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Pops Walker | Milepost 5

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United States - Virginia

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Milepost 5

by Pops Walker

A marvelous songwriter known for his acoustic blues adds a touch of jazz and a ballad or two.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Here We Go Again
4:33 $0.99
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2. My Back's Against the Wall
3:54 $0.99
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3. Old and Wild
3:53 $0.99
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4. Marshmallow Man
2:23 $0.99
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5. Stoned to the Bone
2:00 $0.99
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6. Smile
3:12 $0.99
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7. Universal Mundane Church of the Uninformed
4:24 $0.99
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8. Honey Lay Down Your Problems
3:26 $0.99
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9. Should You Need Me
3:37 $0.99
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10. Hanky Panky
2:13 $0.99
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11. Lost and Found
4:04 $0.99
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12. The Best I Can
3:41 $0.99
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13. Oh Susannah!
2:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
On this, his third CD, Walker is his usual eclectic self. For sure, those folks who love his acoustic blues and slide work will be pleased, but they'll probably be pleasantly surprised as well. Rather than getting "nasty" as he sometimes does with his slide, this CD has a sweeter timbre.

Milepost 5 opens with two "gettin'-after-it" tunes. Both show Walker's aggressive attack and his penchant for rhythmic blues. But on the third track, he jerks the listener into a completely different mood. That track, "Old and Wild", is about the agony and tragedy of old age. As the liner notes state, listeners who've dealt with the issues of an aging parent might find themselves "cut to the quick, if not the bone." The slide work here is simplistic, but sounds as if someone is crying.

Listening to the entire CD, you'll find yourself on an emotional roller coaster. Walker mixes up little shuffles, some R&B, sad ballads, and in a couple of cases, plays with a minimal touch. Check out "Smile". Instead of his usual flurry of notes, he shows us the "sometime-it's-what-you-don't-play-that-matters" style of guitar.

On two of the songs, "Marshmallow Man" and "Oh Susannah", he puts a dash of a jazz-feel to the songs. They're both wonderful recordings with a warm sound and touch. The guitar arrangement on "Oh Susannah" is especially rich, and rather than the trotting tempo of the original, Walker's pace is more of a slightly tipsy lope.

"Should You Need Me" comes with a caveat. If you have a loved one or friend who has suffered a grievous tragedy, and you've stood by helplessly, wanting to help, but unable to, this song can hurt. Walker wanted to draw emotional blood with this song - he did.

Sometimes fun, sometimes somber - sometimes fast, sometimes slow - This CD is extraordinary in that one man, with only his voice, his guitar, and some well-written songs keeps the listener engaged throughout the CD.

Review provided by the Reverend G. Kedie.

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Reviews


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Jim Jolly

Worth a listen
I bought Pops' CD in anticipation of seeing him perform at the Great Eastern Blues festival next week. After listening a few times, I am eager to see this artist "live." His skill on acoustic guitar and his variety of vocal tones always seems to amplify the mood of the song. My favorite song on the CD, "Should You Need Me" is a heartfelt ballad that brings to mind Springsteen. I'm really looking forward to seeing Pops perform and perhaps meeting him. It's gonna be a great show!
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Ragnar Danneskjold

A deeply personal collection - with a good dose of humor.
Pops Walker does not play the guitar. He courts it. He woos it, like a young man woos a maiden. His style is uniquely recognizable; on Milepost 5, he once again stirs and blends his reportoire of accoustic guitar seasonings, his honey-covered gravel driveway of a voice, and his ability to translate the emotions of the moment, sad, glad or silly into poetry and from there into song, to create what is possibly his most ecclectic, at least in regard to style, mix to date.

Cleary, this collection is deeply personal, and unaffected, as were his past collaborative efforts, by the stylistic choices of a musical partner; songs such as "My Back's Against The Wall," "Old and Wild" and "Should You Need Me," come from a very private place in which Walker takes the listener into his confidence and shares with them, however cryptically, emotions he has genuinly felt, and still feels. These are songs that were not just written... they were lived.

On "Marshmallow Man," and again on "Hanky Panky," he shows that silly side of himself that those familiar with his past work have come to appreciate, rife with smatterings of slightly risque double entendre and good-natured schoolboy smut.

Those readers fortunate enough to have shared a glass or two of wine with Pops will appreciate the jaunty skiffle beat of "Stoned to the Bone Again," an old favorite that deserves its place in this wide-ranging collection of Walker's emotional landscape, and a pretty damned accurate portrayal of anyone who has ever danced a tad too closely with Bacchus.

With "Universal Mundane Church of the Uninformed," Walker continues his good natured exploratory questioning of the truths and absurdities of religion, organized or otherwise, that he began on his last collection, "Cuttin' In Line at the Karmic Buffet," both the CD by that name and the song expressing that same sentiment. Obviously a deeply spiritual man, Walker never the less shows his lack of guile when it comes to tugging the nose of our commonly accepted images of the divine, while still continuing his earnest search for That Which Is Greater Than Himself.

Were there to be any criticism of this CD, it would be in regard to the order in which the songs are presented; however, Walker himself makes a point of stating, in his liner notes, that the emotional roller coaster ride on which the songs take the listener is completely intentional. The light, humorous lyric of "Universal Church" blends curiously into the earnest empathy of "Should You Need Me," which in turn takes a peculiar turn for the naughty followed up as it immediatly is by "Hanky Panky." There is a method to Walker's madness, clearly, in that he obviously wants to leave the listener somewhat spent afterwards, in need of a second listen just to be sure of what they really experienced.

Probably the sweetest touch on the entire CD is the closing number, the inimitable Stephen Foster's "Oh Susanna!" Treated to Walker's resplendent sequined leather posing-pouch of a voice, it is performed not as though bouncing in the saddle of a trotting horse as one usually envisions the number, but layed out languidly on a sultry southern porch, somewhat moss-draped, and offered up with a knowing and slightly sleepy smile. Though pushing 150 years old, at Walker's hand, the song is finally able to grow up.

It is clearly a departure from his past works. But Walker's trademark guitar trills, his signature voice and his genuine love for his music none the less show through. Since this is a truly solo effort - just Pops, his voice and his guitar - it can possibly be said that this CD best showcases what Pops Walker is really all about.
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Bart

A great acoustic guitar CD...
I have both of Walker's CDs through CD Baby, and this one is a worthy purchase as is his other CD. This one is a bit more mellow musically, but the lyrics are better written this time around. I recommend you pick this up for some great acoustic guitar songs.
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