Bobby BlackHat
Gig Seeker Pro

Bobby BlackHat

Newport News, Virginia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF

Newport News, Virginia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Blues R&B





Bobby “Blackhat” Walters has the blues. That’s not an unusual circumstance for the award-winning singer-songwriter from Newport News.

At the moment he has a specific focus — the partial shutdown of the federal government, now in its fourth week — and he is venting in the way he knows best. His new song “Gubment Shutdown Blues,” written over the weekend and recorded on Tuesday afternoon, is now being played on local radio stations and finding an audience online and through social media.

“It’s shameful, absolutely shameful, what’s happening,” Walters said. “This did not sneak up on us — it’s a longstanding issue that been brewing and brewing and brewing. The government has a job to do, and that have not done it. It’s an epic fail.”

The song begins: ”Woke up this morning / couldn’t go to work / ‘cause gubment can’t govner / D.C. has gone berserk.”

Walters spent 27 years in the Coast Guard, retiring in 2003. Because of the shutdown, he has been told that his next paycheck is not coming. He has friends who are still active-duty who already are missing their pay.

Bobby 'Blackhat' Walters plays ambassador to blues music in Hampton Roads. The issue had been riling him for a while, and then last Friday he got a message from Jim Bulleit, a songwriter from Virginia Beach. Bulleit had written a song about the shutdown that he thought Walters might like.

Walters related to the anger he heard, but he said he was uncomfortable with the relatively partisan nature of the lyrics. With Bulleit’s permission, he did a rewrite that focused more on the suffering of the ordinary citizens, pointing a finger at the totality of the Washington bureaucracy.

In one verse, he sings: ”The blue blames the red / the red blames the blue / I blame you all / for the job you failed to do.”

“That’s the message that we’re getting out,” Walters said, “I don’t want to polarize one side against another. I’d rather focus on the people who are affected, and the people who are supposed to handle it who are doing a pretty poor job.”

Walters booked time on Tuesday at Soul Haven Studios in Virginia Beach, and he called on his longtime friend and former bandmate Larry Berwald to provide the stinging acoustic guitar. In a spoken-word bridge representing the voice of furloughed workers, Bulleit provided one vocal and Berwald’s wife, Bethany, did the same.

Walters sent the song to radio stations at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Three hours later, Paul Shugrue used it to open his “Out of the Box” show on WHRV-FM 89.5, a show dedicated to the very latest tunes by national and local artists. DJ Neal Steele played in on Xtra91 FM out of Gloucester, and local television stations have sampled it on newscasts.

The song is now available on Amazon and iTunes, and Walters is donating proceeds to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance.

Walters released his latest album, “Put On Your Red Shoes,” last fall, but “Gubment Shutdown Blues” follows his track record of turning out singles as timely and topical as the week’s headlines. Previous inspirations have included the acrimonious 2016 presidential election (“Presidential Cam’pain’ Blues”) and last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla. (“Run, Baby, Run”). His “HRBT Blues,” a lament on local bridge-tunnel traffic, resonated with Hampton Roads residents and won Song of the Year at the VEER Magazine Local Music Awards. Now it’s the federal government shutdown.

“We really put it together on the fly,” Walters said. “Larry and I did one quick rehearsal by Facebook and then put it together for real in the studio. I tried to walk a real fine line with the message, but it’s something that needs to be said. They hijacked my paycheck, and I don’t like it at all. There’s 800,000-plus people who did not have a choice in this, and I don’t think it’s right.”

Mike Holtzclaw - Daily Press

"Bobby BlackHat: Put On Your Red Shoes"

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Put On Your Red Shoes, from Bobby BlackHat and it's smooth and bluesy. Opening with I Smell Another Man On You, Bobby BlackHat Walters, takes the lead on vocal, backed by Brian Eubanks on bass, Tom Euler on guitar, Michael Behlmar on drums and Lucy Lawrence Kirkpatrick on keys. Larry Burwald's pedal steel slide work, complimented by Kirkpatrick's keys and Bobby's own harp work make for a nice opener. With a heap of R&B, ballad, This Grey Beard is strong with a good story line and memorable melody. Burwald's easy paced slide work and Tom Euler's articulate lead really gives this track a special feel. With a Latin rhythm, title track, Put On Your Red Shoes, has a great feel with lively drums and excellent guitar soloing. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Grim Reaper has a spacy, San Francisco blues sound with arpeggiated chords, solid vocals and smoking hot guitar and organ solos. Wrapping the release is another slow blues number, I Hear Mama's Voice, with really super vocals and really nice harp work by Bobby. Euler really steps up again on this track with gripping guitar lead and Kirkpatrick's piano work is soothing and balanced making this an excellent closer. - Bman’s Blues Report

"Bobby BlackHat Put On Your Red Shoes"

Bobby “BlackHat” Walters is a recording artist, harmonica player, vocalist, songwriter and actor who hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has been playing harp for over 40 years. He is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander with 27 years of distinguished service, including serving as the Military Aide to President Clinton, and being awarded the Coast Guard Medal for Heroism. During his storied career, he has opened for such blues legends as BB King, Taj Mahal and Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin. This album gives the listener a taste of that magic and proves that Walters belongs in the Blues Hall of Fame. Every track is amazing, with standout vocals, great songwriting, and harmonica that is unforgettable. We really love his stirring and truly unforgettable harmonica cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah.” - Indie Voice Blog

"BlackHat: Put On Your Red Shoes"

Snarling at both vocals and harmonica, Bobby BlackHat leads a calloused hand team of Brian Eubanks/b, Tom Euler/g, Michael Behlmar/dr, Lucy Lawrence Kilpatric/key, Cal Hamlin/org, Larry Berwald/g-sg and Lucius Bennett KK?voc on a mix of foot stomping blues and boogie. Wailing Hoeners are spewed ou ton “I Smell Another Man On You” and the notes cry out on a riveting “Hallelujah.” BlackHat stomps through the South Side of Chicago on a pounding “Overdose of the Blues,” gets eerie on the long shadowed “Grim Reaper” and gets fun and funky for “Back To Cleveland.” Some nice twang and piano takes you to the local VFW on “May I Have This Dance?” and even the acoustic “This Grey Beard” fits in for a short catch of breath. This guys got grit under his nails. - Jazz Weekly

"Bobby BlackHat - Put On Your Red Shoes"

Bobby Blackhat is a newcomer to me, but, wow, am I happy to meet him.

