If Nothing Ever Changes, his new release on the Little Village imprint, brings Willie Walker to the fore with the support of some marquee names of West Coast Blues and Soul serving as his backing band. Introduced by a mutual friend while The Nightcats were in Minneapolis playing at Famous Dave’s, frontman and harmonica player Rick Estrin realized that this the same man responsible for some of his favorite, rare Southern Soul records – songs like ‘You Name It, I’ve Had It” and “From Warm, to Cool, to Cold” - recorded for the Memphis-based Goldwax label, recognized as gems of Soul music, but not widely released and known only to true music aficionados. They met again when Rick and the band were playing on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in the fall of 2013. Walker was a paying guest on the cruise, not one of the scheduled performers, not a performer at all, in fact. Excited and committed to maintaining a connection to this tremendous link to the music they loved, Estrin and Nightcats guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen hatched an idea; make a new record with Walker in the hope that, with proper care and promotion, more people could discover that this musical legend was still alive, well and in very great voice.
Walker describes the resulting recording sessions as a “houseful of love.” (Literally a house, as Andersen has transformed his entire home into Greaseland Studio!) “I didn’t know them. But they all knew me and immediately we were like family,” he recalls. With Estrin producing and Kid at the helm, the artists assembled for the sessions represent some of the strongest talent of today’s West Coast Blues scene: Jim Pugh – keyboard player with Robert Cray and founder of the Little Village Foundation; Rusty Zinn – a guitarist whose resume includes recordings with Kim Wilson and Sly Dunbar; Robert Welsh, guitarist with Elvin Bishop; bassist Randy Bermudes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and, vocalist Curtis Salgado, whose group The Nighthawks inspired John Belushi to create the Blues Brothers – just to name a few! In Walker’s own estimation, it’s impossible to pick a best song on the release; they’re all great and he’s equally proud of them all.
Willie will celebrate the release of If Nothing Ever Changes backed by his Twin Cities-based band, We “R”. You won't want to miss this special night at the Minnesota Music Cafe. Doors are at 7, Music starts @ 9..... Advance tickets are only $5.00 and available at the Minnesota Music Café, Electric Fetus-Minneapolis, Cadenza Music, Eclipse Records, Barely Brothers Records, Agharta Records and Down In The Valley/Golden Valley. $8.00 at the door......