Joe Louis Walker - Interview - June 25th 2010
Blues Festival LE CREUSOT
I'm always happy to be in France, I've been coming to France for 25 years.
AM : What do you think of this venue ?
Beautiful, with a lot of history, a beautiful country. I lived in France two years, I lived in Montargis, I lived in Nanterre, Neuilly and I cannot ever get enough, I really love the country and the people, they were very good to me, like home.
AM : Do you speak French ?
A little bit, not in the way that you speak English.
AM : Thank you.
Well, the guitar was not my first instrument, the violin was, when I was 8 years old in 1957 and then I played the accordion in 1958 and I picked up the guitar in 1962 when I was 12 or 13.
Well, it's very mixed. I grew up in a town and a place where I listened to all kinds of music, my mother and father Blues, my sister, older sister and brothers they listened to a lot of songs, music, they listened to everything from Little Richard to Elvis Presley, The Tempations, oh la,la, B.B. King, nothing but gospel for a long time, (Joe Louis enumerates band names), lots of kinds, different styles of music.
Mike was a very rare person, I tell everybody, is one of a few people that I know that could come out of a recording studio with Bob Dylan, then go in the studio the next day with Sunnyland Slim, then go in the studio the next day with Woody Herman Orchestra, then go in the studio the next day with Al Kooper ... Very versatile, that's where I am, I like versatility.
I would say the big highlight, growing up, I would say beginning to play with John Lee Hooker, to play with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, with The Edge, Bono, with all the great musicians, Mike Jagger people, Ron Wood, Muddy Waters and his father Larry Coryell. So I'm very fortunate to have been touched by very very many musicians and I listen to what they play and I listen to what they say.
This is the album and we've just won the best Blues album of the year, which we're very proud of, from the Blues Music Association, and we have a new record coming out, nouveau disque, called On the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise (Dixiefrog) in September with 17 guitar players, Johnny Winter, Duke Robillard ... many, many people.
AM : What is your favourite track on this album ?
"Im Tide" I'm T-I-D-E tide !
Well, a collaboration. I want to do a gospel record, we've been planning to do for many years with The Jordanaires who used to back up Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson and the Five Blind Boys, together, and we've been planning to do this for many years, the story of the time. On the collaboration I want to go to Africa, Mali with my good friend Sebastian, great musicians from Mali, who have been my friends for many years and to go there, and do a collaboration, musicians from Africa and myself.