Award-winning blues and roots musician Joe Louis Walker announces his new album, Weight of the World, out February 17, 2023 on Forty Below Records, produced by Eric Corne.
A Blues Hall of Fame inductee and six-time Blues Music Award winner, Walker has been described as “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues” by NPR. His 2015 release, Everyone Wants a Piece, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best ContemporaryBlues Album” category. In addition, Walker dueted with B.B. King on his Grammy Award-winning Blues Summit album and played guitar on James Cotton’s Grammy-winning album Deep in the Blues.
A true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer, and prolific songwriter, he has toured the world extensively, performed at the world’s most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans.
Recorded with producer Eric Corne (John Mayall, Walter Trout, Sugaray Rayford), Weight of the World showcases the depth of Walker’s influences and the prowess with which he commands different genres, whether Contemporary Blues, Soul, Gospel, Funk, Rock N’ Roll or Jazz, which Walker blends into his magnetic playing, singing and songwriting.
Weight of the World is a compelling album that displays a master at the height of his game. They say Roots musicians age like fine wine, which certainly rings true with Walker. Weight of the World is a resounding statement and quite possibly the beginning of the most remarkable chapter of a storied career.
Recorded just outside of Woodstock, NY, with musicians Scott Milici (Keys), John Medeiros Jr. (Drums), Geoff Murfitt (Bass), Eddie Jackson (Bongos), Marc Pender (Trumpet), David Ralicke (Saxophone), Eric Gorfain (Violins), Gia Ciambotti (Background Vocals) and Producer Eric Corne (Background Vocals, Guitar), who also engineered and mixed the album. Walker and Corne split writing duties on the album.
The title track on Weight of the World is a metaphor for the times we live in. “Out here at the edge of the world / It’s starting to curl / We’ve upset the big shareholder.” As the pandemic lingers on, the cost of doing business rises, and global temperatures soar, musicians like Walker have felt the impact as much as anyone.
Another standout track, “Hello, It’s the Blues,” portrays a virtual conversation between the Blues in the form of a guardian angel and the listener. The track features a breathtaking string arrangement by Eric Gorfain (Neil Diamond, Roseanne Cash, Dionne Warwick,) a riveting guitar solo, and moving Gospel-influenced vocals with Gia Ciambotti (Joe Walsh, Bruce Springsteen.)
Walker’s output spans the gamut of American Roots music. He is regarded as one of his generation’s greatest bluesmen. Billboard found that his playing “blows all over the map…gutbucket blues, joyous gospel, Rolling Stones-style rock crunch, and aching R&B. Walker’s guitar playing is fine and fierce.”
A brilliant lyrical guitarist, soulful singer, and prolific songwriter, Walker has toured extensively throughout his career, performing at some of the world’s most renowned music festivals, such as Glastonbury and Montreux, as well as on national television, with appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Don Imus Show and Later With Jools Holland in the UK, earning him a legion of dedicated fans along the way.
Walker has recorded with Ike Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Steve Cropper, opened for Muddy Waters and Thelonious Monk, hung out with Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and was a close friend and roommate of Mike Bloomfield.
Referred to as “A musician’s musician,” Walker has earned his rightful place among the pantheon of legendary electric blues singer/guitarist/songwriters like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray. Herbie Hancock called Walker “a national treasure.” Chick Corea glibly referred to him as “The Chick Corea of Blues,” and Aretha Franklin called him “The Bluesman.”
Walker plans to tour extensively to support Weight of the World, effusing, “The band and I are chomping at the bit to play these songs live!”
Pre-order/Save Weight of the World Here
Joe Louis Walker website