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Bruce Cockburn Daniel Lanois Joni Mitchell

Genres You Will Love
Jazz: World Fusion Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Lyrical

By Location
United States - California

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Walter Strauss

“Michael Hedges meets Bruce Cockburn and together they steal Ry Cooder’s smoking jacket...”

Blame it on Rawlins, Wyoming. Fingerstyle guitar wizard Walter Strauss was born out there in the big open, and was seduced to look to the vast spaces of the American West for his musical inspiration. But while rooted in American folk forms, Walter’s music evokes far reaches of the globe as well. He’s worked with musicians from West Africa to Australia and Finland, and successfully weaves world beat, Americana, and jazz into a brand uniquely his own.

Walter Strauss digs deep grooves for his audiences - he layers on highly articulated melodies and harmonies, rhythms and counter-rhythms in a way that gives the impression he is playing several instruments at once. His voice is smokey and intimate, and captivates the listener with a dastardly charm whether he’s singing a lusty proposition or an existential lament.

Before embarking on his solo career, Walter performed for more than 15 years as an ensemble musician at concert venues, theaters and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, England and Ireland. He toured extensively with Rounder Records’ eclectic folksters The Burns Sisters Band and performed alongside numerous first-rate musicians, such as fiddle legend Vassar Clements and Celtic guitar wizard Martin Simpson. Of late, Walter has been performing solo and with The Walter Strauss Trio – with bassist Sam Bevan (David Grisman, Joe Craven) and drummer/percussionist Kendrick Freeman (Alison Brown, Rob Ickes).

Over the last five years, Walter has also engaged in unique crosscultural collaborations, touring periodically in a duo with Malian kora virtuoso and 2005 Grammy nominee Mamadou Diabate, and in a duo with Malian kamal'ngoni (hunter's harp) master Mamadou Sidibe. Indeed, Maverick Magazine (UK) credits Walter's music with "an enormous sonic and musical and ethnic palette... world music on guitar."

Recently, Walter has established himself as a solo performer in the UK and Ireland. After his featured-guest performance on national BBC Radio 2, Walter received stellar press throughout the Isles then built on that momentum with a Spring '09 breakout tour of 22 clubs, arts centers, and festivals everywhere from London to Limavady.

Legendary British broadcaster Bob Harris gives Walter a big thumbs up, applauding "the brilliant playing of Walter Strauss," and “what a lovely album it is” [Pulling Shadows]. fRoots Magazine says simply, "the man is class." Both live and on disc, Walter weaves together a cohesive quilt of musical styles and somehow renders each more 3-D, more psychedelic. Walter colors outside the lines.