JLW’s Electric Blues Rocked the House
I walked into Regattabar the other night knowing only that Joe Louis Walker is a blues legend. What I heard and saw were the reasons why he has been nominated for Grammy Awards and is a member of the Blues Hall of Fame.
JLW, as he is known, delivered a terrific show, full of energy and passion.
JLW is an electric guitarist whose style is mostly traditional blues with some soul and gospel thrown into the mix. I really enjoyed the gospel influence in some of his songs.
As his fingers danced across the strings with lightning speed, I was impressed with the precision of his playing. Without a wasted note, he played as if his life depended on it. He is clearly very comfortable on stage – he is in his 50th year of performing, and the wisdom of those years shows!
He had a wonderful band backing him this night. Lenny Bradford on bass, Phillip Young on keys and saxophone, Dan Rabinovitz on trumpet, and Bryon Cage on drums comprise this fine band.
I wish I had taken notes so I could remember the names of more of the songs because they were clever. The names I recall are ‘Too Drunk to Drive Drunk”, “Eyes Like a Cat (And I Like it Like That)”, “I Think I’ll Give Up Living and Go Shopping Instead”, and “Sugar Mama”.
They performed a new, as-yet unrecorded, song called “Witchcraft”; I don’t know what the influence was for this song, but I could hear a mystical quality in it.
What struck me most about this show – in addition to the talent on stage – was how much fun they were all having. The grins on their faces are evidence of that (sorry, I didn’t catch Byron or Larry smiling, although it’s not easy to smile while you’re blowing into a trumpet)!
I did not know the depth of JLW’s pedigree before this show. His first mentor was Mike Bloomfield, which is like starting at the top! Throughout the years, he has played with many of the great blues musicians of the 20th century. Despite all the amazing musicians with whom he has played, he has a style that is his own; at no time did I think, ‘Wow, he sounds exactly like so-and-so!’
They played for two hours, but I could have listened to them play all night. I think the rest of the audience would agree!
Ticket courtesy of Regattabar; all opinions are my own.
Posted on January 19, 2015, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged blues music, boston, Byron Cage, concert review, Dan Rabinovitz, JLW, Joe Louis Walker, Lenny Bradford, music, Phillip Young, Regattabar. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.