Joe Louis Walker back with blues Friday, boiling ‘education’ down to authenticity

Joe Louis Walker.

Revered blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Louis Walker comes to Regattabar on Friday, one of his first stops since returning to the United States from an international tour that included shows in Beijing and Brazil. “We’re sowing the seeds of music around the world,” Walker said.

Walker’s history in the Boston area is extensive, having played since 1986 at many local venues, most notably Regattabar and the House of Blues. But first-timers can expect to hear influences ranging from 20th century Americana to the electric blues of 1950s Chicago – a result of a “musical education” that has taken Walker from Boston to San Francisco and opened doors to collaborating with icons such as Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones.

Rather than trying to balance these varying influences, Walker allows his sound to come naturally and create “honest music.”

“I just did it my way,” Walker said. “If you put on my record and you put on 40 other records, after three or four bars you’re going to know it’s Joe Louis Walker.”

Truly great musicians “weather the storm of being in and out of fashion, and they just don’t give a damn,” he said. Go the wrong way and “you may sell a million records – but so did Milli Vanilli.”

Catch Joe Louis Walker at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Regattabar, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $20, or $15 for students.

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