Hey there guys DJ Dizzy here & this is my interview with singer Wily Bo Walker
How'd you get started in music?
Both of my parents were Classically trained pianists so there was always music in the family. And as church members I would perform in Sunday school concerts.
My first outing on stage, I was about 5 or 6 years old, I sang 'King of the Road' and '16 Tons'. (I still throw those songs in my live sets from time to time for fun
My sister was a huge Beatles fan so she introduced me to more popular music and from there I gravitated towards more rock and blues acts - Cream, Fleetwood Mac etc.
I wanted to play electric bass like Jack Bruce in Cream so saved up for a bass guitar and formed a wee band with a chap called Peter Vettesse, who went to the same school as me. We played pop and soul covers back then. (Peter went on to big things and eventually played with Jethro Tull)
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Through the years my influences have ranged from Louis Armstrong through Ray Charles, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Gil Scott-Heron through to Curtis Mayfield via Marvin Gaye, Dr John and a load of New Orleans based artists as well as artists like Jason Isbell, John Hiatt, Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli (I love The Afghan Whigs!).
And millions more great songwriters and artists. Main criteria for me are the lyrics
What advice would offer aspiring performers?
Keep on perfecting your craft!
It is literally a never-ending learning curve. And all parts of that curve are enjoyable so keep doing what you are doing!
Listen to everything - follow your own muse and stay true to yourself.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I guess my vocals are pretty distinctive.
That and my creative ethos of ’never worshipping the ashes but always preserving the flame’; I always endeavour to twist new directions from what can be seen as well trodden paths
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Indeed, if there has been one good thing come out of this terrible year of Covid and lockdowns etc, it’s that I have managed to finish a lot of my studio work
This past year I have released two albums; ‘Ain’t No Man a Good Man’ (which has just been nominated as Best Blues-Rock CD in the Independent Blues Awards 2021) and ’Tales of the Mescal Canyon Troubadours’.
Looking forward I have two more albums I am finishing in my ‘Welcome to VoodooVille’ world - ’Some People Kill for Passion’ which will be out later this year. And ‘Drinking to Forget’ which is scheduled for early 2022. (The releases may be reversed depending on Mescal Canyon Records’ scheduling)
I am also producing up a theatre show ’The Rattlin Bone Burlesque Theatre Show’ which will also have a double album attached to it. That’s been delayed by all the theatre closures of this past year so we are looking at the end of 2022 at the earliest for that to proceed.