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Joe Louis Walker’s Blues Conspiracy - Live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise

Stony Plain Records

11 tracks; 73:52 minutes; Suggested

Styles: Modern Electric Blues, Chicago Blues, Rock and Roll, Soul

“Attention ladies and gentlemen: Please remove your life vests, recline your deck chairs, pour yourself a tall drink, and light up a smoke. This cruise on the ocean-in-your-mind is about to set sail, and your music captain, Joe Louis Walker, promises to rock your world, not your boat! Our vessel for this journey is the finest in newly released CDs. This guitar powered vehicle will free your mind from your body, allowing it to pleasurably cruise along for the next 74 minutes. On this excursion, expect steady rhythms and a steady stream of guest artists like Johnny Winter and Tommy Castro joining Walker riding the cresting waves of original and select songs. The crew, consisting of twenty guests plus Walker’s band, is ship shape and tuned to please. So, sit back and enjoy and let nothing matter but the music!”

The CD “was not about money, ego, and so-called fame. It was about the MUSIC,” Says Joe Louis in the liner notes. Recorded live on two nights aboard the January 2010 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, this CD saves you thousands of dollars compared to a cruise ticket.

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Joe Louis Walker has been a mainstay on the blues scene for many years putting out twenty-one acclaimed albums, since 1986. He is nominated for two 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards, and Walker was selected as the 2010 Living Blues Magazine Critics Poll’s Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar). This live album draws on the many friendships he has developed.

“As you can see, these artists [nine guitarists, three harmonica players, three sax players, two vocalists, a trumpeter, an organist, and a piano player] are a mixture of ages and styles. The one thread running through us all is the Blues. ...what you hear on this CD is what the audience enhancements or overdubs,” Joe Louis reported. It’s Walker’s show throughout, but the different guests make each song style unique.

Opening the cruise show, Joe’s own rocking “Slow Down GTO” peels off the starting line with some smoking slide guitar and Mike Finnigan’s deft finger work on the keyboard.

My favorite track, Walker’s “Ain’t That Cold,” has a dynamic pairing where Joe Louis and the great Johnny Winter trade some energized guitar licks. Also the M.C. throughout, Walker first speaks of his influence from Winter’s Blues playing and then allows Johnny to perform on his Lazer guitar one of those metallic sounding, upper stratosphere slide solos that made him famous.
Other standouts are the ballad, “You’re Gonna Make Me Cry,” with Curtis Salgado on soul-drenched vocals; the hopping “Eyes Like a Cat,” with Tommy Castro, Tom Poole, Joanna Bogart and Keith Crossan; and the Nick Gravenites classic, “Born in Chicago,” with award winning harmonicist Jason Ricci and killer guitarists Nick Moss and Paris Slim.

Thanks to Joe Louis Walker’s energy, undeniable personality, and high caliber talent, “Blues Conspiracy” creates a very friendly and fun atmosphere. It is a great “cruise” and you won’t even need Dramamine.

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 

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