With a signature sound bridging the gap between zydeco and Southern soul music, singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Walker was best known as an ace sideman prior to his rediscovery during the early 1990s. Born December 13, 1944 in Lafayette, Louisiana, he played guitar in Rockin' Dopsie's band while still in his teens, later backing Rockin' Sidney on a number of singles cut for the Goldband label during the '60s. Upon relocating to the Lake Charles area in 1967, Walker formed a band to back soul and blues artists like Tyrone Davis and Barbara Lynn as they passed through town; after a decade of regional success, however, the rise of disco brought an end to his combo's career. With a keyboard and drum machine in tow, Walker then turned to performing as a solo lounge act; during the blues revival of the mid-'80s, he returned to the studio as a respected sessionman, leading to his discovery in 1991 by Cajun producer Lee Lavergne. His solo debut LP, The Soulful Side of Zydeco, appeared later that year and was followed in quick succession by 1992's Zydeco Fever and 1993's In the Dog House.
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