Wily Bo Walker.
Where are you from?
The band and I are London based. I am from Scotland (but I was born in London to save on the train fare!) :-) …ah the old jokes are the best!
Name of band:
Who is in your band?
As a recording entity Wily Bo Walker (vocals, guitars, keyboards, drums, percussion, double bass and sound fx), L'il Neill (trombones, trumpets and backing vocals), Kareña K (backing vocals) and some wonderful special guests…
As a 'live' touring and festival band there can be as many as 18 of us on stage. We have a veritable trombone army, beat-boxing clowns, fire-eaters, The Vampirettes (a three-piece female vocal group featuring Kareña K) on backing vocals and a host of other musicians…
How would you describe yourselves?
Voodoo burlesque and swamp jazz.
Who are your main influences musically?
Well there is a real N’awlins [New Orleans] spirit within the band – those funeral marching bands with all the brass players blowing up a storm. Mix in some Delta Blues and then a sprinkling of some of those old foot stompin’ jazz rhythms. Add a touch of rockabilly in to the mix and there’s your Rattlin Bone sound!
Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Howlin Wolf, Screamin Jay Hawkins, even, dare I say it, Tom Waits. We have had a few reviews comparing us to the great man so, Flaming Hearts Records even went to the trouble to licence two of Tom Waits’ songs for us to record. Been a lot of fun I have to say. Screamin Jay is another obvious one I guess – we have a cover version of one of his tracks that we have licensed to record, but we’ll see.
Most of the stuff we do is original, of course, and even when we do a cover version we like to ‘rattle it up’! Plus L’il Neill digs Ennio Morricone so you can hear touches of haunting spaghetti western themes through his bone playing! Cinema soundtracks to b-movie horror flicks perhaps? Got to be in there. Certainly some of the keyboard parts I have laid down in the studio sound as if they would be right at home there – can’t say I am the world’s most competent keyboard player but I get by – Much more in my element when it comes to doing my frontman and vocalist thing. I look back at some of the old videos of people like Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong and love what they were doing back then! But I obviously mix it up with a lifetime of influences as everyone does.
Music is so abundant and readily available now that there is so much to inspire – I might not be inspired by the boring mainstream syndicated radio stuff everyone is told to like but there are tons of bands and artists out there producing up brilliant music that is both innovative and inspirational.
What do you hope to achieve in music?
On a personal level, to just keep on the path I am on; working with great musicians all across this beautiful planet and create music. I love the energy that comes from that. And I also love the moments when playing 'live' and the audience are digging what you are doing, the band gels and that little moment of timeless magic occurs for everyone!
What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
I love every moment I am able to create, write, play, work in music.
I recently released a cover of the old Billie Holiday track 'You Don't Know What Love Is' and worked with Teddy Charles. It was Teddy's final recording before he died and I am honoured to have been able to work with such a legend. Teddy worked with all the greats from the golden era of jazz; from Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday through to Miles Davis and latterly people like Aretha Franklin. Amazing experience.
And what’s the moment you want to forget?
Nothing connected with music - I want to remember each and every moment! :-)
If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
Although not a Rattlin Bone song per se, we do play this at every Rattlin Bone gig. It is a solo track of mine called 'When The Angels Call Your Time' and it kind of covers the sound of Rattlin Bone whilst also features in some of my other projects; my solo work and my other bands 'The Mescal Canyon Troubadours' and 'The Blue Valentines'.
Where can we listen to it?
Where can we find out more about your music?
ARTIST WEB-SITE: http://rattlinbone.com
WILY BO WALKER
ARTIST WEB-SITE: http://wilybo.com
AIRPLAY DIRECT: http://www.airplaydirect.com/music/wilybo
CD BABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/wilybowalker
Anything else you’d like to say about your band/music that I forgot to ask?
The debut Rattlin Bone album 'The Life and Death Of…' was re-released on 21st January on iTunes, Amazon and al good online stores with a special bonus version released on Rattlin Bone's Bandcamp site: http://rattlinbone.bandcamp.com