Alum Joe Louis Walker Plays It his Way

Friday, August 21, 2015
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER -- In 1968, he met up with Chicago guitarist Mike Bloomfield and became his roommate, confidant and drinking partner. “His sound was one worth emulating,” Walker says. Of Bloomfield’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he says, “It was long overdue, that honor.” Bloomfield’s death in 1981 shook Walker, who “got off the treadmill,” leaving the music scene. In the following years, he freed himself from drugs and drinking. He attended San Francisco State University and got a degree in Music and English. “Education was a wonderful thing,” he says. “Still is, as I’m never without a book.” Walker’s new album has raw, righteous songs such as “Black and Blue,” a mix of roadhouse blues, deep funk and raging, ringing, harmonious rock. “Hey, man, I put on John Lennon records in the morning and Muddy Waters records at night,” Walker says with a laugh. “That’s who I am and what my music is.”