In college, I squatted at the apartment Chris Walker shared with one of my best friends. I not only lived rent-free, but was also lucky enough to share a wall with the best guitar player I had ever met up until that point in my life. That’ll happen when you pick up the instrument at the age of 12 like Walker, 33, did (he was playing in Sarasota-area clubs by the time he was 13). He gave me lessons, we talked about life, and I got to hear him practice for hours on end. That was more than 10 years ago, and it’s been a pleasure to watch him travel the world on the Armed Forces Entertainment circuit, link up with jazz singer Gloria West and become a hard-gigging staple in the Bay area blues scene. His fiery solos and charismatic personality are hard to look away from as he channels influences like Hendrix and Coltrane into one of the best guitar shows in Florida. Solo and band gigs from Walker are never a rarity, but he is a homegrown talent not to be taken for granted.
Wednesday | 9 p.m. Ringside Café, 16 2nd St N. St. Petersburg | 727-894-8465 | facebook.com/Ringsidedowntown
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