hard core blues and smooth sounding soul. He plays a wicked and innovative guitar, is a gifted songwriter and consummate entertainer. In fact, his live performances are legendary, with the charismatic and good-natured Brooks always injecting a high level of energy and excitement into his shows that simply electrifies his audiences. Phillip Walker’s stylish fretwork has graced dozens of other musician’s albums for decades, and he has released nearly as many albums and singles, as well as penned more than a few blues standards of his own. Real Blues Magazine has called Walker “a true giant of the blues where his triple threat strength as a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter is unequaled.” He combines classic Gulf Coast blues, Memphis style soul and West Coast cool with a cutting guitar style that ranks him among the elite playing today. Long John Hunter is one of the best kept secrets of the blues. He has a gutsy and original guitar style that was originally influenced by B.B. King but honed to a fine edge while playing for more than a decade at the Lobby Bar in Juarez, Mexico. There, Hunter used to entertain the rowdy audience all night long by literally swinging from the rafters while playing his guitar one handed. Both Brooks and Walker played with the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, before moving on to Chicago and California respectively, while Hunter remained in Texas and nearby fabled Juarez, Mexico. Never before, though, have these three old friends and master bluesmen teamed up on the same stage or in the studio … until now that is. The Lone Star Shootout will feature the searing guitar playing, smoldering vocals and engaging good natured humor of these three blues legends as they serve up straight-ahead blues, swamp pop soul and “boarder town” salsa-fied boogie.
**
Louisiana-born and Texas-toughened, Brooks (66), Hunter (68), and Walker (62) show what blues peers can do in what seem to be peaking years. There are three numbers where all three go full tilt together; the rest of the material varies in personnel, group and solo emphasis. The distinctive, gutsy voice of Brooks, Walker’s loping guitar lines with his slighly rough, seasoned voice, and the riveting presence of Walker on all counts, musically and vocally, are showcased to consistently satisfying levels. Of the 15 cuts, there are a handful of rockers and boogies, a few pure soul tunes and ballads, a jump blues, a Cajun calypso, and some straight blues, something for everyone. The hard-swinging “Street Walking Woman” and the slower shuffle “Feel Good Doin’ Bad” are great musically, if lacking in message. Walker gets a back-to-back showcase on “I Can’t Stand It No More/I Met the Blues in Person,” and he tears it up. Brooks pleads and shouts on “This Should Go On Forever,” while Hunter’s highlights are the cautious “Alligators Around My Door” and the B.B. King cop on “Quit My Baby.” Score some plus points for Kaz Kazanoff’s sax and harp playing, and the horn charts are mighty fine throughout. Speaking of unsung heroes and heroines, credit pianist Marcia Ball on three cuts, Riley Osbourn playing keys on the others, and Ervin Charles, who does yeomanlike vocal and guitar work and gets two showcase cuts on his own, the best being the Muddy Waters closer “Two Trains Running.” This is a historic joining of three blues legends, with so much talent you have to give huge props. Also, buy this simply for Bruce Iglauer’s info-laden song notes, worth the price of the CD alone.
By Michael G. Nastos.
**
Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter, Phillip Walker- Vocals, Guitar
Frosty Smith- Saxophone
Marcia Ball, Riley Osbourn- Piano
Larry Fulcher- Bass
Frosty Smith- Drums.
**
01. Roll, Roll, Roll    3.22
02. Boogie Rambler    3.09
03. A Little More Time    4.21
04. Bon Ton Roulet    3.53
05. Feelin’ Good Doin’ Bad    4.14
06. Alligators Around My Door    5.17
07. Street Walkin’ Woman     4.22
08. This Should Go On Forever    3.39
09. You’re Playin’ Hooky    3.21
10. Born in Louisiana    5.07
11. Quit My Baby    4.10
12. I Can’t Stand It No More    3.54
13. I Met the Blues In Person    5.01
14. It’s Mighty Crazy    3.46
15. Two Trains Running    5.56
**

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Philip WALKER – Going Back Home 2007

Posted in BLUES, Philip WALKER on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Philip WALKER – Going Back Home 2007

Blues

Born in 1937 near Lake Charles, Louisiana in the small town of Welsh, Phillip Walker’s earliest musical influences came via the Cajun and Creole rhythms he heard as a youngster. But by the time his family moved down I-10 to Port Arthur, Texas after the war, the blues was making an impression on young Phillip as well. A second cousin of Gatemouth Brown, and a huge admirer of T-Bone Walker (almost a requirement for young guitarists in Texas at the time), Phillip began making a name for himself on the vibrant local music scene by the time he was still in his teens. He recalls his first recording session backing Memphis pianist Roscoe Gordon in 1952; the following year, The King Of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, recruited the young guitarist and took him on the road and into the studio over the next few years. So before he was even old enough to buy a beer in most of the joints he played, Phillip Walker was already a seasoned and road-tested veteran.

By the late ‘50s Walker was out on the road with his own band. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1959, he cut his first record as a bandleader, the storming “Hello My Darling,” for Elko Records. He augmented steady work in Los Angeles clubs with touring between Los Angeles, Texas, and Chicago, and recorded a handful of singles for various labels in the 1960s. Walker also did occasional session work (including backing Chicago bluesmen Johnny Shines and Eddie Taylor for the Advent label in 1969), and with the help of long-time supporter and producer Bruce Bromberg, he cut an excellent LP for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy label in the early 1970s (later reissued on Hightone). Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s Walker’s musical career continued to pick up steam, with numerous recording projects, tours of the U.S. and abroad, and increasing attention from the ‘blues media’ worldwide.

