Thursday, July 22, 2010
Born February 11, 1937 near Lake Charles, Louisiana, in the small town of Welsh, Phillip Walker's earliest musical influences came via the Cajun and Creole rhythms he heard as a youngster. A second cousin to Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and huge admirer of T-Bone Walker, Phillip began making a name for himself in the early 1950s with his first recording session backing pianist Roscoe Gordon. At the age of 16, Walker left home to tour with Zydeco king Clifton Chenier (who incidentally gave the young fledgling Walker his first bona fide guitar) and never looked back.
Despite recording somewhat sparingly since debuting as a leader in 1959 on Elko Records with the storming rocker "Hello My Darling," Walker enjoyed a sterling reputation as a contemporary blues guitarist with a distinctive sound honed along the Gulf Coast during the 1950s.
Scattered 45s emerged during the '60s, but it wasn't until he joined forces with young producer Bruce Bromberg in 1969 that Walker began to get a studio foothold. The pairing resulted in a 1973 album for Playboy (reissued by HighTone in 1989), The Bottom of the Top, regarded as Walker's finest to date.
In 2007,Walker signed with Delta Groove Music, releasing the critically acclaimed CD "Going Back Home". The recording session featured the renowned guitarist going back to his roots and exploring the rich musical history of Louisiana, Texas and West Coast Blues on classic material by Lowell Fulson, Ray Charles, Lonesome Sundown, Lightnin' Hopkins, Champion Jack Dupree and Frankie Lee Sims among others. Going Back Home was later awarded Best Album of 2007 in the New Recordings / Contemporary Blues category by the Living Blues Awards Critics' Poll.
Posted by Nightwatcher at 6:59 PM