Blues Guitarist Toby Walker Inspires Students

"If he doesn't get them with his phenomenal guitar playing or catchy songs, he gets them with his wonderful stories. True entertainers have an engaging spirit that puts a smile on your face. Arlo Guthrie has it, David Bromberg has it, and so does Toby" - John Platt ... Host of Sunday Morning Breakfast at WFUV
Up-close with a master musician, Stimson students see first-hand how homemade instruments were created in the Deep South.
Up-close with a master musician, Stimson students see first-hand how homemade instruments were created in the Deep South.
“Blues musicians sang about a lot in their lives, and much of that was happy as well.” – Toby Walker
“Blues musicians sang about a lot in their lives, and much of that was happy as well.” – Toby Walker

During several days spent at Stimson Middle School, musician Toby Walker was able to look across the street and point out a small frame house where he spent a good part of his childhood. Today Mr. Walker travels to many parts of the world, but he always looks forward to coming home to South Huntington and Stimson, where he entertains and inspires the middle schoolers with his passion for blues, rags, folk, and other traditional American music.

Toby Walker is a unique, accomplished finger-style guitar virtuoso who weaves heartwarming and at times humorous songs out of the stories that some of the great blues masters have shared with him. In Mr. Walker’s “Blues in the Schools” program, he shares his history and traveling experience, allowing others to experience the sounds, sights, and emotions inspired by his unique talents. His program at Stimson brought to life in song the adversity that African Americans experienced in the deep South. “A couple of my songs are meant to shock them,” said Mr. Walker. “I want them to feel, as much as they can, the hardships felt by so many, and I can see in their faces that I get the desired effect.” Mr. Walkers website shares his experiences on the road with its viewers at: http://www.littletobywalker.com

Mr. Walker gets students not only to participate in his songs, but also to understand the unique importance that the history of blues and certain types of guitars play in today's pop culture and music. “Blues wasn't necessarily always sad,” said Mr. Walker. ”Blues musicians sang about a lot in their lives, and much of that was happy as well.” No doubt the program that Toby Walker shared with Stimson’s students resounded well, leaving them with a newfound respect for how music, and the blues in particular, helped shape our country.

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