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Concerts

Q&A: Blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker to perform at COD's Lakeside Pavilion

Concert will be 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9

Acclaimed blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker will perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at the McAninch Arts Center's Lakeside Pavilion at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, as part of the WDCB Live Jazz Concert Series.
Acclaimed blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker will perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at the McAninch Arts Center's Lakeside Pavilion at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, as part of the WDCB Live Jazz Concert Series.

GLEN ELLYN – The WDCB Live Jazz Concert Series at the McAninch Arts Center's Lakeside Pavilion will come to a close this summer in fine fashion with acclaimed blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker.

The Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner will perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Lakeside Pavilion on the College of DuPage campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The concert is part of the 2018 Lakeside Pavilion Free Outdoor Summer Series.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Outside alcohol, as well as coolers, kegs, umbrellas, tents and skateboards, is not permitted onto the property. More information is available by going to atthemac.org.

Suburban Life reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Walker about the upcoming show. The interview has been edited for length and style.

Schelkopf: I know that Chicago-based Alligator Records has acquired the rights to release "Journeys To The Heart Of The Blues," an acoustic album that you made with virtuoso pianist Bruce Katz and British blues harmonica player Giles Robson. Do you get to play acoustic a lot?

Walker: Well, I started playing acoustic in '63, '64. Every song I can play electric, I can play acoustic, just about. ... It's different making an acoustic record. Without drums or bass, you keep the rhythm going yourself. ... It's just the way that music started, without electric guitar and wah-wah pedals. It's so organic.

Schelkopf: And you had fun playing with the other musicians?

Walker: I never make a record I don't enjoy. If you make a record you don't enjoy, I think it comes through. And how can you expect somebody else to enjoy something that you don't enjoy?

Schelkopf: Your last album, "Everybody Wants a Piece," was nominated for a Grammy. Was that a pretty high honor for you?

Walker: You always appreciate when you're appreciated. That was very unexpected for that particular record.

Schelkopf: I understand that you are working on new music. What should people expect from your next CD?

Walker: My next CD involves a lot of friends of mine. It's going to be a double record. ... John Sebastian [founder of the Lovin' Spoonful] will be on the record along with Mitch Ryder. Other people include David Bromberg, who is a great guitarist, and the great Waddy Wachtel. Keb' Mo' also will be on the record with me. ... A bunch of people are going to be on this record that I respect. It's sort of a little road map for the younger generation, to show them that these guys are still relevant. ... It will be mostly original stuff. I think it will be a good statement for me, and a good statement for my generation. ... Most of these people are icons, but they don't look at themselves that way. But they're still all here. ... It's going to be sort of like a little musical journey. I think that younger people and older people will enjoy it.

Schelkopf: Do you have a name for the new album?

Walker: It's going to be called "Feed The Poor." And part of the proceeds will go to helping feed the poor. ... With the amount of food people throw away, you could feed everybody on the Earth.

Schelkopf: You seem to tour a lot. What do you like about touring?

Walker: In the last 10 years, I've been everywhere from Beijing to Turkey to Lebanon to Israel. And I love that. I love being able to reach people on a scale like that. ... It's like you make friends in all those countries. Music can help bring people together.

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