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Chicago Blues

TBT – T-Bone Walker Soars on “Fly Walker Airlines”

July 02
17:33 2015

fly walker airlines

Editor’s Note: This week, Throwback Thursday looks at the only live album issued by T-Bone Walker, and what a revelation it is.

Any guitarist worth their salt will discover T-Bone Walker at some point on their own musical journey; it is destiny. To do otherwise would be blasphemy. With the rich and full catalog that Walker was kind enough to gift us with, there is no deficit of albums to immerse oneself in. Certainly, he inspired B.B. King, and many other musicians we revere today.

In June 1972, T-Bone Walker and his Blues Band played Montreux. A recording of this was released on the Polydor PD-5521 album Fly Walker Airlines later the same year. Long out of print due to poor sales upon it’s release, this album is a treasure trove of Walker playing blues and jazz, and clearly relishing every minute.

Containing nine tracks and running just over 42 minutes, the album never ceases to impress and entertain. Whether it’s the unhurried easy playing on “Call It Stormy Monday,” or the swinging organ infused funk of “Reconsider,” Walker never disappoints. Also funky, with a slightly psychedelic edge, “Why Am I Treated So Bad” simply thrills.

Contributing to the album’s impact are the bare-bones production values, and the superior guitar tone throughout. A perfect example of this as a winning formula is “Goin’ Back To Church,” featuring Paul Pena on guitar, and Hartley Severns on violin.

There is a reason that Walker is still setting the standard for guitarists today. Even here, later in his career, he still shines.

If blues lovers can find a copy of this rare gem, it is clearly worth the effort, and they will be rewarded with the treasure that awaits within.

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Barry Kerzner

Barry Kerzner

For as long as I can remember I have loved music, especially Blues & Jazz. Now I write and share that love of music with others. To see my photoart, visit http://adbrvl.co/17Eb09g

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