Acclaimed blues/soul artist, Wee Willie Walker is set to perform July 11 at the Minnesota Music Café, 499 Payne Ave., St. Paul.
Walker’s performance is a stop prior to European dates in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. The shows are in support of his latest CD, “If Nothing Ever Changes.” Doors for Saturday’s show open at 7 p.m. with the band taking the stage at 9 p.m. Admission is $8.
Walker and the We “R” band will perform some of the songs from the latest project, as well as some of his earlier works. Special musical guests to include Maurice Jacox and JayBee of JayBee and the Routine .
On his most recent release, “If Nothing Ever Changes,” Walker exhibits his mastery of the soul idiom. Opening with the catchy Miami soul song, “Read Between The Lines,” Walker can be an all-seeing spirited sage and then become the rogue in the Bobby Rush number, “I’ve Been Watching You.” He also interprets “Not That I Care” a classic country song written by Cindy Walker.
“Walker is one of the best examples of a classic soul singer, in the style of Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Johnnie Taylor, and so on,” said Luke Braulick, public relations director for the Minnesota Music Café.
Walker was a member of the gospel group the Redemption Harmonizers when he left Memphis and headed to Minneapolis in 1960. He defected with a fellow bandmate and has kept the Twin Cities as his home. Since then his voice has been featured in the Royal Jubileers, Willie & The Bees, The Valdons, Salt, Pepper & Spice, We “R” and the Butanes. On subsequent visits back to Memphis in the 1960s, Walker’s reputation landed him recording dates with the legendary Goldwax Records. He cut nine records there and Goldwax leased four of them to Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess Records.
“We’re really excited (to have Walker performing) because he has a rich and diverse musical history,” said Braulick. “He’s a world-class performer and his new album has a lot of critical acclaim.”
Members of the We “R” are Walker, lead vocal and guitar, Ron Maye, drums and vocals, Steve Tamu Jones, keyboard, trumpet, background vocals, Johnnie Timm, bass, Scott Ives, lead guitar, Jesse Mueller, keyboards and Kinyata Michael Johnson, saxophones.
For more information call the Minnesota Music Café at (651) 776-4699 or go online at www.minnesotamsusiccafe.com.