"A real killer with fantastic technique. He just knocks me out"....John Hammond
"For fans of acoustic guitar of all kinds (blues, ragtime, folk, country, and rock), Toby's CD is an absolute gem."
.... Graham Clarke... Blues Bytes
"If you played that guitar any better you'd likely burn it up".... Bob Vorel, Blues Revue
"His playing is first rate. He swings, rocks and bops"... Ike Mckinley...Blues Access.
"You're as good or better than any other blues man I've heard in the past"...The late Bernard Klatzko, formerly of Yazoo and Herwin records.
"Acoustic picker Little Toby Walker has the kind of chops you'd expect from a solo perfomer. On his self-titled release, he demonstrates a masterful technique that draws from blues, ragtime and country."
––––Jeff Calvin...Blues Revue
Little Toby Walker is a New York-based acoustic guitarist who has studied the music of country blues players like Eugene Powell, Sam Chatmon, Son
House, Jack Owens, and Robert Johnson (along with occasional field trips to the South to learn at the feet of the masters). Walker's playing is excellent, lightning-quick when it needs to be but remarkably subtle when it's required, even beautiful at times. In addition, he's a fine singer and doesn't try to emulate the original performers with his vocals, which is a plus. The CD is a mixture of covers and originals penned by Walker. The covers are all very well done with just the right amount of reverence for the material, but with just enough of Walker's originality present to give them a fresher sound. However, the real highlights, to me, were Walker's own compositions. They are all first-rate, and hold up very well with the other selections. My favorite tracks are the opener, "Take A Little Walk With Me", "Who's Gonna Be Your Sweet Man Tonight", "Full Figured Women", "Kismet Rag", "Irish Fiddle Medley", Jack Owens' "I've Been Weeping" and his cover of Leiber and Stoller's "When She Wants Good Lovin'". Walker has produced a disc that is both traditional and contemporary at the same time. For fans of acoustic guitar of all kinds (blues, ragtime, folk, country, and rock), this CD is an absolute gem.
.....Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes, a monthly online magazine of blues CD reviews.
If you love accoustic guitar blues, you'll love this release. And at over sixty-three minutes there's a lot to love. None other than John Hammond has said of him, "A real killer with fantastic technique. He just knocks me out." Hailing from Wantagh (Long Island), New York, he certainly made good use of his several field trips throughout the south, learning from such masters as Eugene Powell, James Son Thomas, Jack Owens, Etta Baker.
The slide work is just terrific, especially on Blind Willie McTell's "Savannah Mama", so plaintive and haunting it will have you hitting the repeat button often, and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Born Blind" which brings to mind Elmore James. Also here are Sam Chatman's "The Lead's All Gone" abd Tampa Red's "Boogie Woogie Dance".
His finger picking prowess is always evident, even on tunes like "Monkey In The Poolroom", whose lyrics command so much of our attention, and "Stack O' Lee". Toby pays homage to Taj Mahal's "Big Legged Women" with his song "Full Figured Women". Toby's lyrical preference for that body type includes references to Oprah and Delta(Burke).
Eight more blues and there's still room for Scott Joplin's "Kismet Rag" and a delightful instrumental, "Irish Fiddle Medley".
Order the CD and you'll have the musical answer to the question posed by one of his original tunes: "Who's Gonna Be Your Sweet Man Tonight?"
....Cecil Davis....Blues Beat, The Magazine of the Blues Society Of Western NY
Country Blues so fresh that I can smell the red eyed gravy simmering in the pan and while listening to this CD. I can image that gravy being poured all over some over easy eggs with a big ol' side of grits and a half pound of bacon. Little Toby Walker performs with the strength of a freight train and the energy of the Ever-Ready battery. Since the Blues left the African shoreline and flourished in the Deep South many great Blues musicians felt the heart beat pounding themes and Little Toby sums it up in his new CD. I find my self rant'in & rav'in to the feel'in of that ol' high lonesome. Little Toby Walker covers it all with great technique and musicianship that just knocks me out. I can just imagine Little Toby Walker sitting on the porch after a hard day of work, pick'in up the guitar and sing'in for his family and friends. That's just how warm, honest & real it feels listening to this CD.
....Earnest Woodall, The Big Roll Music E-Zine
Little Toby Walker BP 922 2001
Some people become bluesmen by dint of dedication and study, others live it their whole lives with circumstance and society forcing it upon them and others make a deal at a dark crossroad as storm tossed rain and baying hounds obscure the shadowy partner. So, Mr. Walker, which is it? You've been to the crossroads and we've seen the pictures, life's curve balls have been enough for any man to become a bluesman and you've certainly worked the strings and styles sufficiently. So...? Whether it's at the feet of Delta masters, on stages and clubs or at major festivals, the truth is, Toby Walker is a bluesman's bluesman.
Back from self imposed exile, Little Toby Walker has finally released the CD so long in the works. It is a work of subtlety, obvious entendres and guitar playing with a passion and a vengeance. A solo work, "Little Toby Walker" is filled with chops, personality and soul. His guitar becomes an extension and expression of an inner self. When he plays, a transformation occurs. His hat droops lower, his head tilts back and the fingers take over. In that place, surreal and serene, Little Toby Walker makes blues, deep and soulful where it shines and rings. If that's not enough, he's got sufficient double innuendo mixed in to make it a triple as well as adaptations of Sousa marches, Joplin rags and Celtic melodies.
Technique is present by the bucket but, more than that, Toby has heart. Speed and flashy fingers mean little if the man can't connect with the listener. Walker connects like a surgeon, scalpel sharp and precise and to the gut. Blues tales of love, sexual calesthenics, betrayal and wit write volumes on a slide and plucked string, half stepped vocal fade, foot stomping tour de force that give evidence to the feeling. Little Toby Walker is a bluesman's bluesman. Welcome home. You're sitting on top of the world.
....Mark Gresser, Long Island Blues Society
"If you luxuriate in basic, exposed and resourceful blues, Toby's release will satisfy your musical desires without question."
.....Tony Engelhart, Blue Mountain Blues
Little Toby Walker endorses:
National Resophonic Guitars
Sam Ash Music