FREE Subscription - For more information  CLICK HERE



Back To Reviews page

Charles Walker - Soul Stirring Thing

Blue Label/SPV

14 tracks; 65:33 minutes; Splendid

Style: Soul, Soul-Blues

“Blues” is a big house with many rooms; this week, I’m in the “Soul” room. Compared to the Blues CDs I usually review, I found more emphasis on the song and singer (the legendary Charles Walker) and less on instrument solos, especially guitar. Recorded with no harmonica or horns, the CD does feature a few guitar solos courtesy of the fantastic Fred James. Here, a verse of lyrics is not just an excuse for another lengthy and ponderous guitar solo (as is too often the case in “Blues” CDs). On this album, there are no twelve bar Blues or A-A-B rhyme schemes, but, as the term “Soul” implies, there are, simply said, moving-songs from deep within Walker’s heart and viscera.

Truly one of the last great Soul singers, Charles "Wigg" Walker started his recording career at the Champion Label in 1959 and moved to Chess records in 1962. While a Motown staff writer, he established a reputation as an exciting live performer. A few years ago Charles was approached by a local Nashville Funk band called The Dynamites about being their lead singer. Their popularity grew into gaining attention nationally. Their 2007 release "Kaboom" finally broke Charles Walker in the US market. As successful as The Dynamites are, Charles still wanted to continue recording traditional Soul and Blues; thus, this record produced by Fred James.

Nashville producer Fred James is a documentarian, a musician and entrepreneur, and his Bluesland Productions is considered one of the world's foremost independent music companies devoted to Blues, Soul, and American Roots music. On this CD, producer James also plays all instruments, except organ, and adds background vocals along with Mary-Ann Brandon. Hammond organ wizard Billy Earheart of the Amazing Rhythm Aces was picked for the numerous keyborad parts.

The very first song, the title track, gives the listener a good example of the CDs content and style. One of four composed by Walker and his song-writing partner Conrad McDonald, the track is like many in going well beyond typical Blues themes. For thirty seconds, the drums and bass pop, the organ wells up, the guitar punctuates, and then Walker slowly and masterfully powers up the vocals. Weary in a work-a-day world, he reveals, “... now when I find time to share a little laughter, I feel something move all up inside, and, let me tell you, that’s a soul stirring thing.” As more “soul-stirring” examples are cited, the background vocals on the three word title make it so catchy that it’s a natural for singing along. Throughout, potent lyrics abound, and all songs are backed by smooth, expert instrumentation.

Charles is one of the few remaining original soul singers from when “old school” was brand new on pop AM radio (e.g. 1965’s KXOK in St. Louis). If you’re a Soul fan, you’re sure to enjoy this Walker-James release.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL.

To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE 

 To submit a review or interview please contact:

For more information please contact:


Home  |  Contact  |  Submit Your Blues News - Advertise with Blues Blast Magazine
 Copyright - Blues Blast Magazine
2010    Design by: Moxi Dawg Design