Khalif “Wailin’” Walter continues to tear up stages in Chicago & throughout Europe with his unique style of boogie Blues. This born and bred Chicagoan is a guitarist, singer, bandleader, and songwriter carrying the torch as one of the new generations of that famed Blues Mecca’s musicians. He has accumulated a mountain of reviews in the U.S., Canada, and the E.U. lauding both his 2008 CD “Let Me Say That Again” and his electrifying live show. Khalif “Wailin’” Walter’s stormy guitar work and brash New Orleans style vocals generate the band’s traditional down-home sound, reminiscent of greats like Albert King, Freddie King, and Albert Collins. Fusing contemporary style and innovative original arrangements with a firm grasp of the Chicago Blues roots and tradition, Khalif “Wailin’” Walter delivers foot-stomping Blues that burns the house to the ground.
Khalif “Wailin’ “Walter has performed in the Chicago Blues Festival in 2001, 2003, and 2007. In 2008 he toured the EU and headlined festivals in U.K., Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Following the completion of his studies in Jazz performance at Chicago’s Roosevelt University, he was a 4-year member of the Lonnie Brooks Blues Band and studied under the tutelage of his Uncle and mentor Blues great Carl Weathersby. Khalif has appeared on stage with such Blues giants as Grammy Winner Taj Mahal, Grammy Winner Otis Rush, The Jimmy Vaughan Band, The Buddy Guy Band, Junior Wells, Bernard Allison, Grammy nominee and W.C Handy nominee Pinetop Perkins, 2-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch, Grammy Winner Sugar Blue, Larry McCray, Curtis Salgado, Louisiana Red, and A.C. Reed.
Having always been around great music (Dad listened to Motown, Stax and other cool soul music and grandad- Jazz), Khalil absorbed it all.
Wanting to really be a pilot and having taken flying lessons until about 17, Khalil’s dreams were shattered when both the Air Force and Navy rejected him due to an accident he had had at school- 4 knew surgeries later!
“Starting out in music came as I played sax in the school band and learned a lot about Big Band and Classical Music as a result, but started playing the guitar at about 17,” says Khalif.
Khalil’s biggest influence is Carl Weathersby, his Uncle. Learning a lot from him, supporting him and giving him the courage, Khalil went on into a career that hasn’t had him look back at all.
“Lonnie Brooks who I worked under for 4 years, taught me how to be a professional especially when it comes to being on stage. Lonnie just flat outputs on the most hellacious show you will ever see. Musically Lonnie really stressed to me the importance of being myself, finding my own musical voice and going with it. That’s easier said than done when you are young. He helped me be more confident about playing my own tunes and trusting my ear.” Khalil added and Albert King under whom his Uncle played for 3 years, was also a great influencer.