Mescal Canyon (label)
25 September 2015 (released)
28 August 2015
I’m tempted to ask “who the hell is Wily Bo Walker” because he has released three albums this year and judging by the styles and writing in evidence there must be at least a dozen!
Walker writes brilliantly, songs that are dark and heavy, funk laden and Bluesey or balladic and bittersweet but all of them are top notch and show the many different sides he is capable of.
The opener here is ‘Walking With The Devil’ and after a slow, sustained guitar line he moves into a New Orleans shuffle – and then the vocals come in: smoky, dark (I mean Nick Cave dark) and captivating. You just have to listen and be mesmerised by his singing and that awesome guitar line.
Then he delves into a horn laden gospel/R&B number that you can’t help but dance to (‘I Want To Know’) and keeps the groove going with a number Dr John world be proud of – ‘Walk In Chinese Footsteps’
By now the voice is becoming familiar, never comfortable but you know what the sound is, until whammo – the title track. A slow and heavy New York ballad with film noir in every inch of the lone cornet, you can feel the fog in the air and the searching eyes, the desperation and loneliness in the song. If the rest of the album was crap it would still be worth buying for this one track.
‘When The Angels Call Your Time’ sees him in Tom Waits territory (no bad thing) and then ‘Same Thing’ brings it back to the bayou – sultry, dense and heavy with sweat.
No surprise, I think this album is one of the best Walker has made to date and well up there in the best of the year stakes.
He was nominated for a British Blues Award for Best Song with ‘Long Way To Heaven’ from his last album and if there is any justice he will get another nomination for ‘Moon Over Indigo’ song AND album.