On Saturday March 26, 2022, the Paramount Hudson Valley Theater presented Professor Louie’s Century of The Blues, a special evening to honor the great blues artists in history and thank them for their contributions throughout the years. The night was augmented by photographer Joseph A. Rosen’s photos from “A Photographic Journey, Keeping The Blues Alive” projected behind the artists during the evening.
The Professor Louie’s Century of The Blues bill included Professor Louie along with his compatriots in music, The Crowmatix. Hudson Valley based Professor Louie & The Crowmatix are known for working with The Band and other notable Woodstock performers. The night also featured multiple Grammy nominated Guy Davis. Davis is affectionally known as “An Ambassador of the Blues.” Guy has traveled the world bringing his style of the blues to all. Completing the triad of performers was Joe Louis Walker. Walker is also a Grammy nominee in additional to being a four-time Blues Music Awards winner, Blues Hall of Fame inductee, and recipient of the prestigious W.C. Handy award.
Each act performed a set, sharing its take on the blues. The five-piece Professor Louie & The Crowmatix opened the night sharing songs that influenced and inspired the band through its long tenure. Professor Louie and fellow band mate Miss Marie traded lead vocals, with Louie stepping out from the behind keyboards to play accordion on a few songs.
The middle slot belonged to Guy Davis. Sitting center stage with his acoustic guitar, Davis shed light on the origins of this classic genre with his playing style. Drawing from Lead Belly and other blues notables, Guy’s set merged classics with originals, most strikingly his “Kokomo Kidd.” To close out, Davis had the audience backing him on vocals as he sang a cappella accompanied by his harmonica.
After a brief intermission, Joe Louis Walker and band took the stage. Walker, originally from San Francisco and now a Hudson Valley resident, lit up the stage with his guitar prowess. His playing let everyone know that the blues are here to stay. With a powerful rhythm section supporting Walker, the band took the blues to the next level. Joe interspersed his own compositions in the set as he and keyboard player Scott Milici traded leads throughout their time on stage. To finish off the journey through the blues, the house brought Joe and crew back for an encore to close out the night.