Waiting on Daylight opens with the funky blues groove of "It's All Good" featuring a vocal that instantly recalls Louisiana swamp man Tab Benoit. A couple of tracks later, on "Took It Like A Man," echoes of southern powerhouses ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers begin to seep through. "Those are definitely some of my most favorite artists, along with my all-time favorite guitar player, Stevie Ray Vaughan," explains Walker. "But honestly, I have so many influences from so many genres. Guns 'n' Roses, Zeppelin, Jack White, Doyle Bramhall II, Warren Haynes … the list is 100 miles long."
As things progress through rockin' tunes like the Chuck Berry-flavored "Happy," J.B. Hutto's "Hipshake It" or the introspective "Mary and Me," it becomes harder to ignore what is unquestionably one of the album's biggest strengths: a big, fat, gritty, greasy guitar tone massive enough to take hold of your soul. Walker confirms this is no accident. "If it doesn’t have the big fat beefy tone, then I won’t play to my fullest potential," says the self-professed "tone freak" – who then runs off a list of the roughly dozen different guitars he used to get just the right sound on each particular cut.
The man on the other side of the mixing desk is also renowned for the satisfyingly rich tone and classic performances he has coaxed out of players as diverse as Carlos Santana, George Thorogood and (there's that name again) Stevie Ray Vaughan. For Walker, joining that illustrious company made the collaboration with producer Jim Gaines truly special. "I really felt like I had accomplished something when Jim Gaines turned around in his chair and looked at me while we were listening down to some of the tracks and said: Man, we got us a really rockin’ record!"
There's really not a lot more to it than that. Waiting on Daylight, for all its rough-and-tumble energy, is by no means heavy-handed. Walker and Gaines know enough to avoid tiresome, excessive displays of guitar prowess and instead allow this collection of well-constructed songs to breathe. And yet, at the end of the day, Gaines is right. This is a really rockin' record.
(Vincent Abbate, November 2012)
1. It's All Good
2. Black Clouds
3. Took It Like A Man
4. Girl You Bad
5. Gotta Be You
6. Waitin On Daylight
8. Hipshake It
9. Mary & Me
11. Whippin Post