Journey to the heart of the blues with Joe Louis Walker, Missy Andersen at The Palms on Friday, April 12

Guitarist Joe Louis Walker will bring music from his newest release, “Journeys to the Heart of the Blues,” to The Palms Playhouse in Winters Friday, April 12 (8 p.m., $23 general/$12 students). Missy Andersen and Her One Man Band will open. Courtesy photos (Joe Lewis Walker photo by Marilyn Stringer).

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Joe Louis Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, celebrates a career that exceeds a half a century. Dubbed a “legendary, boundary-pushing icon of modern blues” by National Public Radio, Walker’s latest album is “Journeys to the Heart of the Blues.”   Walker will return to The Palms Playhouse on Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m. Blues and soul vocalist Missy Andersen and Her One-Man Band will open the show. Tickets are $23 ($12 with student ID). Walker’s new album, “Journeys to the Heart of the Blues,” cements his legacy as a prolific torchbearer for the blues. It’s a dynamic new acoustic album from three of the blues’ best players. Together, Grammy-winning guitarist and vocalist Walker, virtuoso pianist Bruce Katz and next-generation British harmonica ace and bandleader Giles Robson take listeners on a musical tour of beautifully played, soulfully sung traditional blues. It is currently nominated for Blues Foundation Blues Music Awards for Acoustic Album and Album of the Year. Born in San Francisco in 1949, Walker took up guitar at age 14 and was a known quantity in the Bay Area music scene after just two years, playing blues with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock. He roomed with Mike Bloomfield, who introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, and made a brief pilgrimage to Chicago to check out the blues scene there. In 1975, burned out on blues, Walker earned a college degree and turned to gospel music for a decade. When his gospel group, the Spiritual Corinthians, played the 1985 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Walker was inspired to embrace his blues roots again. He assembled the Boss Talkers, and throughout the 1990s merged many of his gospel, jazz, soul, funk and rock influences with his trademark blues sensibilities on recordings released by Polydor/Polygram. These albums feature Walker’s collaborations with a diverse group of first-rate artists including Branford Marsalis, James Cotton, Tower of Power, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Ike Turner and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Walker has steadily released recordings since the turn of the millennium, and recently signed to Provogue/Mascot Label Group. Walker says, “I’d really like to inspire younger musicians to carry on the legacy of blues/roots music. Play, and do it your way. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. There’s no right, or wrong way. Just the way you wanna express yourself.  And above all, enjoy yourself.” Opener Missy Andersen was raised in Queens and now lives in San Diego. But her influences stretch beyond there. She said, “My dad is from South Carolina and my mother is from Detroit so, basically, I’m bilingual. I speak North and South so that’s soul and blues.” A charismatic performer known for her expressive and earthy gospel-tinged vocals, Andersen received Blues Music Award nominations for Soul Blues Female Artist in 2015 and 2016. Her sophomore album, “In the Moment,” received rave reviews from both critics and fans and ended up on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Albums. Andersen performs as a duo with her guitarist husband Heine Andersen, who is originally from Demark but is steeped in North American roots music. His polyrhythmic style features simultaneous lead and bass lines. PBS Australia heralded Andersen as “one of the truly great voices of our time.” Tickets are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and Eventbrite, and at the door if not sold out. For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com, joelouiswalker.com and missyandersen.com.]]>

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