Award-winning Acoustic fingerpicking blues guitarist. Without a doubt one of the very finest acoustic blues musicians alive today, this outstanding musician won the best performer in all categories at the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. From the opening bars of his high-energy Piedmont style, it is easy to see why: Toby is a true master of this American music idiom.
" Every time you think you've heard it all in the acoustic finger-style blues world, you sometimes get surprised. And this latest CD by Toby Walker, "HAND PICKED", is just that surprise.
And then some.
Toby really pushes the envelope on this latest effort. Lightening fast licks and soulful runs take the listener into uncharted territory. From the driving rhythms of the opening track "Big Meat Shakin' On The Bone" to it's moving finale "The Secret", these cuts are truly 'hand picked' from a bountiful garden.
And just in case you're not familiar with the versatility of Toby Walker, you'll get a fine showcase on this CD. From wonderful new original tunes ("Little Dixie", "Generosity Rag", and others) to covers that make you wonder why they weren't done this way originally ("Mind Your Own Business", "Hard Times Killing Floor" come to mind), this new effort will be on your disc player for a long time.
On some tracks you'll also get tasty licks by fiddle player Jay Ungar, stand up bass by Molly Mason and Tom Griffith, and Martha Trachtenberg's haunting harmonies.
All the right ingredients in just the right amounts help make this 'ear candy' in the finest sense of the phrase.
Lyrically and musically, the listener gets taken on a beautiful ride through an incredibly lush musical landscape.
"Hand Picked". Couldn't be said or played better."
"Flat out... you have to hear this great musician... I'm blown away"
- Jorma Kaukonen - Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee
"I think the record is brilliant. Great playing, great singing, great tunes and great sound. Congratulations on a wonderful job."
Larry Campbell - sideman to Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Phil Lesh and Lifetime Achievement Instrumentalist Award Winner.
"Once again, Walker wreaks wonderment with this wealth of wry, welcome work"
- Stan Jay, Mandolin Brothers
"High class acoustic blues playing"
- Derek White, Rocking The Blues.com
"Toby makes the virtually impossible seem easy and effortless
- Mark Gould, Soundwaves Magazine
"Toby Walker has taken another giant step toward enshrinement in the pantheon of the world's greatest fingerstyle guitarists."
- Richard Cuccaro - Acoustic Live October 08
"There is no better interpreter of the bues, traditional or contemporary, on stages today... and none more entertaining." Toby Walker in Concert
- Sybil Moser: Huntington Folk Music Society - October 08
"Just an outstanding disc in every way"
- Bob Gottlieb - Folk and Music Exchange - September 08
"Another fabulous evening of blues music"
Lionel Ross - Blues In The Northwest
"This group of new songs is smoother, wider, deeper and more moving than almost any new material I've heard in a long while"
- Mark Gresser - Long Island Blues Society
The Most Added Album In Americana Radio,
----- Roots Music Reports
159 Radio Stations in 42 States, England and New Zealand Have Added ‘Hand Picked’ To Their Playlists!!!
Made the ‘Top Albums Played’ on the Folk DJ’s Charts and Roots Blues Charts for 3 consecutive months - Nov, Dec and Jan.