Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seth Walker's Appealing Blues

Originally from North Carolina, but based in Austin, Texas, Seth Walker has developed into a blues performer of some interest. The Pacific Blues label has recently issued the eponymously title, Seth Walker, a very appealing collection of performances soulfully handled. More than an able guitarist, Walker’s band of Stefano Intelisano on keyboards, Lindsay Greene on bass and Mark Hays on drums is a solid group augmented on a few selections by Kim Wilson on harp, Floyd Domino on piano, Mike Keller on guitar and Ephraim Owens on trumpet. 

Most of the 11 selections are penned in whole or part by Walker, but he also interprets Dave Bartholomew’s By the Water, Jimmy Reed’s I Know Its a Sin, James Hunter’s Kick It Around, and Tom Waits’ Picture in a Frame. The last number, with just Intelisano’s piano probably best illustrates how he can caress a lyric in his delivery and certainly closes the disc on a very strong reflective vein. 

The rest of this album suggests comparisons to Delbert McLinton and Tommy Castro in his mix of blues, soul, and a tinge of country and rock, although blues comes across as more to the core of his music. What is refreshing is his unforced vocal delivery, the solid, clean guitar playing and the strong ensemble playing over a variety of material. No one is overplaying and the result is that the music, in a sense, breathes. 

This is a strong release and Seth Walker is new artist of note that these ears was delighted to discover.

This review was written in 2007, but I am uncertain whether it was published. I likely received a review copy from a publication or publicist. Here is Seth in performance.

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