Midnight Express

(1998 BWS Productions)
Real Audio sound files on the first 4 tracks:

Midnight Express (A. Branscomb)
Rainy Chicago Blues (Mahon, Smith)
Permanent Position (Manon, Graves)
Big Storm Coming (Reichel, Smith)
383 Emergency (Jonny Taylor)
If You Love Me Like You Say (Little Jonny Taylor)
I’ve Been Wrong So Long
Hooked On You (Brady)
I Don’t Want No Woman
Leave Me and My Woman Alone (Otis Clay)
Cold Women (Albert King)
A Good Fool is Hard to Find (Hauston & Shackleford)
Black Magic Woman (Sanatna)

Big Walter Smith (lead vocals, assistant producer)
Scott Graves (lead guitar, back up vocals, assistant producer & music director)
Tom McShane (drums)
Paul Wigen (keyboards, back up vocals)
Josh Taulbee (bass)
Arthur “JoMo Tar-V” Branscomb (trumpet, back up vocals)
Matt Franko (trombone)
Ruston Reynolds (tenor saxophone)
Shirley Smith (executive producer)
Brad Moe (producer & engineer)
Greb Harder (assistant producer)
The High Stepping Horn Section (horn arrangemenets)

Recorded and mixed at New Moon Studios, Mpls., MN. Art direction & design by Blue Dog Enterprises, Deb Mahon. Management by BWS Productions, Shirley Smith. Photography courtesy of Blue Dog Enterprises. Mastered at Metro Apple Digital Recording, Mpls., MN.


When I first met Big Walter Smith and his wife Shirley in 1991 at the Whiskey Junction in Minneapolis, I never dreamed that one day I’d have the privilege of writing these notes for two of my dearest friends, or of all the many adventures we would have together–at the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth (where Walter has appeared every year since its inception 10 years ago); the Grand Emporium in Kansas City, doing’ the blues in Chicago and all around Minneapolis, in my kitchen and in theirs, and on Blues Cruises to the Virgin Islands.

One of these adventures produced the lyrics to “Rainy Chicago Blues,” which I wrote while riding in Walter’s van as he collected us all from the downpour at the 1996 Chicago Blues Festival. Wherever there’s blues, you’re likely to find Shirley and Walter with a group of their friends.

Born In Oklahoma, raised in Kansas City, Big Walter Smith has been bringing his R&B, soul-flavored version of the blues to appreciative fans for over 45 years. Whether it’s partying to “Mustang Sally” or falling in love to “Talk To Me” (“our song” for Walter and his wife Shirley), fans pack the house wherever Walter appears over 150 nights a year.

Big Walter Smith and the Groove Merchants have two previous releases, “Big Storm Comin'” and “Brother To The Blues.” And now “Midnight Express” is the treat the fans have requested and been waiting for–with road-tested original and newly recorded material, this is the most exciting project yet form a master vocalist and his well-seasoned musical veterans.

So take a Blues Break with Big Walter and friends–kick back, close your eyes, and take a fast ride on the MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. It could be the beginning of an adventure.

~Deb Mahon

Contact Shirley B. at BWS Productions MN to own/purchase this CD

View all of Big Walter Smith & The Groove Merchants Band CDs here


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