tradition of the Chicago "bluesmen", comes Walker Smith, a
contemporary artist representing the next generation of
blues musicians. Smith is working to preserve the
legacy of Chicago blues, while developing his own
sound. While the stinging guitar sounds ring
through, the sweet vocal lines compare to Robert Cray and
Keb Mo leaving audiences calling out for more.
Chicago's south side by mother Glenda Allison, a
gospel/jazz singer and club performer and Walter Sr. a
performing guitarist, music was a mainstay in the Smith
home. At a very early age, Walter took up guitar,
sang and performed regularly in school programs.
As Walker grew he was schooled by
great performers of the day including Muddy Waters, Buddy
Guy, Jimmy Dawkins and Jimmie Lee Robinson among
others. The school bell would ring with Walter at
the side of the bandstand observing every move as these
greats displayed their craft. After the performance
Walter could always be found talking shop with his
idols. Smith has fond memories of these days.
Muddy Waters told me "Always play it from your
heart." Buddy guy taught me the importance of
developing my own sound. Jimmy Dawkins message was
not to forget about the business side of things, while
Jimmie Lee Robinson conveyed the importance of living
clean and not getting caught up in "the game".
Walkers first band "Walter Smith's
Blues Mission" performed their first gig at a local block
party for $20 dollars. Walker honed his skills
through out the years with various groups of musicians,
eventually forming Walter Smith and Tight Rhythm. As
the sound developed and the fan base grew it was time to
record the first album. Veteran producer Jim
Reeves was chosen for the project with past experience
with Gregg Allman and ZZ Top.
"Cold Out & Down" was recorded in
Evanston, Illinois at Reeves Audio and features eight
original compositions. Songs range from the deep
Chicago Blues of "Cold Chills" to the radio friendly, foot
tapping "Cold Out & Down" and the autobiographical
ballad "Family Rob"
Walker's next project "Walter
Smith's Chicago Nights" was formed in the Tampa Bay Area,
which brought with it vast performing schedule, television
and festival appearances.
Once again, the time is right, and
Smith finds himself back in the studio putting the
finishing touches on his second album "Ahead to the
Past". This second album was recorded at Center Door
Productions. With more originals, both electric and
acoustic. This new project has the potential
to take Walker Smith and his music to the next level.
"Walker's original songs can rate with anything a
big-name artist can record...gripped everyone by the throat
and never let go! The band put on a high energy performance
that could stand up against any festival headliner!" -Suncoast
"Smoky, soulful tenor vocals and a sizzling guitar style
rooted in Chicago blues...what truly distinguishes the Tampa
bluesman is his superb original material." -Jazz
& Blues Florida
"Walker proves he is an able artist with enough talent to
remain in the front line of blues business for a long time."
-La Hora Del Blues
"He puts his heart and soul into everything he does and it
is readily apparent here."
-Larry Lisk (WMNF)
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