THE BOTTOM OF THE TOP/SOMEDAY YOU WILL HAVE THESE BLUES
Floating World (FLOATM6173)
Tin Pan Alley, Laughing & Clowning, The Bottom Of The Top, Crying Time, Part Time Love, El Paso Blues, If We Can Find It & more.
It's great to see what Floating World and their partners are doing these days, finding sought-after, out-of-print albums by prized bands and musicians and re-issuing them as two-for-the-price-of-one CD sets. We have previously reviewed great releases in the series from The Blasters, Robert Nighthawk and JB Hutto, and on page 2 of this catalogue, Hot Club Of Cowtown.
This excellent set features a couple of early 1970s albums from a revered but seriously under-recorded blues guitarist and singer. Phillip Walker was perhaps one of the missing links between guitarists who made their names and reputations in the late 1950s and 1960s (such as Otis Rush, Albert King, Fenton Robinson, Long John Hunter, etc) and the generation that followed, most successfully Robert Cray, Joe Louis Walker and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Like many, he was originally from Texas but moved to the West Coast before teaming up with producer Bruce Bromberg for these albums.
The first is actually a collection of sessions recorded over a three year period in different studios and with a variety of musicians. Not surprisingly it lacks some cohesion but it has plenty of highlights, with Walker singing and playing on a nice set of (mostly) covers.
The second album is a more unified affair, with better production and a more settled band. Walker himself sounds more confident in his abilities and stamps more of his own personality, and more of his own songs, on proceedings. The singing is crisp, the guitar tighter than previously and the incorporation of horns by Bromberg a delight. A great two-fer!
Review Date: January 2013