Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

The Charles Walker BandThe Charles Walker Band is a five piece band that performs various styles of blues, R&B and funk with precision and energy. What adds to the band uniqueness, apart from Award winning musicians (together for 4 years), is the richness and raw energy of the original material. A quote from Noggin Blues Matters! magazine describes us best, “…we are treated to the full panoply of Blues styles, great tunes, intelligent lyrics and superb instrumentation throughout.” (Issue 33, 06)

Charles Walker, tenor saxophone, keyboard, songwriter & band leader, received formal jazz training at UW Eau Claire. He has played saxophone for over 17 years. His last band was Muddy Blue, who released a CD entitled “Low Down Dirty Blues”. He has played with such greats as Big Al from New Orleans and JJ Johnson at BB’s in St. Louis. Muziczine describes him as “Particularly inventive, Walker is a musician bursting with talent. Well capable of building a melody line, his tenor sax thrusts through the mix powerfully” (4/6/09). His influences are Luther Allison, Ray Charles, Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan, Stan Getz, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker, Sax Gordon, Keb' Mo'’ Mo, and John Coltrane.

Miss Shanna Jackson, lead vocals/song writer, has been singing in Milwaukee since she's been five and attended the School of Fine Arts in Milwaukee to hone her vocal talent in the late 80's. Her professional career started with female singing groups in Nashville and Atlanta, where she wrote and orchestrated most of the groups vocal arrangements. However, when she joined the group five years ago she discovered her passion in the blues. One of the highlights of her career so far has been sharing the stage with Nora Jean Brusco. Her biggest blues influences are Shemekia Copeland, Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, Luther Allison, Shirley Brown and Big Time Sarah. Jean Claude-Mondo reviewed her vocals as, “Powerful, natural and cut perfectly for the blues, the voice of Miss Shanna Jackson is divine.”

Misha Siegfried, lead guitar, hails from St. Paul, MN. Migrating to Milwaukee in 2002, Misha’s resume includes Fire On Your Sleeve (pop/rock), Genie Halliday Revue Band (R&B/Blues), The Mixx (R&B/Blues), Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Alter Boys (Blues), Blue Wagon (Blues), and Mississippi Gun & Gun Smoke (Blues/R&B). His influences include Eric Clapton, Moses Oakland and Freddie King. He is also a fan of John Coltrane and Hunter S. Thompson.

Kent Hamele, bass guitar, has been playing bass for over 35 years and his last big blues experience was with Cadillac Joe and Paul Flipowicz. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and has played the gambit of rock, pop, Caribbean, African  and, of course, blues genres in the process. He has opened for such greats as Lil’ Ed, Johnny Bassett and Shemekia Copeland.

John Sparrow, drums, was born on the south side of Milwaukee and has been playing drums for over twenty years. John, growing up was taught by his father, and quickly became well versed in jazz, but soon branched out to wide ranging styles, from rock to latin, and, of course, blues. His biggest claim to fame was playing auxiliary percussion and touring with the Violent Femmes for two years, but has also played with Shakuhachi Club, the Tossers, Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Jimmy Johnson, Joe Puerta, Sam Llanas, Kevin Kinney, Steve MacKay, Dick Parry, John Curley, Dresden Dolls and the Danglers.