|WALKER WALKS THE WALK|
by Willard Manus
Phillip Walker has
been playing and singing the blues ever since the early 1950s, when he
teamed up with the likes of Lonesome Sundown and Lonnie Brooks on the
Texas Gulf Coast (Janis Joplin country). Influenced by B.B. King, Gatemouth
Brown and Clifton Chenier, in whose band he served for a spell, Walker
fronted his first band when he was 20, at the Black and Tan Bar in El
Paso (which was packed nightly with black soldiers from nearby Ft. Bliss).
He also led a group, across the border, at the notorious Lobby Inn in
Juarez, Mexico (where you could dig blues from 6 PM to 6 AM).
"Hello My Darling," written by Walker, kicks off things and puts the crowd and the band in a toe-tappin' mood. Walker's musicians include Bobby Lester on tenor sax, Joe Campbell on trumpet, James Thomas, bass & vocals, Earl Mallory, baritone sax, Aaaron Tucker, drums & vocals, Carl Vickers, sax & trumpet, Alvee Ventura, keyboards. Such artists as Charles Musselwhite (harmonica), Angeles Strehli (vocals) and Rick Estrin (harmonica) make guest appearances. Together these artists get the most out of such new and old tunes as "Think," "Respirator Blues" and Walker's most famous ditty,"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark."