R.I.P. New Orleans guitarist Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, 1943–2022


Friend of Leo's
Mar 17, 2007
Just realized that the passing of WWW on 22 December had not been noted here...

New Orleans guitarist Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington dead at 79 (ABCnews.com)

Washington started his career backing New Orleans musical legends Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey and Johnny Adams, who ultimately became a mentor and close friend.

“Johnny taught me a whole lot,” Washington recalled in 1999. “He’d say, ‘If you want to sing high notes, you’ve got to pay attention to how you go up there. Take your time. Don’t rush yourself. Once you get used to going up there, it will come easy.’ He played guitar, too. He’d show me how to hit notes and how to run from one note to another and pay attention to why that note fits there. He was like a dad. I could talk to him about anything.”

Washington backed Adams on several Rounder Records albums before releasing his first album with the Roadmasters, “Leader of the Pack,” for the Hep’Me label in 1981. He moved to Rounder for 1986’s “Wolf Tracks” and the subsequent “Out of the Dark” and “Wolf at the Door.” The 1991 album “Sada” was named for his first daughter.

He traveled abroad and occasionally toured domestically, but New Orleans' nightclubs were his heart and soul. He was one of the first musicians to play in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina via generator-powered shows at the Maple Leaf.

After more than 10 years without a new album, Washington made a comeback with 2018’s “My Future Is My Past.” The album reunited him with Thomas for a duet on the old Adams song “Even Now” and earned Washington some of the best reviews of his career.



Poster Extraordinaire
May 24, 2010

boris bubbanov

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Feb 24, 2007
New Orleans, LA + in the
Saw him at Jazz Festival, in 2019. He was looking real run down, but even though I had someone else I was desperate to see and even though I've probably seen him a couple hundred times, I stayed through. I guess I knew, it might be the last time.

Best show I think, was he opened for Robert Cray at one of the clubs on Carrollton, and he went into "better than you" mode. Both bands, back to back, so good.

Rest in Peace, Sir! Please say hello to Johnny for us.

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