Archive for Port Arthur Texas

Phillip Walker, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags , , , on July 23, 2010 by 30daysout

Blues guitarist and singer Phillip Walker, who played with Etta James,  Lowell Fulson and Clifton Chenier and forged a singular blues style of his own, has died at the age of 73.  Walker was born in Louisiana but spent his formative years in Port Arthur, the Texas hotbed of music that also incubated great talent like the Big Bopper, Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin.

Walker performed for more than 50 years, recording many solo albums and touring with zydeco legend Clifton Chenier for two years.  In 1959 Walker moved to California, where he earned a reputation as one of the region’s top guitarists.  He even joined Little Richard’s band for a brief time.

One of the highlights of Walker’s long recording history was 1999’s Lone Star Shootout, an award-winning collaboration with Southeast Texas homies Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter and Ervin Charles.  The album was a celebration of the four guitarists’ work along the Texas-Louisiana border in the 1950s, crafting their own style of blues that would in later years resonate across the nation.

Phillip Walker obituary on JamBase

Phillip Walker bio at Alligator Records

MP3: “My Name Is Misery” by Phillip Walker

MP3: “Drag Me Down” by Phillip Walker

MP3: “How Could I Be Such A Fool?” by Phillip Walker

MP3: “El Paso Blues” by Phillip Walker

MP3: “Boogie Rambler” by Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter & Phillip Walker

MP3: “Bon Ton Roulet” by Lonnie Brooks, Long John Hunter & Phillip Walker

Walkin’ To New Orleans: Jivin’ Gene

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 16, 2009 by 30daysout


Mardi Gras is a little over a week away, and we thought we’d take a leisurely stroll eastward to the Crescent City.  But along the way, let’s visit with some of the great musicians we have been lucky enough to encounter in past years.  The fertile crescent that stretches atop the Gulf of Mexico from Austin to New Orleans is inhabited by some of the greatest musicians in the country.  You know about Austin and we’ll get to New Orleans in time, we promise.  But first …

We start in Port Arthur, Texas, hometown of Janis Joplin, the Big Bopper and the Winter brothers (Johnny and Edgar).  If you grew up there in the 1950s or the 1960s, rock and roll is in your blood – it was certainly on the radio back then, and it was definitely in the air.  I grew up on a quiet street in Groves, Texas (snuggled next to Port Arthur) and did all the usual things a kid did in the early 1960s.  But every once in a while the quiet was cracked by the ring of a rock and roll band rehearsing in a garage a few doors down.  After investigating, I learned that the garage belonged to our neighbor Gene Bourgeois, known as “Jivin’ Gene.”

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