For a relatively young man, Seth Walker has had a remarkably prolific career as a prime exponent of the blues and other variations of a rustic roots sound. Nine albums in, he’s also earned a reputation as a musician to be reckoned with, a status confirmed by this latest effort, Gotta Get Back. The album’s title tells all; it’s a family reunion of sorts that finds him reconnecting with his sister and estranged parents through added orchestration that was also arranged by his father. “The Sound of Your Voice” demonstrates how it was used to full advantage; its romantic lyric rides on a sweeping string arrangement and a lush cushion of full of nuanced elocution. The album’s overriding theme naturally centers on a theme of homecoming, with the gentle amble of “Home Again,” the easy, upbeat “Movin’ On” and the determined title track finding a dichotomy that forms a varied perspective about the prodigal son.
At his heart however, Walker is never far from the core of essential Americana, and while the songs are based on the blues, the variations -- the pure funk of “High Time,” the soulful stance of “Call My Name,” the gospel-like grace of “Back Round” and the beautiful balladry of “Blow Wind Blow” -- suggests a sound that touches the firmament of southern soil. Produced by The Wood Brothers' Jano Rix, this is an album flush with fully invested emotion and the craft and consistency to match. That allows Gotta Get Back to suggest the sound of a most welcome return.