Seth Walker – Natalie’s in Columbus (concert review)

Seth Walker – Natalie’s – Worthington, OH (11/14/16) (concert review)

A surprising-for-a-Sunday-night, sold out crowd gathered to hear great music and eat delicious pizza

Seth Walker started out as a fairly typical blues musician.  But, over time, he’s developed an unique style – call it groove blues – and it was on full display during a recent Columbus performance.

Walker has lived in a variety of places, and he’s managed to soak up the goodness found in each residence.  His southern drawl comes from being born and raised Carolina, while his gritty guitar work is a product of living in Austin.  But, a more recent stop in Nashville has given him a gift of the melodic hook.  However, the biggest sway on his music is the groove, which has certainly come from his current residence in New Orleans.

Walker, augmented by bass, drums and keyboards, entered the stage in his usual attire – fedora and vest, and opened with “Home Again,” one of many cuts featured from his spectacular new album, Gotta Get Back.  Actually, that song featured accordion and stand-up bass, as the band eased into the evening.  Next came the light funk of “Another Day,” then “Tomorrow,” one of those songs you swear is a cover song, but is in fact Walker’s (off his equally good Sky Still Blue).

Walker is also an exceptional soul singer, and even though it’s apparent on his records, it comes through more clearly in person.  “Dreamer” evoked the Memphis soul of Al Green without copying.  He played a few songs solo – Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” and “Somebody Should’ve Warned Me.”

Things began to heat up with the chugging “Fire in the Belly,” which highlighted the bassist playing a bow.  “Trouble” featured a distorted electric piano that would’ve made Deep Purple’s Jon Lord happy.  The fast-paced “Way Past Midnight” incorporated rhythms borrowed from the Bayou, and was one of the many highlights of the evening.

At a time when we seem far too concerned with putting labels on everything, Seth Walker continues to develop a style that defies classification – dammit, it’s just great music.  If he comes to your down, I highly suggest you take in one of his shows.  Tony Peters