14 Dec 2015

Wily Bo Walker and Kareña K: A Long Way From Heaven

If you are one of those people who like their blues music in a properly labelled box, then this new album from Wily Bo Walker may confuse you. However, if you like to venture off-piste and mix your blues with some stompin' knock-em-down swing and a little relaxed mood indigo then this is your bag.

Wily's voice and noir lyrics are all over these six tracks like a young liquor soaked off-spring of L.R.Phoenix and Tom Waits. It kicks off with 'A Long Way To Heaven' where the growling lyrics are supported by a delicate piano ripple, strings and a cool female vocal backing. The mood changes immediately with 'Love Will Find A Way' which is a classic dance 'doo-wah' aided and abetted by harmonies with the mellow voice of Kareña K and a clear nod to the Bobby McFerrin acapella classic 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'. 'Angels In The Night' by contrast, is a noir piece, with sad sax and guitar which has 'film score' written all over it.
These guys really know how to swing and 'Rendez-Vous des Cheminots' has the kitchen sink thrown at it.. This is great big band stuff with rocking horns that is absolutely busting out all over with its call to get on the dance floor and throw some shapes. The EP closes with them all back in relaxed mood with an original number penned by Karena K, 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' which fades us out with a beautiful bluesy sad guitar.

This may not be your take on The Blues but be in no doubt, Wily Bo Walker has Blues Form. He has in the past been nominated for The British Blues Awards and his previous album with the Danny Flam Big Band was considered for a Grammy nomination. This is a polished, smart and sassy album. He's back in London in March. Take your dancin' shoes!