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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Friday, August 30, 2019

Cleopatra Records artist: Joe Louis Walker - Viva Las Vegas Live - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Viva Las Vegas Live from Joe Louis Walker and it's really great! Opening with I'm Not Messing Around, a rolling blues rocker, Walker has lead vocal and guitar with the super Bruce Bears on piano, Lenny Bradford on bass Dorian Randolph on drums. Walkers guitar riffs are scorching and crisp and Bears' piano tight and precise. Excellent opener. Into low slung shuffle, Young Girls Blues,  Walker's vocals are rich and Bears' piano work is grand. I have admired Bears' work for a long time and it's always super to hear him live where he can stretch a bit. Very nice. Ok...you want Walker. You want guitar and here it is! Sugar Mama, a slower blues number with extended guitar soloing. Walker has excellent chops and most of you already know and this track gives him the opportunity to let it all hang out... or should I say, he's more than 6 minute into the track before he starts to sing...think about that! Also showing excellent harmonica chops, and with strong piano reinforcement by Bears and the steady bottom by Bradford and Randolph, this is an absolute showstopper and it's just begun. There's a great low fret intro on Do You Love Me, a solid blues rocker with plenty of kick. Walker is showing clearly that he can do it all.  With it's New Orleans kind of funk, Soldier For Jesus has a terrific feel and Walker is nicely backed vocally by Bears, Bradford and Randolph as his slide guitar playing is fat and rich. Excellent! You Don't Love Me Girl is a cool Latin jazz infused number and Bears gets a chance to really let the organ loose. Playing nicely off of Walkers guitar lead and the strong support of Bradford and Randolph, this is a really cool track. Cool boogie track, Too Drunk To Drive Drunk is another favorite with a great driving bottom and Walker's vocals riding high. Bears and Walker both got the chance to let loose and they are on fire. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Like It This Way with it's (fast) walking bass line and flaming hot guitar lead. Bears winds it up again and then as customary with many top performers bassist Bradford gets a chance to show his stuff. His solo is melodic and leads nicely into a drum showcase for Randolph. Walker returns and takes it home with his showcase style. No one could have left here without a smile on their face. Excellent show!

BTW... this is a DVD which includes as cd. I can't wait to get home and watch this show live on the real system!

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