MWN: Hello! Thank you very much for taking the time to answer the following questions. Music, Why Not! Is honored to have the chance to ask you a few questions! I think it is important to go back to the roots. I really like knowing were great artist come from and the reason behind their love for music. So for my questions I would like to ask you. Was there anything particular in youth that influenced you to become a musician?
Joe Luis Walker: My main influences were my mom & dad. They’d brought their music to the north from down south, where they’d relocated from. So the Blues they played was the same music they’d have been listening to in the south. As it was with the gospel music my grandmothers were listening to. Their bodies were in the north , but their souls and musical tastes were in the south.
MWN: Now a lot of people think you only focus in blues, but you have worked with various other artist among them I read you worked with the Elvis Presley band. Working in all the different genres- how were you able to find your sound? And why did you decided to focus mostly on blues?
Joe Luis Walker: Working with all those different artists is what helped me find my own sound. When you get out of you comfort zone I feel it gives you the freedom to express yourself in ways that are not expected of you by others, and of yourself. You find different facets and layers of yourself that you’ve not explored because of what’s been expected of you in the genre , or box you’ve been put in as an artist. I focused mainly on Blues because that’s what has spoken to my Hearst.soul & mind since I’ve been about 6 years old. It’s been an old Freind , that’s always new.
MWN: When was the first time you heard a blues song?
Joe Luis Walker: When I was about 6-7 year old when I first heard Blues records.My father used to play 45s when he got home from work to unwind and he’d let me sit with him & he’d kinda educate me with different Blues styles. But he mostly like what he called ” gut bucket ” blues like , Son House, Howling Wolf , Charlie Patton , Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson 1&2 . Also, he liked ” two fisted piano players”. Like Meade lux Lewis, Albert Ammon , pete Johnson
MWN: You are a four-time Blues Music Award winner and 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee who has appeared on multiple Grammy-winning albums. How does it feel to know your hard work and dedication is not only noticed, but also recognized?
Joe Luis Walker: It always feels good to know people in & out of your genre recognize & respect your journey. I think people get the feeling they know you, warts and all, thru what you put in your music. Music goes in & out of style, but an artist usually takes people on a journey that doesn’t stop at the last song of the turntable. That’s why most artist’s lives are interesting, even when they’re not performing. So I’m honored when folks come up to me and discuss certain songs, albums, or gig etc. Because it’s like sharing a memory with a family member or an old Friend. And the ironic thing is, you just met that person, ten minutes before, but you feel the connection and sincerity.
MWN: Do you remember the first song you wrote? Would you say your writing process evolved with your experience and growth?
Joe Luis Walker: I’m sorry, I don’t recall the first song I wrote. Yes I’d say my songwriting has evolved and grown in certain ways. I feel it’s evolved because I’ve collaborated with quite a few people. And I feel I’ve learned a lot from just about everyone I’ve written with. And I’ve felt I’ve grown somewhat because I’m not as intimidated as much as I was thirty years ago. I just try to get to the point. Sometimes, say less with more, or, more with less.
MWN: Your latest album- Everybody Wants a Piece. Can you tell me a little bit more about how the process was from writing to the production?
Joe Luis Walker: The process, honestly, to have as much fun as possible. Writing, performing, mixing… everything. There’s even a dog ( porkchop) barking in the back on one song. Unfortunately, that was porkchops last performance. So he went out on top . I only wish we could have brought the Grammy to him.
MWN:Lastly I like to end on what the future holds. So what can we expect with your music in the near future?
Joe Luis Walker:Whenever I try to predict what I’m gonna do artistically, it usually changes . So I’ll just say ” I plan on making the best record I can possibly make, but more important, have so much fun that you’re gonna hear me cracking up at some point during the record”. ✌🏿️🎶🎸JLW
MWN: Once again I would like to thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions- it was such a pleasure!
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