By Alicia Dziak

Need a surefire way to beat those winter blues? Don’t miss musician Joe Louis Walker, performing his unique style of blues at Balloons on Friday, Jan. 6.

Walker is a four-time Blues Music Award winner and 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee who has appeared on multiple Grammy-winning albums. He is known worldwide as one of the genre’s top musical trailblazers, explaining that his music encompasses “influences from many people I’ve been fortunate enough to rub shoulders with.”

As a child, Walker’s parents brought music into his life.

“I was a sponge, just soaking it all up,” he said, pointing out that his mother played mostly BB King. “I took a liking to it and wanted to be a part of it. I thought it was magic.”

That magic turned into a career earning rave reviews from all over.

The New York Times says, “Walker is a singer with a Cadillac of a voice. He delivers no-nonsense, gutsy blues. His guitar solos are fast, wiry and incisive, moaning with bluesy despair.”

And Billboard writes: “His playing blows all over the map…gutbucket blues, joyous gospel, Rolling Stones-style rock crunch, and aching R&B.

Walker’s guitar playing is fine and fierce.”

Walker won the 2016 Blues Foundation Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year award at the Blues Foundation Awards ceremony in Memphis. The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest accolade afforded blues music performers. The annual Blues Music Awards ceremony is the premier event for blues professionals, musicians, and fans from all over the world.

Walker’s latest album is entitled Everybody Wants a Piece. This album has been nominated for a 2017 Grammy in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.

Walker would like to wish the entire Ellicottville and WNY community happy holidays, and hopes to have everyone cheering him on at the Grammys.

Walker says his show will be a “composite of his whole career” and will “pack in as much as possible in a couple of hours.”

Come check out who Rolling Stone calls “ferocious” when he performs right here in Ellicottville on Friday, Jan. 6, starting at 7 p.m.