Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz, Giles Robson (from the album Journeys to the Heart of the Blues available on Alligator Records)
Three masters travel together with Journeys to the Heart of the Blues joining Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz, and Giles Robson on the recent release from Alligator Records. The trio pack light on the recording, stripping down to bare essentials as they time jump to the Blues of the past with only guitar (Joe Louis Walker), piano (Bruce Katz), and harmonica (Giles Robson). British harmonica man Giles Robson dreamt up the idea of recording with Joe Louis Walker with bass and drums. Joe Louis suggested bringing in Bruce Katz and Journey to the Heart of the Blues was born.
The tracks on the album focus on acoustic Blues, evoking the spirit of the sound with tracks from originators Sonny Boy Willamson (“I’m a Lonely Man”), Big Maceo (“Poor Kelly Blues”), and Blind Willie McTell (“Murderer’s Home”). Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz, and Giles Robson curate the Blues of the past, staying true to a vintage representation in the recording, scars showing in the live performance setting as well in the stories on Journey to the Heart of the Blues. While the trio cherry-pick from marquee names in the genre, they mine the crates for lesser known Bluesmen with the songs of Papa Lightfoot (“Mean Old Train”), Roosevelt Sykes (“Feel Like Blowing My Horn”), and Son Bond (“Hard Pill to Swallow”). Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz and Giles Robson put a boogie into Big Maceo’s “Chicago Breakdown” and slide some rhythm into the Blues shouting “It’s You, Baby”. while Journeys to the Heart of the Blues strides and struts along “Hell Ain’t But a Mile and a Quarter” backed by a solo piano and puts a guitar with the harmonica at a table for two in “G & J Boogie”.
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