Monday, 24 August 2009

Phillip Walker ”The Bottom Of The Top”

Phillip Walker

”The Bottom Of The Top”
( LP Playboy Records, 1973 )
Catalog # 93231

Tracklisting:
01. I Can’t Lose With the Stuff I Use Williams, L. 2:56
02. Tin Pan Alley Geddins, Robert 5:04
03. Hello Central Hopkins, Lightnin’ 3:32
04. Hello, My Darling Walker, Phillip 2:04
05. Laughing and Clowning Cooke, Sam 3:46
06. Crazy Girl Hunter, J. 3:41
07. It’s All in Your Mind Walker, Phillip 3:25
08. The Bottom of the Top Johnson, J. 3:22
09. Hey, Hey Baby’s Gone Walker, Phillip 3:32
10. Cryin’ Time Owens, Buck 3:14
11. The Struggle – 2.43 (Bonus Track)

Personnel:
Phillip Walker (guitar,vocals)
Dennis Walker, Charles Jones, Curtis Johnson (bass)
Johnny Tucker, Glen McTeer (drums)
Nat Dove, Teddy Reynolds, Arthur Woods, Teddy Vaughn (keys)
Bea Bopp Walker (vocals)
Freeman Lacy, Samuel Cross, Ike Williams, David Li, Joel Peskin,
Chops Anthony, Sammy Coleman (horns)

Notes:
*Reissued in I989 on HIGHTONE RECORDS.

Review:
There weren’t many blues albums issued during the early ’70s that hit harder than this one. First out on the short-lived Playboy logo, the set firmly established Walker as a blistering axeman sporting enduring Gulf Coast roots despite his adopted L.A. homebase. Of all the times he’s cut the rocking “Hello My Darling,” this is indeed the hottest, while his funky, horn-driven revival of Lester Williams’s “I Can’t Lose (With the Stuff I Lose)” and his own R&B-drenched “It’s All in Your Mind” are irresistible. After-hours renditions of Sam Cooke’s “Laughing & Clowning” and Long John Hunter’s “Crazy Girl” are striking vehicles for Walker’s twisting, turning guitar riffs and impassioned vocal delivery.
Phillip Walker (born February 11, 1937, Welsh, Louisiana) is a contemporary blues guitarist most noted for his 1959 hit single, “Hello My Darling”, produced by J.R. Fulbright. Although Walker has continued playing since then, he has recorded fairly sparsely.
Walker grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast, and by his mid-teens was playing guitar in Houston. He rubbed shoulders with Lonesome Sundown (whom he would work again in the 1970s) and Lonnie Brooks. In the mid-1950s he had a spell in Clifton Chenier’s band.[1] He spent the 1960s in Los Angeles, California leading a band that played a catholic repertoire of the R&B charts, joined by his singing wife Ina, alias Bea Bopp. Singles furnished his album The Bottom of the Top (Playboy, 1973), succeeded by sets for Joliet, Rounder, Hightone, JSP and Black Top.
Walker is also known for his variety of styles and the changes he would often make for each album. Not until 1969 did he begin to record more regularly when he joined with producer Bruce Bromberg. Since then, fans of the blues guitarist have had a more steady supply of Walker’s music.
Walker’s latest studio release is Going Back Home (2007) on Delta Groove Productions.
Despite recording somewhat sparingly since debuting as a leader in 1959 on Elko Records with the storming rocker “Hello My Darling,” Louisiana-born guitarist Phillip Walker enjoys a sterling reputation as a contemporary blues guitarist with a distinctive sound honed along the Gulf Coast during the 1950s. A teenaged Walker picked up his early licks around Port Arthur, TX, from the likes of Gatemouth Brown, Long John Hunter, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Lonnie “Guitar Junior” Brooks. Zydeco king Clifton Chenier hired Walker in 1953 as his guitarist, a post he held for three and a half years. In 1959, Walker moved to Los Angeles, waxing “Hello My Darling” for producer J.R. Fulbright (a song he’s revived several times since, most effectively for the short-lived Playboy logo). Scattered 45s emerged during the ’60s, but it wasn’t until he joined forces with young producer Bruce Bromberg in 1969 that Walker began to get a studio foothold. Their impressive work together resulted in a 1973 album for Playboy (reissued by HighTone in 1989), The Bottom of the Top, that remains Walker’s finest to date. Walker cut a fine follow-up set for Bromberg’s Joliet label, Someday You’ll Have These Blues, that showcased his tough Texas guitar style (it was later reissued by Alligator). Sets for Rounder and HighTone were high points of the 1980s for the guitarist, and 1994’s Big Blues from Texas (reissued in 1999) continued his string of worthy material. His 1995 set for Black Top, Working Girl Blues, shows Walker at peak operating power, combining attractively contrasting tracks waxed in New Orleans and Los Angeles. I Got a Sweet Tooth followed in 1998, and displayed no letdown in quality or power. Walker got together with fellow blues legends Lonnie Brooks and Long John Hunter in 1999 to record Lone Star Shootout for Alligator. Walker is featured as lead vocalist on four tracks and backs the others on the rest of the record. In the fall of 2002, a live recording of a spring concert was released on M.C. Records.
By Bill Dahl (AMG)

By Pier

4 comments:

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melkasoul said...

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