Junior Walker & the All Stars | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Junior Walker & the All Stars


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Since 1965, when he exploded onto the charts with "Shotgun," saxophonist Junior Walker has represented the epitome of hard-driving soul exuberance. Walker was born in Arkansas but developed his musical talents in the rather unlikely setting of South Bend, Indiana, in the 50s. At age 16 he was discovered in Battle Creek, Michigan, by producer Harvey Fuqua, who eventually introduced him to Berry Gordy Jr. of Motown. Walker's music on the Motown Soul label--"(I'm a) Road Runner," "Hip City-Pt. 2," "Shoot Your Shot," among many others--provided a welcome counterpoint to the increasingly slick Motown output of the era. Walker's sound is little changed since the old days: it's still a fatback rhythm section buttressed by chunky guitar, with Walker's wailing sax and greasy, supple vocals out in front. Something of the uninhibited joy of a 60s-era soul celebration--when uplift was the order of the day and the camaraderie still mattered more than the clothes--is re-created every time this giant of soul music takes the stage. Tonight, B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera, 1124 W. Belmont; 525-8989.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paul Natkin--Photo Reserve.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →