Toby Walker: a blend of blues, ragtime, country and old time jazz

Toby Walker. Picture by Eric Fieldstadt
Toby Walker. Picture by Eric Fieldstadt

One of America’s leading blues and roots guitarists is heading to Uckfield next month for a charity concert.

Toby Walker, a fingerstyle guitar virtuoso and songwriter known for his exceptional musicianship, will be performing at The Highlands Inn, Eastbourne Road, on September 23 (8pm).

The show, which is in aid of Cancer Research UK, has been organised by Richard Judge, of Uckfield, and is a part of Toby’s 12-date British Isles tour. Tickets are £12 from Guitar House, George Moss Jewellers, The Highlands Inn or via Judge.family@sky.com

Music gear for the evening is being supplied by the Red Butler Music School.

Toby said: “It’s been a few years since I’ve been back to the British Isles and boy oh boy, I’m sure looking forward to this upcoming tour.”

The tour, which starts on September 12 in Southsea, features eight shows in England, two in Wales and two in the Isle of Man.

Toby blends blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique style, wowing the public, the critics and his peers, and he is also an acclaimed guitar instructor.

Toby’s passion for 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 from Eugene Powell, James ‘Son’ Thomas, Etta Baker, and R.L Burnside, among others.

Toby has released eight instructional guitar DVDs for the world- famous company Homespun Tapes, which have received rave reviews.

Also performing at the gig at The Highlands Inn is John Gregory (AKA Blue John), a fingerpicking guitarist and singer from the Isle of Man whose music promotion business Blue John Media has organised the tour.

He has opened for leading blues musicians the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ari Eisinger, Joe Filisko and Eric Noden, Michael Messer and many more. In April 2018 John flew to Chicago to play his hero Big Bill Broonzy’s 1946 Martin guitar.

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