I am lucky to know some people. One of those people is Allen “Charmin” Larman, who hosts a weekly internet radio show, Thee Charm School (you know it’s good on account of the second “e”) at luxuriamusic.com on Thursdays from 6-8pm pst. Although I was already somewhat familiar with the genius of Marvin Sease, it was Allen who took me to see the late great “Candylicker” live for the first (and only) time down at Prince Hall at Figueroa and 90th. So when Allen posted something on his facebook page about a couple of great Monday night residencies in South Central, I jumped on board and was not disappointed.
So last Monday night, I texted Allen to see if he was going down there. He replied that he wasn’t because an old juke joint legend named Robert “Bilbo” Walker was playing at the Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana. I knew I had to go. I’m so glad I did.
Robert “Bilbo” Walker was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, lived in Chicago for 17 years, and now resides in Bakersfield. You can learn more about him here. All I know is that the man is 74 years old and put on one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. Luckily I brought my flip cam and captured some of it. Due to low lighting, the picture isn’t that great, but you definitely get a sense of how fun it was to be there that night. If you are fortunate enough to have the chance to catch Robert live do not pass it up!
I apologize for the weird camera work, but I had to get a better angle of the sexy dancers (Robert’s daughters, by the way).
Robert’s take on Johnny B. Goode
One of Robert’s daughters takes the mic for a song.
Watch this one for Robert’s patented one-handed guitar solo!
Besides tearing up the blues and rock’n’roll, Robert also did an abbreviated version of “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”. He closed with an awesome version of “Stagger Lee” but I ran out of battery before it was over and felt it would be wrong to post an incomplete song.
Hope you enjoyed it 1/100th as much as I did! BIG thanks to Allen for letting me know about it and for Cadillac Zack at the Maui Sugar Mill for making it happen (Zack mentioned that it took him seven years to finally get Robert down to play). From what I understand, Zack’s band plays every Monday at the Maui Sugar Mill, often with guests dropping in. They played a little before bringing up Robert (they also backed him) and it kinda reminded me of the band that played at Wild Bill’s in Memphis the time I went. Good Staxy blues. Check it out!