Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of celebrated guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Joe Louis Walker, the man Blues Revue called “one of contemporary blues’ most dynamic and innovative musicians, who releases consistently exciting music. No matter what he’s singing, Walker’s approach is soulful, heartfelt and spellbinding.” According to Living Blues, he is “one of today’s modern musical masters.” Walker’s Alligator debut will be released in January of 2012.

Alligator president Bruce Iglauer is thrilled to have Walker on board. “Joe Louis Walker is one of the most exciting and passionate bluesmen of his generation. He’s a major talent whose music speaks to both blues and rock fans. We’re excited to help bring his music to a larger audience than ever.”

And Walker’s in full agreement. “Alligator has clearly been one of the most important blues labels of our time and I am proud to say that I am an Alligator artist. I look forward to being part of the Alligator family.”

Joe Louis Walker Band

Over his 27-year career, Walker has released 24 albums and toured worldwide. He won four Blues Music Awards, including the 2010 Album Of The Year Award for Between A Rock And A Hard Place (Stony Plain Records), and has been nominated for 43 more. He’s also recorded as a guest with some of the blues world’s best-known artists, including appearances on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton.

Joe Louis Walker was born in the Fillmore district of San Francisco on December 25, 1949. By the time he was 16, he was working the local club scene steadily as an in-demand guitar player. When Walker was 19 he befriended famed guitarist Michael Bloomfield. Bloomfield introduced Walker to many of the day’s top rockers and helped push Walker’s blues into a more rock-fueled direction. The two were close friends until Bloomfield’s death in 1981.

In 1985 Walker released his debut, Cold Is The Night, on Hightone Records, his first of many outstanding albums. Firmly rooted in blues, gospel, R&B and rock, the album caught the attention of music fans everywhere. Over the course of the next 26 years, with each subsequent release, Walker’s audience continued to grow, as his touring schedule continued to expand. He’s played major European festivals, including Northsea Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Notodden and Montreux, as well as festivals in Japan, Australia, Taiwa! n, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. He’s appeared on national television, including performances on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Don Imus Show and Later With Jools Holland in the UK.

Fans and critics have been celebrating Walker for years. Living Blues said, “His fretwork is indelibly stamped with his own trademark blend of emotional heat and impeccable precision — even at his most flamboyant, Walker sounds as if he’s playing ideas, not just notes.”

The New York Times raved, “Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. He delivers no-nonsense, gutsy blues. His voice is weather-beaten but ready for more; his guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair.”

Joe Louis Walker Band /

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