Monday, January 04, 2016
HUDSON VALLEY ALMANAC -- His name conjures the memory of a great black boxing champion. And though Joe Louis Walker wasn’t named after the Brown Bomber, he has this quality in common with him: Joe Louis Walker is a heavyweight. He’s a heavyweight whom you may not know of, though he’s got credentials that other guitarists of his or any generation would kill for: He’s a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. He has made 25 albums and performed or recorded with the likes of guitar masters Mike Bloomfield, Buddy Guy and B.B. King. He was recently one of 37 artists (out of a field of 400 in various disciplines) to be named a USA Fellow from United States Artists, an honor that carried a $50,000 award. The New York Times has raved about his “Cadillac of a voice” and solos “moaning with bluesy despair.” Rolling Stone has boiled his style down to a single word: “ferocious.” He graduated from San Francisco State University with degrees in Music and English.