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Friday, September 11, 2009

9/18: Seth Walker at the Winchester

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 8:00 AM

When you think of Texas blues-rockers, colorful names like Stevie Ray, T-Bone and Delbert come to mind. “Seth Walker” sounds way out of place in that company. But in recent years Walker has proven that he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as those icons. Delbert McClinton is probably the firmest link, since both men take an easygoing approach to the way that they blend rootsy styles (R&B, rock ’n’ roll, jazz, blues) into their well-lived-in songs about the potholed roads of life and love. It’s also not a coincidence that Walker chose McClinton’s frequent musical partner Gary Nicholson to produce (and co-write much of) his latest album, the thoroughly compelling Leap of Faith, a wonderful showcase for Walker’s impressive skills. He moves smoothly through uptempo blues rockers (“Can’t Come With You,” “Something Fast” featuring McClinton), ’50s-style R&B (“Rewind”), after-hours ballads (“I Got a Song”) and gospel-flavored Delta blues (“Lay Down”) without striking a wrong note. His guitar playing is understated yet assured, while soulful vocals evoke late-night juke joints. The thirtysomething Austin resident is a youngblood with an old soul. More than just a genre revivalist, Walker uses the blues as a jumping-off point to create his own timeless amalgamation of Americana-rooted music. Bobby Stevens opens at 9 p.m. at the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216.226.5681). Tickets: $10. — Michael Berrick

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