“Tight, classy kick ass…Deep grooving, high energy music…Music to
season your soul with.”
“…the Charles Walker Band, a quintet whose chops are strong,
whose command of the genre is certifiable, and who generate excitement at
-Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide
With their roots firmly in traditional blues, the band has refined their sound over the years into Motown, funk, and reggae as well. They have been compared to a wide swath of musicians (everyone from Sly and the Family Stone to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings to George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelics to James Brown), but their music retains original gospel influences and a positive lyrical message.
Growing up, Walker was influenced by artists like Luther Allison, Stevie Wonder, and Prince. He has synthesized those influences in a bit of witchery, adding in his own ever-growing musical and personal maturity. Walker has played saxophone since the sixth grade, when a music teacher said he had the perfect mouth for it. He continued his training on sax and keys throughout college, even being part of the prestigious UW Eau Claire jazz program.
Though Porsche Cameron handles lead vocals, the titular Charles Walker holds court with piano chops that would make Duke Ellington envious and a sax prowess from which Coltrane could learn a thing or two. Walker, who was a stand-up comedian in a former incarnation, is known to have an entertaining stage presence that ensures audience will come for the music and stay for his charm. (Ian Roberts further backs the band with bass, while Terrence Pettigrew nails down drums.)
As a testament to their live magic has opened for numerous national acts including Aaron Neville, Robert Cray, BB King, Richard Marx, Eddie Shaw (Howlin Wolf’s Sax Player), Booker T, Earth, Wind & Fire, Cameo and Bernard Allison. The ensemble has been featured on Fox News, NBC “Live in the Morning,” nationally syndicated “Discover Wisconsin,” and was the featured artist on the Blues Revue (2010) and Soul Bag (2007) sampler CDs.
Counting the band's November 10, 2012 offering, Relentless, they have released six albums to date. Walker expands more on Relentless, due out November 10 on Walker's own Ehlona Records: "'Hope,' the first song on the album, just reminds people that no matter how hard things may seem, you have to keep holding on to whatever your hope is and believe that things will get better. Try and stay focused on the positive. I wrote this song after going through a divorce. Another song on the album is "In the Sun." I wanted to capture a Motown feel but still make it sound as if it's fresh and 2012. I wrote that song for my girlfriend because she is a lot like a flower. She seems to get stronger and glow in the sun."