Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Toby Walker is a unique, accomplished fingerstyle guitar virtuoso. Toby is adept at blues, rags, hot country picking, and coaxes more out of a guitar than anyone can imagine, but the originality doesn't end there. He is also a skilled singer and songwriter who draws inspiration from traditional and contemporary music. Toby takes that musical foundation and creates something uniquely his own and has been eagerly received in various venues including concert halls, festivals and coffeehouses throughout the U.S., England and Europe.
Toby’s passion for blues, rag, folk, and other traditional American
music drove him to leave an apartment crammed full of recordings, books
and instruments for the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas
where he tracked down some of the more obscure - but immensely talented
- music makers of an earlier era. He learned directly at the feet of
Eugene Powell, James "Son" Thomas, Etta Baker,
and R.L Burnside, among
The talent, passion, and soul of a Toby Walker performance reflects these travels. Whether it is telling the humorous and heartwarming tales of other masters, talking about his inspirations, or astounding you with his mastery, his performances are a feast for the senses. The audience is moved in ways that delight them long after the encores. You can catch a taste of these stories on his Web site in "The Masters" section. But make no mistake about it - he is to be experienced live. Those fortunate enough to attend one of his shows will vouch for that.
The love Toby has for his craft pushes him to share his history and
experience where he has performed in libraries and schools allowing
others to share the sounds, sights, and emotions of his unique
abilities. His teaching credits include, among others, Jorma Kaukonen's
Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio. In 2006, Carnegie Hall acknowledged his rare
talents and hired him to augment and teach in their "American Roots"
program aimed at honor level middle school students. This one-of-a-kind
series demonstrates the history of blues music and traditions, while
teaching the history of African Americans as they migrated from the
south into the north.
His mastery of the blues was recognized in Memphis when he won the International Blues Challenge Award.
There is no doubt that Toby Walker has found his life's calling, and as a result everyone keeps calling for more Toby Walker.