BRANFORD — Acoustic bluesman Toby Walker, a finger-style guitar virtuoso who was the winner of the 2002 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, will take on the winter blues Saturday in the latest entry in the Branford Folk Music Society’s concert series.
Showtime is 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford on the Town Green. Tickets are $20 for nonmembers, $17 for members and $5 for children ages 12 and under.
For more information, call 203-488-7715 or visit branfordfolk.org.
Walker, also known as “Little Toby” Walker, who made his Branford Folk debut in 2013, combines elements of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old-time jazz in his playing.
He has been hailed by the likes of Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane, who said of Walker, “Flat out ... you have to hear this great musician. ... I’m blown away.”
Kaukonen has employed Walker as a teacher at his internationally famous Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp for more than a decade.
Walker was recognized in 2014 as a “Master Blues Artist” by the New York Blues Hall of Fame and four years previous won the New York Music Award for “Best Instrumental CD,” sharing honors on stage with Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright and Judy Collins, among others.
He has toured the United States, England, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and, most recently, Cyprus.
Walker’s passion for blues, rags, folk and other traditional American music forms drove him at a young age to leave an apartment crammed full of recordings, books and instruments for the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas.
In those places, he tracked down several of the more obscure — but immensely talented — bluesmakers of an earlier era, learning directly from Eugene Powell, James “Son” Thomas, Etta Baker and R. L Burnside, among others.
Walker has released several instructional guitar DVDs for Homespun Tapes and recently released an album of traditional blues, entitled “From The Ground Up.”