Joe Louis Walker has earned his rightful place among the pantheon of legendary electric blues singer/guitarist/songwriters like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray. Herbie Hancock calls him "a national treasure." Chick Corea glibly refers to him as "The Chick Corea of Blues," and Aretha Franklin called him "The Bluesman."
Walker's output spans the gamut of American Roots music, and he is regarded as one of his generation's greatest bluesmen. A brilliantly lyrical guitarist, soulful singer, and prolific songwriter, Walker has toured extensively throughout his career, performing at some of the world's most renowned music festivals, such as Glastonbury and Montreux, as well as on national television, with appearances on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, The Don Imus Show and Later With Jools Holland in the UK, earning him a legion of dedicated fans along the way.
Walker has recorded with Ike Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Steve Cropper, opened for Muddy Waters and Thelonious Monk, hung out with Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and was a close friend and roommate of Mike Bloomfield.
Walker's 1986 debut album Cold Is the Night on HighTone announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output for Verve, Alligator, HighTone, and others only served to further establish Walker as one of today's leading bluesmen. The New York Times raved, "Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. His guitar solos are fast, wiry, and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair." Rolling Stone calls him "ferocious."
A myriad of organizations have recognized Joe for his achievements. He's a member of the Blues Hall of Fame, was named a USA Fellow by United States Artists, won multiple W.C. Handy Awards and Blues Music Awards, has been a recipient of San Francisco's prestigious Bammy Awards, and was also awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Mississippi Valley Blues Society.
Billboard sums it up nicely: "Gutbucket blues, joyous gospel, Rolling Stones-style rock crunch, and aching R&B. Walker's guitar playing is fine and fierce."