Charles Walker Band, The Bush League

Charles Walker Band

The Bush League

Sun, March 26, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Camel

$7.00

Tickets at the Door

Charles Walker Band
Charles Walker Band
Grounded in blues, the band refined their unique sound into what can best be described as soul, a fusion of funk, r&b and Motown. Though compared to an array of musicians (Sly and the Family Stone, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelics, James Brown), their music retains deep gospel influences and positive lyrical messages.

Growing up, Walker was influenced by Luther Allison, Stevie Wonder, and Prince. He has synthesized those influences while contributing his own ever-growing musical and personal maturity into the CWB sound. Walker has played saxophone since the sixth grade, when a music teacher said, despite his protests, he had the perfect mouth for it. He continued his training on sax and keys throughout college, participating in the prestigious UW Eau Claire jazz program.

Charles Walker's musical versatility is demonstrated through his strong, passionate vocals, monstrous saxophone leads and funky keyboard parts. Walker, who was a stand-up comedian in a former incarnation, is known for his engaging entertainment, ensuring audiences that come for the music will stay for his charm. (Jacob Brenwell lays rhythms on guitar, Luther Tate backs the band on bass, while Demetris Vance nails down drums.)

As a testament to their live magic, the group has opened for national acts including Earth Wind & Fire, Aaron Neville, Robert Cray, BB King, Richard Marx, Eddie Shaw (Howlin Wolf's Sax Player), Booker T, 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 and has been nominated three years in a row for best soul/r&b act in Wisconsin by WAMI, winning the award in 2013.

Counting Ghetto Prophet, Charles has released eight albums, with Relentless being their largest evolution in sound. Walker says of Ghetto Prophet, released on Ehlona Records: "'One in a Million,' where the title of the album comes from, tells the story we know can happen. That of the child who grows up impoverished and becomes something great. In this album, I again departed further in funk and Motown while remembering it's 2014."
The Bush League
The Bush League
The Bush League was founded on a front porch in 2007 not too far outside Richmond, Virginia, by dynamic vocalist JohnJason “JohnJay” Cecil and the heartbeat of the band, self-taught bassist Royce Folks. They are joined by Michael Burgess and Brad Moss on guitar with Wynton Davis keeping time on drums. The Bush League has sported many faces and played many different styles of music but the unifying force is the collective love of the Blues, particularly the soulful groovin’ Hill Country Blues of North Mississippi. Taking that Hill Country base and drawing upon individual influences of rock, soul, funk, and gospel The Bush League meshes those genres to create their own sound that pays homage to traditional blues but with a modern feel. Fat Possum Records’ “You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough” was the band’s first exposure to Hill Country Blues and heavily influenced The Bush League’s first original song, “Don’t Touch My Liquor”
Over the years, The Bush League has been playing the Blues and paying its dues on the 21st century version of the “Chitlin’ Circuit”, playing bars, restaurants, private parties, wineries, weddings, in front of the bathroom at the VA State Fair, and various festivals throughout the Mid-Atlantic. For 156 straight weekends, The Bush League played anywhere that would book them, seeing these gigs as opportunities to further hone and evolve their signature sound as well as introduce the world to a version of blues that many had never heard.
All that honing and evolving has begun to pay off as The Bush League has become a familiar face in Memphis, with either a member of some iteration of the band having competed in every category of the International Blues Challenge since 2010. The Bush League was one of the first bands ever based outside of Mississippi to be invited to play the 9th Annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic. The band also opened the final day of the 4th Annual Colonial Beach Blues Festival and they have even brought their VA-MS Blues to NYC!
The Bush League’s long awaited studio CD, “Can of Gas and a Match” was released in December 2012 to very positive reviews from Blues-centric publications such as Blues Blast Magazine and Living Blues. Recorded in one 14 hour session at Young Avenue Sound in Memphis, TN, the CD and its reviews introduced The Bush League to the larger blues world and stayed in the Top Ten on Amazon’s Top New Blues Rock and Roots Rock charts for 3 months. The album was placed in rotation on Pandora in 2013.
Known for energetic live shows, The Bush League aims to keep the Blues alive by continuing to push the boundaries of what the blues can be. The lyrics can stand on their own as well as the music, but when you put them together you have a visual soundscape that evokes images of times gone by but still relatable to today’s audience. Think aged wine in new stems, bleu cheese on fresh Ritz crackers, or a juke joint with new lights. Shiny new dirty ol’ Blues is what The Bush League will continue to bring to whoever opens the door.
Venue Information:
The Camel
1621 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thecamel.org