Date posted: February 2, 2012

HellfireThe New York Times raves, “Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. He delivers no-nonsense, gutsy blues. His guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair.” According to Living Blues, he is “one of today’s modern musical masters.” Rolling Stone simply calls him “ferocious”.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in Walker’s Alligator Records debut, Hellfire. Produced by songwriter/drummer Tom Hambridge (producer of Buddy Guy’s two most recent Grammy-winning CDs, Skin Deep and Living Proof, as well as albums for Susan Tedeschi, George Thorogood and others), Hellfire burns with rock energy and intense blues feeling. Walker, who wrote or co-wrote seven of the CD’s eleven tracks, says it’s the hardest rocking and most deeply soulful album of his career. His blistering blues guitar playing and gospel-tinged vocals effortlessly blend throughout the album. From the psychedelic overtones of the title track (a harrowing and personal tale of the struggle of good versus evil) to the slow, simmering and pleading “What’s It Worth” to the Stones-y rocker “Ride All Night”, Hellfire is the work of a man possessed. Walker’s original showstopper “Soldier For Jesus” (featuring vocal harmonies from The Jordanaires, who also appear on “Don’t Cry”) fits seamlessly alongside the other selections, making perfect thematic sense in the tradition of Al Green, Marvin Gaye or Prince, who all successfully combined carnal desires and gospel devotion.

Anal