Joe Louis Walker


The blistering Alligator debut from a certified blues legend, Hellfire breathes fiery new life into guitar-stoked houserockin' blues.  Overflowing with vibrant, perceptive new songs delivered with passion and urgency, this is simple one of the best, brightest blues releases in ages.  "Clenched-fist blues passion, searing guitar and powerful, soulful vocals - Washington Post  

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1. Hellfire 4:48
2. I Won't Do That 5:01
3. Ride All Night 4:24
4. I'm On To You 3:30
5. What's It Worth 6:17
6. Soldier For Jesus 5:50
7. I Know Why 5:13
8. Too Drunk To Drive Drunk 3:57
9. Black Girls 5:23
10. Don't Cry 5:00
11. Movin' On 4:35

Produced by Tom Hambridge
Recorded at Sound Stage, Nashville, TN
Engineered by Jim Cooley
Assistant Engineer: Nick Autry
Mixed by Tom Hambridge and Michael Saint-Leon at The Switchyard, Nashville, TN
Mastered by Michael Saint-Leon at The Switchyard, Nashville, TN
Executive Producers:  Joe Louis Walker, Robin Poritzky and David L.  Jones
Photos by Michael Weintrob
Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec
Alligator logo by Michael Trossman

Joe Louis Walker: Guitars, Slide Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
Tom Hambridge: Drums, Percussion
Reese Wynans: Piano, B3 Organ
Rob McNelley: Electric Guitar
Tommy MacDonald: Bass
John D'Amato: Second Guitar solo on 'Movin' On'
Wendy Moten: Backing Vocals on 'Black Girls' and 'Ride All Night'
The Jordanaires: Backing Vocals on 'Soldier For Jesus' and 'Don't Cry'
Matt White: Trumpet on 'I Know Why' and 'Too Drunk To Drive Drunk'
Roy Agee: Trombone on 'I Know Why' and 'Too Drunk To Drive Drunk'
Max Abrams: Saxophone on 'I Know Why' and 'Too Drunk To Drive Drunk'

Joe Louis Walker dedicates this album to his sister, Carol (Karo) Johnson, Helen Poritzky and to all the great musicians we have lost recently.

Joe Louis Walker would like to thank the Walker Family and Robert Gordon. Tom Hambridge would like to thank Joe Louis Walker and Robin, Dave Jones, Chris, Rachel and Sarah .

Joe Louis Walker endorses Dunlop accessories, Nady Systems and The Axe Shop. Tom Hambridge pounds DW Drums and hits Zildjian Cymbals with Regal Tip Sticks.

We're extremely pleased to welcome Joe Louis Walker into the Alligator Records family. For years, I've considered Joe to be one of the most exciting, gifted and creative blues artists of his generation. His roots are deep and his vision is wide. He's everything a bluesman should be-a great guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and, most of all, a soul-to-soul communicator.

Starting in the clubs of his home town of San Francisco, Joe played with and befriended many of the greatest artists in blues history, from Mississippi Fred McDowell to Willie Dixon to Albert King. He's made their lessons and wisdom part of his essential fiber. At the same time, he was part of the creative explosion of rock music during the 1960s and '70s, hanging out with Sly Stone, Bob Weir and Jorma Kaukonen in the company of his close friend, the brilliant and groundbreaking guitarist Michael Bloomfield. Joe's guitar always speaks in his own original voice, but you can hear the influence of the blues and rock masters who inspired him both personally and musically.

Joe is also blessed with a commanding, gritty voice that literally comes right out of church. He spent years singing with The Spiritual Corinthians. The profoundly emotional, straight-from-the-soul intensity of traditional gospel music is palpable in every word he sings.

Although Joe has cut many other terrific records, Hellfire is the most passionate recording of his long career. Teaming with the famed producer/songwriter/drummer Tom Hambridge (who has sparked great studio performances from artists like Buddy Guy and Susan Tedeschi), Joe has created his deepest and hardest rocking album ever.

For decades, blues fans worldwide have recognized him as one of the true masters. With this recording, the time has come for Joe Louis Walker to take his rightful place as one of today's musical giants.

-Bruce Iglauer,
President and founder, Alligator Records