Sky Still Blue

Sky Still Blue

by Seth Walker
     
 

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Since On the Outside, his 2005 debut, songwriter and guitarist Seth Walker has been gradually refining his approach. Early records were full-band exercises of electric Texas juke joint blues. On 2012's fine, self-produced Time Can Change, he showcased a greater diversity in his writing and arrangement. Walker relocatedSee more details below

Overview

Since On the Outside, his 2005 debut, songwriter and guitarist Seth Walker has been gradually refining his approach. Early records were full-band exercises of electric Texas juke joint blues. On 2012's fine, self-produced Time Can Change, he showcased a greater diversity in his writing and arrangement. Walker relocated to New Orleans in 2012, and the influence of the Crescent City's musical rainbow is reflected on the excellent Sky Still Blue. Produced by Oliver Wood (Wood Brothers), it is the leanest recording in his catalog. Walker's road band, bassist Steve Mackey and drummer/percussionist Derrick Phillips, are the primary players, but Wood (who co-wrote five tunes here) brought in a handful of supplemental musicians including brother Chris Wood (Medeski, Martin & Wood) on upright bass. Opener "Easy Come, Easy Go" is swampy, jazzy blues, whose melody and lyrics nod toward eternal hepcat Mose Allison, while the guitar work reveals both T-Bone Walker and Jimmie Vaughan. "Trouble (Don't Want No)" and the slow, moody gospel blues "Jesus (Make My Bed)" are excellent portraits of the rumbling, gritty aspect of Walker's playing and singing. If one listens closely NOLA's deep impression on the songwriter can be heard throughout, but it's especially evident in the slow, slippery combination of gospel and R&B in "Grab Ahold" (one of the tunes the McCrary Sisters appear on) and in the acoustic R&B on "Tomorrow," with its greasy backbeat and upright bass and piano. "All That I'm Askin'" is double-time, second-line funk -- orchestrated by Ephraim Owens' double-tracked trumpet locking with Chris Wood's upright bas. Here Afro-Cuban and pre-bop jazz meet gritty, vintage R&B, featuring breaking rimshot percussion and chunky guitar vamps along with Brigitte DeMeyer's backing vocal. The McCrarys add a sweet chorus to Walker's soulful croon in the Big Easy R&B of "For a Moment There." Van McCoy's soul classic "Either Way I Lose" is interpreted as a jazz-laden blues, with a killer vocal and beguiling guitar work. As evidenced here, Walker has become an excellent singer adding to his skills as a songwriter and guitarist. He has deliberately streamlined his sound and applied what he's learned to what he already knows. The sum is that Sky Still Blue is his finest recording to date.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2014
Label:
Royal Potato
UPC:
0020286216100
catalogNumber:
1411
Rank:
110464

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Seth Walker   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
McCrary Sisters   Background Vocals
Oliver Wood   Guitar,Background Vocals
Chris Wood   Upright Bass
Brigitte DeMeyer   Background Vocals
Jano Rix   Organ,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer
Derrek Phillips   Percussion,Drums
Steve Mackey   Bass
Ephraim Owens   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Mike Poole   Engineer
Oliver Wood   Composer,Producer
Eric Conn   Mastering
Kevin Calabro   Management
Seth Walker   Composer
V. McCoy   Composer
Gary Dorsey   Art Direction
Sean Sullivan   overdub engineer
Nick Joswick   overdub engineer

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