|Country Of origin:||United States of America|
Based out of New Orleans, guitarist and singer Walter "Wolfman" Washington has become one of the leading lights in the Louisiana blues scene, playing a fiery mixture of soul, funk, jazz, and blues. Washington first became a local hero backing up some of the Crescent City's most celebrated blues and R&B acts before moving on to a successful solo career, playing the blues with rare fluency and power.
Born on December 21, 1943, Washington was born and raised in New Orleans, where he performed in his mother's church choir as a child. As he grew older, he fell in love with blues and R&B and learned how to play guitar, beginning with a homemade instrument made from rubber bands and a cigar box before moving up to the real thing. In 1962, the 19-year-old Washington landed his first major gig, playing guitar with New Orleans soul legend Lee Dorsey. He spent two years in Dorsey's road band, and in the mid-'60s, he began playing with a local combo called the All Fools Band. He also spent time backing soul diva Irma Thomas and gigging with David Lastie's Taste of New Orleans Band. Near the end of the '60s, Washington started playing alongside another noted New Orleans R&B singer, the great Johnny Adams; the two proved to be a solid match, and Washington worked with Adams on-stage and in the studio for 20 years.
In 1981, Washington cut his first solo album, Rainin' in My Life, for the small New Orleans label Help Me Records. Rounder Records, who had released several of Johnny Adams' albums with Washington, offered the guitarist a deal, and he released three albums for the respected roots music label, 1986's Wolf Tracks, 1988's Out of the Dark, and 1991's Wolf at the Door. The year 1991 also saw Washington release the album Sada through Virgin Records' blues subsidiary, Point Blank Records. By this time, Washington was touring regularly with his band the Roadmasters; entertaining fans in Europe, the U.K., and the United States; and also performing frequently in his hometown. In 1998, Washington and the Roadmasters dropped Funk Is in the House through the Bullseye Blues imprint, while Blue Moon Risin', featuring James Brown sidemen Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, and Pee Wee Ellis on horns, arrived in 1999. A compilation drawn from Washington's Rounder recordings, On the Prowl, was issued in 2000.
Washington concentrated on live work for the next few years, not returning to the studio until it came time to record 2008's Doin' the Funky Thing. A handful of live recordings followed while Washington played out with the Roadmasters and hosted regular trio shows at New Orleans' Maple Leaf Bar with organist Joe Krown and drummer Russell Batiste, Jr. In 2018, the 74-year-old Washington came roaring back with My Future Is My Past, his first album for the artist-friendly Anti- label, with Ben Ellman of Galactic producing. ~ Mark Deming~ Rovi