Seth Walker – I’m Going To Love Him Until The Wheels Come Off
I have a confession to make. I was excited when I read Carolyn Wonderland was playing Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio. After all, Sam’s is one of my favorite venues: the sound is great, the setting is intimate, you can reserve a booth, and the bathrooms are spotless. Carolyn Wonderland is definitely a draw. However, when I saw that Seth Walker was opening for her, solo, I couldn’t buy those tickets fast enough. Seth Walker almost defies categorization. His blues guitar work is masterful, his voice is soulful and swingy at the same time, and his songwriting skill is topnotch.
For such a promising musical event, I drew from my rat pack of musical aficionados. First I tapped the incandescent Miss Holloway, a creature equal parts class and hedonism who was on loan to us from her metropolitan bungalow in Gotham. Next I gathered Isaac Washington and his partner Dino, whose impeccable taste and love of epicurean pursuits never fail to create an evening to remember. We booked overnight accommodations at the Hotel Havana, and the mood was set. The liberal application of grain alcohol products directly after check-in created a quartet that was sure to find adventure (and perhaps mischief.)
Seth’s solo performance was exactly what the doctor ordered. His voice has a distinctly New Orleans vibe. His style is steeped in Delta blues, with beautifully clean blues guitar. His tone is just gorgeous – he plays without a pick, and there is just something about the damper sound of the fingers on the strings that makes the sound richer.
He moved from the foot tapping roots rock sounds of Change My Way to his poignant cover of Tom Waits’ Picture In a Frame. Days Like This is Seth’s songwriting skill at it’s evocative best. For example, “It was a beautiful morning; we took a little drive down to our favorite spot. We jumped in the cool river water; the summer sun was blazing hot. You said baby, baby, it’s much too much, don’t you think we need a little shade? But it only got hotter (and hotter and hotter) with all the sweet love that we made.” Anyone who grew up in the south knows the goose bump sensation of cool water and hot sun. Sung with Seth’s drawl and smolder, you can smell the river and the distinct fragrance of sun on skin – it’s almost too much to bear.
We were all mesmerized by Seth’s set: Isaac Washington and Dino, who love jazz more than blues; Miss Holloway, whose love of soulful songstresses is legendary; and me, who routinely eschews the chaos of jazz for the rawness of blues and melts under the tones of a well-played Gibson.
Why oh why did Austin have to lose him to the siren call of Nashville? From where I sit, Momo’s on June 25 seems like a lifetime to wait.