Not In My Lifetime
Blue Dot Records
Born in Hernando, Mississippi, Wee Willie Walker’s career spanned six decades as he was one of the last real soul singers. He recorded nine sides for the Memphis based Goldwax label in 1968. More recently, between 2004 and 2011, Walker recorded three albums with the Minneapolis based blues band, The Butanes, which also included Robb Stupka on drums. In 2015 Walker launched his official comeback album “If Nothing Ever Changes”, co-produced by Rick Estrin and Kid Andersen, on the Little Village Foundation label. As a result, Walker received an invitation to perform at the prestigious Poretta Soul Festival where he first met Anthony Paule. Since 2016, Walker has received twelve BMA nominations including Soul Blues Album of The Year, and Soul Blues Male Artist of The Year.
Walker was also invited to perform in Norway; that set was recorded with The Greaseland All-stars and released as 2016’s “Live! At The Notodden Blues Festival Norway”. Walker died in 2019.
This posthumous recording features vocalist Walker, accompanied by Paule, guitar and sitar; Tony Lufrano, keyboards and horn arrangements; Andre Tarczy, bass; and drummer Kevin Hayes. The four-piece horn section includes Derek James, trombone; Bill Ortiz, trumpet; Charles McNeal, tenor sax; and Rob Sudduth, baritone sax. Background vocalists include Larry Batiste, Sandy Griffith, and Omega Rae. The album was recorded in California; and produced by Jim Gaines in Tennessee.
Nine of the fourteen songs, are co-written by Christine Vitale with members of the band; “Almost Memphis”. was written by bassist Tarczy. “If You’ve Walked in My Shoes” and “Warm To Cool To Cold”, are remakes of two of Walker’s classic early recordings. “A Word from Willie” is a poignant excerpt from a radio interview. Walker is one of the most expressive vocalists of our generation; please listen with your heart.
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