Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Phillip Walker Band - Live Pit Inn

Despite recording somewhat sparingly since debuting as a leader in 1959 on Elko Records with the storming rocker "Hello My Darling," Louisiana-born guitarist Phillip Walker enjoys a sterling reputation as a contemporary blues guitarist with a distinctive sound honed along the Gulf Coast during the 1950s.
A teenaged Walker picked up his early licks around Port Arthur, TX, from the likes of Gatemouth Brown, Long John Hunter, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Lonnie "Guitar Junior" Brooks. Zydeco king Clifton Chenier hired Walker in 1953 as his guitarist, a post he held for three and a half years.
In 1959, Walker moved to Los Angeles, waxing "Hello My Darling" for producer J.R. Fulbright (a song he's revived several times since, most effectively for the short-lived Playboy logo). 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. Their impressive work together resulted in a 1973 album for Playboy (reissued by HighTone in 1989), The Bottom of the Top, that remains Walker's finest to date.
Walker cut a fine follow-up set for Bromberg's Joliet label, Someday You'll Have These Blues, that showcased his tough Texas guitar style (it was later reissued by Alligator). Sets for Rounder and HighTone were high points of the 1980s for the guitarist, and 1994's Big Blues from Texas (reissued in 1999) continued his string of worthy material. His 1995 set for Black Top, Working Girl Blues, shows Walker at peak operating power, combining attractively contrasting tracks waxed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. I Got a Sweet Tooth followed in 1998, and displayed no letdown in quality or power. Walker got together with fellow blues legends Lonnie Brooks and Long John Hunter in 1999 to record Lone Star Shootout for Alligator. Walker is featured as lead vocalist on four tracks and backs the others on the rest of the record. In the fall of 2002, a live recording of a spring concert was released on M.C. Records.

Rare Japanese LP recorded live in 1979 with guest artist George 'Harmonica' Smith.



Hard Luck Child said...

Thank you very much! This is very rare! I hope you enjoy my blog=)

Xyros said...

You have an excellent blog that I can recommend to all blues fans.
Check out the link in "Blogs well worth visiting".

Mojo said...

Cool! I found this on CD a few years back. There's also a great CD of Johnny Littlejohn with Carey Bell recorded at the same place with the title "Live At Pit Inn!". I think they're all on P-Vine. I came across the Philip Walker CD by accident.

My holy grail from this series which I've never seen or heard, just heard OF, is a live Lurrie Bell recording from the Pit Inn.

Do you have it or have you ever seen/heard/heard of it?


Xyros said...

I didn't know this lp had been re-released on cd.
Can't help you out with the Lurrie Bell lp/cd either as it's new to me.

Mojo said...

Hello again, I just posted a re-request for the Lurrie Bell, Live At Pit Inn on the chatbox, not realizing I had commented and requested it last year! Sorry.

But I'm still looking for the LP, if anyone has it. This Phillip Walker LP and the Johnny Littlejohn with Carey Bell are the only other Live At Pit Inn recordings I know of. Any idea if there are others?

Thanks for all of your posts, I find that our record collections are amazingly similar, with all of these very obscure blues LPs, most of which are not on CD now and may never be.

Thank you SO MUCH.


Marcfr said...

Hello Xyros ,
Franck Goldwasser requested this album on my blog , but i remember it was here already , could you re-upload it (link has expired) .
Thanks and greetings :-)

Xyros said...

@Marcfr, Phillip Walker Band has a new link for Frank.

Marcfr said...

Many thanks Xyros , MERCI !

Franck Goldwasser said...

Thank you for re-posting this.