In 2013, when The Blues Foundation inducted award-winning blues master Joe Louis Walker into The Blues Hall Of Fame, the recognition was humbling. “I am honored to be in the company of the great artists already inducted,” Walker said at the time. “I hope to live up to the honor.” Joining the ranks of previous inductees including B.B. King, Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf and other blues greats while still at the peak of his musical powers, is, as Walker says, “a dream come true.”
And he does indeed live up to the honor. Simply put, Joe Louis Walker is one of the greatest bluesmen of his generation. He is known worldwide as one of the genre’s top musical trailblazers—a mesmerizing guitarist and soul-testifying vocalist. On his dynamic new CD, Hornet’s Nest, Walker’s music is equal parts rock ‘n’ roll fire and blistering, passionate blues. The New York Times raves, “Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. He delivers no-nonsense, gutsy blues. His guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair.” Rolling Stone simply calls him “ferocious.”
Hornet’s Nest was recorded in Nashville and produced by songwriter/drummer Tom Hambridge (producer of James Cotton’s Cotton Mouth Man, Buddy Guy’s Grammy-winning CDs Skin Deep and Living Proof, as well as albums for Susan Tedeschi, George Thorogood and Walker’s previous CD, Hellfire). Hornet’s Nest—featuring 12 songs, including nine new originals—blends Walker’s boundless energy and his myriad influences into a contemporary blues tour-de-force. His always-inventive guitar playing is matched note-for-note by his fervent vocals. From menacing, hard rocking electric blues to cool Memphis funk to R&B rave-ups to Sunday morning gospel, Walker’s blues—fierce and untamed, adventurous and fun—continue to define the genre.