Blues master Joe Louis Walker's Alligator Records debut Hellfire reached  number 38 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart for the week ending February 5, 2012. It also hit number 11 on the magazine's Blues Chart. The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot declares Hellfire is Walker's "most rock-oriented release," bringing "the kind of fierce embellishments that Jimi Hendrix might've conjured" and that his guitar playing "spins ever wilder and wider into outer space with each solo." The Wall Street Journal's Jim Fusilli says, "Walker's raspy, powerhouse voice is out front while his stinging guitar cuts through the uncluttered arrangements."

Radio response has been equally enthusiastic. SIRIUS/XM's Bill Wax produced a one-hour interview/album feature for his B.B. King's Bluesville radio show which aired on street date, January 31, and re-aired multiple times. On February 17, will broadcast Walker performing from the venue World Café Live in Philadelphia, in a program hosted by WXPN-FM. He'll also be featured on the nationally syndicated  program, World Café, with the airdate to be announced in the coming weeks. In addition, on February 25 and 26, Elwood's Bluesmobile (formerly known as The House of Blues Radio Hour) will host Walker for a wide-ranging discussion and plenty of music.