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Silvertone Blues

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Album Review

Some critics have tagged this the best blues release of 1999; others weren't nearly as kind. It's a beauty-is-in-the-ear-of-the-beholder situation. Blues "purists" who lament the fact that very few artists today are playing down-home, traditional blues will very much enjoy and appreciate this return to the roots. Fans of more contemporary styles might quickly grow tired of the intense, piercing vocals and upper-register slide guitar work. There are ten originals and two covers (Robert Nighthawk's "Crying Won't Help You" and Sunnyland Slim's "It's You Baby"). Most of the tunes are sparse, gritty duets with either James Cotton on harp, Alvin Youngblood Hart on guitar/vocals, or Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne on piano. Walker sings and plays dobro on the only solo track "Talk to Me." If you long for a modern-day artist with the delivery of a Robert Johnson or a Howlin' Wolf and you like your blues pure and raw, Silvertone Blues is right up your alley.


Born: December 25, 1949 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Without a doubt one of the most exciting and innovative artists gracing contemporary blues, guitarist Joe Louis Walker has glowed like a shining blue beacon since the release of his 1986 debut album for HighTone, Cold Is the Night. The disc announced his arrival in stunning fashion, and his subsequent output has only served to further establish Walker as one of the leading younger bluesmen on the scene. Joe Louis Walker is the total package, as tremendously assured on a down-in-the-alley acoustic...
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Silvertone Blues, Joe Louis Walker
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