Phillip Walker | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Guitarist Phillip Walker was born in Louisiana, but he came of age in Texas, where he was immersed in an array of musical styles--from zydeco and honky-tonk to early rock 'n' roll-. Around 1953 he moved to California, where he absorbed the smooth jazz-blues style pioneered in the postwar years by T-Bone Walker (no relation), Johnny Moore, and others. Walker recorded his first 45 in 1952 and has long been a major player on the live blues circuit, but his own discography is rather slight. On this year's Going Back Home, his first release on Delta Groove, he seems determined to make up for lost time. He plays with fire and artistry, whether invoking a 50s West Memphis juke ("Honey Stew"), updating Percy Mayfield's sardonic sophistication with a dash of East Bay funk ("Lying Woman"), or getting his 'Bone on with a deliciously wicked reworking of Champion Jack Dupree's "Bad Blood." a 10 PM, Rosa's Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage, 773-342-0452, $15. --David Whiteis

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