There’s no mistaking the voice of Bart Walker for someone who doesn’t have the right to sing the blues. His vocals just about dare you to hear anything but the blues in them. He doesn’t just sing and play the blues; he squeezes every drop of the proverbial blood, sweat and tears out of them. His new album, Waiting On Daylight, is (at times) deeply southern fried blues at its best.
Bart Walker performs “Waiting On Daylight”…
Waiting On Daylight offers nine original songs along with remakes of J.B. Hutto’s “Hipshake It” and the Allman Brothers classic “Whippin Post.” The album was produced by Jim Gaines, and features Dave Smith on bass, Rick Steff on keyboards, Steve Potts on drums and guest Dave Cohen on organ. They are all solid support for the vocals and guitar slinging of Bart Walker, who won the Best Guitarist title at the International Blues Competition in Memphis last year.
Unfortunately the entire album doesn’t match the Walker’s full potential. “99%” inhabits a welcome blues/rock groove, but the lyric is about as laughable as it is laughably naïve. Another miss is “Black Clouds,” an almost unlistenable track, too heavily clouded in fuzzy grunge effect. What works best in a humid, whiskey-happy crowded festival at midnight isn’t always what works best on an iPod on a lunch break. The trick is convincing the audience for the latter that they are at the former.
But the rest of the album is shout out loud praiseworthy. Buy it, download it, turn it way up and enjoy.
Essential Downloads: “Waitin’ On Daylight,” “Mary & Me,” “Whippin Post.”
To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.