Review: Jake Walker – Confidence Man

Posted on: Wednesday, Oct 15, 2008

Jake Walker - Confidence Man

“Confidence Man”
(Left Turn Music)

Soon to visit the area, New York bluesman Jake Walker has released his debut album – produced by the legendary Elliot Mazer – a mix of gritty blues, funk and soul influences – dominated by his spiky guitar tone, with a top notch band including ex-Paul Butterfield Band keyboard player, Mark Naftalin; Arthur Neilson handling bass and rhythm guitar; and Mike Lattrell (piano and organ), with Matt Mousseau on drums.

“Confidence Man” kicks off with the title cut, with Walker’s Albert King-infused licks firing on all cylinders, with his gravel-edged vocals to the fore; a leisurely romp through Muddy Waters “Can’t Get No Grindin’ ” features fine piano from Mike Lattrell; the instrumental “Heads Up” has a nice rhumba groove, with a New Orleans feel.

The great Taj Mahal’s “Somebody On Your Bond” has a great swing treatment, with Walker’s guitar nice and chunky, with the whole band outstanding; “Luck Is Bad” dips into Albert King territory again, with the following “Time For Love” featuring Mark Naftalin’s piano – again taking us ‘Down South’ – definitely one of the album’s highlights.

“Mondo Freddie” is another instrumental, this time a nod to the late, great Freddie King – with a little surf guitar thrown in for good measure, before a very fine shuffle; the funky blues of “Miniskirt” has a killer bassline from Arthur Neilson, before a closing reprise of “Confidence Man”.

Jake Walker, as previously mentioned, hits our shores soon and I would suggest a visit to one of his gigs should be marked on your calendar!


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