Bart Walker
Waiting on Daylight
Ruf Records

If fat slide tones are your thing—like the sounds Duane Allman gave us in At Fillmore East—you’ll dig Bart Walker’s sophomore solo album. But that’s only one of the cards he has up his sleeve: There’s nasty Texas snarl à la Billy Gibbons, dirty riffs that recall Gordie Johnson in Big Sugar, sassy bends that’d pass muster with Kentucky Headhunters’ Greg Martin, and fast, fluid lines that could have sprung from the nimble fingers of David Grissom or Doyle Bramhall II.

Walker references these great players and more, but he stirs their sounds into a gumbo all his own. And to top it off, he’s a powerful vocalist—soulful and swaggering.

The songwriting elevates Waiting on Daylight beyond the typical “wannabe bluesman” fare. Walker deftly sidesteps that thorny issue by sticking to lyrics that sound believable coming out of his mouth. Bar fights, lost love, lust, and redemption? Yes. Hoodoo man up from the Stovall Plantation? Mercifully, no.

Produced and engineered by the legendary Jim Gaines (SRV, Carlos Santana, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins), Waiting on Daylight has a big, punchy sound and Walker’s incendiary licks leap from the speakers like a runaway steamroller.

Must-hear track: “Took It Like a Man”