Everyone Wants A Piece of Blues

Blues Hall of Famer Joe Louis Walker is coming to the Iron Horse Saturday to play an internationally-influenced set of heart-rending music on a flaming guitar backed by his “Cadillac” voice.

Walker’s intense guitar work and booming vocals will touch you. The haunting refrains of loss and love will stay with you long after you’ve left the club.

And to think this blues giant may never have found his groove if it weren’t for a middle school instrument loan program. Walker says he tried many instruments — violin, accordion, etc. — before getting his hands on the guitar (there was a waiting list). But once he got the six strings in his hands, Walker knew he had found something special.

“I had always seen the guitar, and always my eyes were just wide open. And I’d hear it and my ears would be wide open,” he says. “When I got my hands on one, I had a certain connection with it and it was just everything I thought it would be. It opened a whole new world for me.”

Walker, a San Francisco native, has played on many Grammy-winning albums. He won the 2016 Blues Foundation Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year award. And his latest album, Everybody Wants a Piece, has been nominated for a 2017 Grammy.

Walker says people at the Saturday show can expect to hear music from his new album as well as melodies influenced by his recent trip to China and his interest in Mongolian and Tibetan music.

“We always sort of incorporate the sounds we’ve heard in different places,” he says. “We’re always into different rhythms.”

Joe Louis Walker: Saturday, June 24, 7 p.m. $20. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. (413) 586-8686, iheg.com.

— Kristin Palpini, editor@valleyadvocate.com

Author: Advocate Staff

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