This album is for the listener who likes roots music with an urban feel.
The Charles Walker Band is a five piece band that performs various styles of blues, R&B and funk with precision and energy. What adds to the band uniqueness, apart from award winning musicians (together for 4 years), is the richness and raw energy of the original material. A quote from Noggin Blues Matters! magazine describes us best, “…we are treated to the full panoply of Blues styles, great tunes, intelligent lyrics and superb instrumentation throughout.” (Issue 33, 06)
Charles Walker, tenor saxophone, keyboard, songwriter & band leader, received formal jazz training at UW Eau Claire. He has played saxophone for over 17 years. His last band was Muddy Blue, who released a CD entitled “Low Down Dirty Blues”. He has played with such greats as Big Al from New Orleans and JJ Johnson at BB’s in St. Louis. Muziczine describes him as “Particularly inventive, Walker is a musician bursting with talent. Well capable of building a melody line, his tenor sax thrusts through the mix powerfully” (4/6/09). His influences are Luther Allison, Ray Charles, Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan, Stan Getz, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Sax Gordon, Keb’ Mo, and John Coltrane.
Miss Shanna Jackson, lead vocals/song writer, has been singing in Milwaukee since she's been five and attended the School of Fine Arts in Milwaukee to hone her vocal talent in the late 80's. Her professional career started with female singing groups in Nashville and Atlanta, where she wrote and orchestrated most of the groupls vocal arrangements. However, when she joined the group five years ago she discovered her passion in the blues. One of the highlights of her career so far has been sharing the stage with Nora Jean Brusco. Her biggest blues influences are Shemekia Copeland, Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, Luther Allison, Buddy Guy and Big Time Sarah. Jean Claude-Mondo reviewed her vocals as, “Powerful, natural and cut perfectly for the blues, the voice of Miss Shanna Jackson is divine.”
Misha Siegfried, lead guitar, hails from St. Paul, MN. Migrating to Milwaukee in 2002, Misha’s resume includes Fire On Your Sleeve (pop/rock), Genie Halliday Revue Band (R&B/Blues), The Mixx (R&B/Blues), Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Alter Boys (Blues), Blue Wagon (Blues), and Mississippi Gun & Gun Smoke (Blues/R&B). His influences include Eric Clapton, Moses Oakland and Freddie King. He is also a fan of John Coltrane and Hunter S. Thompson.
Kent Hamele, bass guitar, has been playing bass for over 35 years and his last big blues experience was with Cadillac Joe and Paul Flipowitz. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and has played the gambit of rock, pop, Caribbean, African and, of course, blues genres in the process. He has opened for such greats as Lil’Ed, Johnny Bassett and Shemekia Copeland.
Joey B. Banks, drums, started playing when he was six years old. A big part of his early development as a drummer was from marching in drum corps, marching from 1975-1979 with the Madison jr. Scouts and snare drum from 1980-86 with the Madison Scouts. Later, he studied at the Musicians Institute of Technology in Los Angeles In 1991 he started playing with James Earl Tate and the Million-dollar Blues Band. Over a four-year period he performed with Luther, Koko Taylor, Jimmy Johnson and local the legendary electric acoustic guitarist Jim Schwall of the National act, Siegel/Schwall band. In 1996 he had the pleasure of backing up two of the most influential R&B groups of all time, the Spinners and the Four Tops.
Special Guest: Rob Waters from the Lonnie Brooks Band on Hammond B3, Organ and Wurlitzer
“…the Charles Walker Band, a quintet whose chops are strong, whose command of the genre is certifiable, and who generate excitement at every turn.”
-Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide [Billboard.com]
“This is a highly professional effort from a band that shows potential to move beyond a strictly local orbit.”
-JDK, Living Blues Magazine (Aug. 07)
“Walker’s sax and keyboards, along with the inspired and versatile Jackson, make for a highly energetic and accomplished evening…I’m watching for big strides from this group in the days to come.”
– Lou Novacheck Elmore Magazine (Nov 07)
“This is more like it! Charles Walker is a very lively tenor and alto sax player who runs a band which vibrates with energy and attitude…modern Blues, played by people who know exactly how it should be done.”
-Roy Bainton Blues Matters! Magazine, Issue 47
“Jackson has such a vitality in her vocal chords that you believe and feel every word she sings. She is a woman who can take the stage with all the confidence in the world to entertain the crowd.”
Kyle M. Palarino, Blues Wax Issue #140
“Miss Shanna Jackson is a singer in the style of Koko Taylor and Shemekia Copeland, with a powerful, soulful voice, with which she brings freedom and strong feeling to the very different styles of music.”
-Ron, rootstime (April 2007)
“[These] guys sounded good.”
-Robert Cray, Robert Cray Band
“In addition to the expressive saxophone of the leader, the band is very solid…there is a lot of potential in this group and it’s leader, which is obvious…”
-Frederic Adrian, Soul Bag Magazine (July/Aug 06)
“I found this CD very enjoyable, with some strong playing and good blues feeling. I particularly liked Gamblin’ on Love and Cold as Hell, which featured good writing and playing and strong vocals…”
-Bruce Iglaurer, President of Alligator Records
“…guitarist Emre Alp is in the pocket with his rhythms and right on time with leads.”
-Blues Revue Magazine (Oct/Nov 2006)
“That these musicians are well at home in this blues world is made immediately clear with the swinging Hand Clappin in which Charles Walker, tenor and alto sax, steals the show.”
-Alfons Maes Keys and Chords (Apr 9, 2007)
“…packaged with one remarkable difference-his [Walker’s] sax. This is always to the fore, either driving the music along or supplying a new take in the solos…it will truly make you sit up and take notice.”
-Noggin, Blues Matters! Magazine, Issue 33