23 February 2013 (released)
23 February 2013
Bart Walker has been winning accolades from all over and has finally arrived in Nashville and the town seems to have yaken him to its heart.
But this is not any kind of weak-ass country babble – Mr Walker plays Southern Blues with a gutsy edge and kicks royal ass when required.
This album is produced by the legend Jim Gaines and he doesn’t work with talentless Okies or wannabees so I cued it up expecting explosions – I got a kind of neutron bomb that leaves you wondering what the hell happened long after the initial blast: all good for sure.
Walker has been playing with some of the heavyweights of the Blues world – Steve Gorman )Black Crowes), Audley Freed (Bl;ack Crowes & Cry of Love) and had Double Trouble keyboardsman Reese Wynans in his touring band for a number of years – all of this has added to a very fine guitar style and gruff, grumbling vocal style. His style covers a lot of basews calling up memories of the Allman Brothers and Tab Benoit on tracks lioke ‘Took It Like A Man’ and ‘Its All Good’ and he has some of the heaviness of Phillip Sayce when he needs to. I’m not sure I could say that there was anything here that screamed Bart Walker but there is sure enough a lot of music that I want to return to time and again.
My personal favourite is probably ‘Happy’ with its Chuck Berry riff under some seriously throaty vocals but his slide on ‘Hipshake It’ brought a smile to my face and the stone Blues of ‘99%’ speaks for the Walter Trout fans out there – Blue Collar Blues at its best. His version here of 'Whipping Post' is one of the few that doesn't send me running for my Allman Brothers at The Fillmore - he actually nails it and makes it work in a different way - bloody well done!
One of those albums that you are going to turn to time and gain just for some honest and well played Blues – noithing startlingly original but a great listen and soul satisfying too.