Walker ’s well-received releases in the 1980s and ‘90s, many with guidance from Bromberg, kept Walker active and in the spotlight. So when longtime fan and Delta Groove head Randy Chortkoff came knocking, Phillip was ready. The plan was to revisit Walker’s roots, and record some of the songs he heard directly from his early influences such as fellow Texas and Louisiana musicians Frankie Lee Sims, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lonesome Sundown and others. At the same time, they came up with a handful of strong originals in the same vein, and the results are a mix as down-home and funky as possum stew. Walker is joined by an all-star crew of sympathetic and experienced sidemen who know just what to do, and just when to do it. Veteran drummer Richard Innes teams up with bassist Jeff Turmes to provide one of the toughest blues rhythm sections this side of 1954 (the multi-talented Turmes also contributes sax on the low-down Frankie Lee Sims cover “Walkin’ With Frankie”). Rusty Zinn is the perfect six-string counter-balance to Phillip’s guitar, playing with sensitivity and drive behind Walker’s warm vocals, and adding seamless counterpoint and rhythmic propulsion behind the leader’s stinging and melodic solos. And when the two guitarists trade solos as on the pumping shuffle “Lay You Down” sparks of the best kind fly. Add harp master Al Blake and pianist Fred Kaplan of The Hollywood Blue Flames for a few numbers, plus piano ace Rob Rio, and you end up with one of the best recordings of Phillip Walker’s long and illustrious career. So sit back and enjoy the ride…Phillip Walker’s drivin’, and
we’re all goin’ back home.
By Scott Dirks.
**
The plan going into Phillip Walker’s first studio set in nearly a decade (since his last label, Black Top, went belly up) was to revisit some early influences that formed the bluesman’s unique approach. Add a few similarly styled originals from producer/Delta Groove label honcho Randy Chortkoff and the results are a comeback of sorts for this classy and underappreciated journeyman guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader. Walker is no stranger to putting his personal stamp on others’ songs — his previous album was also predominantly covers — but this one takes him back to his roots, as its title infers. He gets into a John Lee Hooker/New Orleans groove on Frankie Lee Sims’ “Walking with Frankie”; slows things down on a swampy “Sweet Home New Orleans” with help from its writer, Al Blake, on harmonica; and strips the instrumentation to a core of harp, sparse drums, and tasty guitar for an emotional spin on Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Don’t Think ‘Cause You’re Pretty.” He burns through Lonesome Sundown’s shuffle “Leave My Money Alone” and gets lowdown with Ray Charles’ “Blackjack.” A backup band of talented vets lends support with a sympathetic vibe throughout. Established guitarist Rusty Zinn generally sticks to rhythm but takes lead duties on three tracks, including a peppy version of Eddie Shaw’s “Mean Mean Woman,” where his more driving attack meshes nicely with Walker’s subtler touch. Jeff Turmes’ bass work, especially on standup, provides a sturdy yet flexible bottom that perfectly supports Walker’s affable vocals and stylish guitar work. Walker sounds like he’s having a blast, and you can practically see the smile on his face as he greets these songs like the old friends they are. The session gels with an effortless vibe like the finest blues discs, and shows just how vital Walker remains, especially with a sympathetic producer, classy material, and a great band behind him.
By Hal Horowitz*
**
It’s really a shame that Phillip Walker has been so under-recorded and under-appreciated. “Going Back Home”, Walker’s debut for Delta Groove Productions, will surely help to point out Walker’s place as one of the greatest living bluesmen. From the opening bars of the album all the way to its close Walker’s guitar heroics shine like the edge of a switchblade in the LA sun. The album is full of raw, muscular and funky blues which Walker sings and plays through with the kind of ability that only comes with his years of experience. A true modern-day classic, this album is an essential purchase for any fan of the blues, or any guitarist who wants to know what it’s really about.
By A.A. Paul.
**
On his Delta Groove debut, the legendary Gulf Coast guitarist goes back to his roots to explore the rich history of Louisiana, Texas and the West Coast on classic material by Lowell Fulson, Ray Charles, Lonesome Sundown, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Frankie Lee Sims and more. Walker is joined by label mates Al Blake, Fred Kaplan and Richard Innes of the Hollywood Blue Flames, along with support by Bay area guitarist Rusty Zinn, boogie woogie pianist Rob Rio, the versatile Jeff Turmes on standup/electric bass and tenor/bari saxophones, David Woodford on tenor sax, and Walker’s own bassist when out on the road, James W. Thomas.
**
Phillip Walker- Guitar, Vocals
Fred Kaplan- Piano
Rob Rio- Piano
David Woodford- Tenor Sax
Jeff Big Dad Turmes- Bass, Baritone Sax, Tenor Sax
Rusty Zinn- Acoustic, Rhythm Guitar
Richard Innes- Drums
**
01. Lying Woman 3:08
02. Mama Bring Your Clothes Back Home 4:24
03. Mean Mean Woman 4:10
04. Blackjack 3:44
05. Honey Stew 3:15
06. Don’t Think ‘Cause You’re Pretty 3:55
07. Leave My Money Alone 3:11
08. Bad Blood 3:52
09. Lay You Down 5:33
10. If You See My Baby 2:54
11. Sweet Home New Orleans 2:33
12. Happy Man Blues 3:02
13. Walking With Frankie 4:51
**

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