Blame it on Rawlins, Wyoming. Fingerstyle guitarist Walter Strauss was born out there in the big open, and was seduced to look to the vast spaces of the American West for his musical inspiration. But while rooted in American folk forms, Walter's music evokes far reaches of the globe as well. He's worked with musicians from West Africa to Australia and Finland, and successfully weaves world beat, Americana, and jazz into a brand uniquely his own.
Walter Strauss digs deep grooves for his audiences - he layers on highly articulated melodies and harmonies, rhythms and counter-rhythms in a way that gives the impression he is playing several instruments at once. His voice is smokey and intimate, and captivates the listener with a dastardly charm whether he's singing a lusty proposition or an existential lament.
Before embarking on his solo career, Walter performed for more than 15 years as an ensemble musician at concert venues, theaters and festivals throughout the United States, Canada and Ireland. He toured extensively with Rounder Records' eclectic folksters The Burns Sisters Band and performed alongside numerous first-rate musicians, such as fiddle legend Vassar Clements and Celtic guitar wizard Martin Simpson. Of late, Walter has been performing solo and with The Walter Strauss Trio – with bassist Sam Bevan (David Grisman, Joe Craven) and drummer/percussionist Kendrick Freeman (Alison Brown, Rob Ickes). For the last 3 years, Walter has also engaged in a unique transcultural collaboration, touring periodically in a duo with Malian kora virtuoso and 2005 Grammy nominee Mamadou Diabate.
In the words of reviewer Patti Witten (FAME), Walter's first solo CD "Pulling Shadows" is "a soulful journey of stellar guitar playing and songs suffused with tenderness and wit. Walter Strauss has the scope and musicianship to express himself in multiple genres... in a fresh way, without cliché or repetition." Legendary British broadcaster Bob Harris gives the CD a big thumbs up... "What a lovely album it is!" On the disc, as in live performance, he weaves together a cohesive quilt of musical styles and somehow renders each more 3-D, more psychedelic. Walter colors outside the lines.