Put On Your Red Shoes is a wonderfully crafted release, sparkling, pulsing, pounding R&B and soul music delivered by a guy with a cracking voice and timing, a band that clearly knows exactly what it’s doing, and an overall quality that is all too often sadly lacking in the music recording world these days.

Bobby Black Hat is the guy behind most of the twelve tracks featured here and, boy, can he string a lyric together! This is no faltering, uneven offering. Instead we have an album that holds together with strength and power, lyricism that hits the spot every time. Confident in himself, Black Hat includes a serenely delightful cover of the Late Leonard Cohen’s, “Hallelujah,” a track that is increasingly being featured in blues releases and is fast becoming a near-instant blues classic. Black Hat produces a jaw-dropping, cracker with this track, while his album opener, “I Smell Another Man On You,” his own composition, is genuinely equally excellent. Jimmy Reed’s wonderful standard, “You Got Me Runnin’” just adds to the pleasure.

At times those old Memphis horns howl out while at others, Black Hat’s own harp works wonders. The rest of the band pulls together throughout with fine fretwork, some tasty slide, and a complete understanding of what’s needed to turn out top-dollar modern, US blues. Try this one for yourselves, you won’t be disappointed—and those red shoes might just turn into dancing pumps before you know it. - Elmore Magazine

"Bobby BlackHat- Put On Your Red Shoes"

Virginia’s Ambassador Of The Blues is undoubtedly the writer-producer-performer-actor-comedian-harmonica maestro-and-sartorially splendid Bobby “BlackHat” Walters. This veteran – of both the blues and the United States Coast Guard – has not only been a major contributor to the genre with thousands of shows and several previous albums under his belt, he is also the foremost cheerleader for other blues performers and spends much of the year producing shows that include many of the groups that he admires and wants audiences to know better.

His latest independently released album, Put On Your Red Shoes, is his strongest album to date and is the album that will make him a household name. Several of the tracks have received major airplay on national blues programs, and he continues to tour with a solid kick-ass band.

The band consists of Brian Eubanks on bass and backing vocals, Tom Euler on guitar and backing vocals, Michael Behlmar on drums and backing vocals, and Lucy Lawrence Kilpatrick on keys. With this group, Walters made it to the 2016 IBC Finals in Memphis. Guest artists include Cal Hamlin on organ and backing vocals, Larry Berwald on guitar and pedal steel, and the effervescent Lucius Bennett III as a featured vocalist on one cut and background vocals on another.
Of the 12 tracks that comprise the album, 11 are originals and the only cover is a strong cover of a well-known song, although not one usually heard at a blues concert.

The album starts off with a very strong number, I Smell Another Man On You, that artfully moves from Walters’ harp and Euler’s guitar. This is one that’s been getting some play on satellite radio and there’s a good reason for that, it’s a good song and plays off a number of blues topics. Don’t underestimate Behlmar’s drumming or Kilpatrick’s cool keys, but it’s Walters’ harp that carries the song.

The follow up with Overdose Of The Blues, a very cool Chicago style track that should get some serious airplay. I know I’ll be featuring it on Time For The Blues, and while I haven’t heard this one performed live, I know it would be a killer. Walters’ harp break is outstanding and the band supports him extremely well.

I swore Walters wrote the next song, This Grey Beard, about me. When I told him that, he had a good laugh and told me he didn’t. He said is about all of us grey bearded guys who had been around long enough to have gained a little wisdom along the way. It’s a slow, languid ballad that touches a lot of key points. Listen for the plaintive approach with the harp and compare that to the way he’s been playing up until now. Great song, even if it’s not about me…

The next song is the funk blues anthem Put On Your Red Shoes. The song is almost guaranteed to get even the shiest members of the audience up and dancing. Walters, in his trademark Black Hat, leaps into the song along with guest vocalist Bennett, and the band tears into the song with gusto. Catch him doing this live when you can and see if you don’t get your feet moving – even if you're not wearing the requisite red shoes!

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah has been recorded by many different artists over the years. Without a doubt, it’s one of my favorite songs, and Walters’ skillful interpretation on the harp is my absolute favorite version of the song. I’ve heard him perform this beautiful number live on many occasions and I’m delighted to finally be able to add it to my collection. When I first listened to the album, I must have hit the repeat button five or six times. Beautiful song.

BlackHat and Company get rocking on the next song, Baby Mama Drama Blues. It’s another song that blends a great beat with some very strong lyrics. You might find yourself bopping along to a painful story. The interplay of the band, especially between Euler and Kilpatrick drives the album into new territory. Definitely one that will be getting airplay.

They follow up with a dark number, Grim Reaper. While Walters wrote this song early in his career, the subject of your own mortality scares more than one person. I’ve actually performed this song live with the band and it’s a chilling experience. Listen to the almost pleading tone of the harp and the way Behlmar taps his cymbals to create the creepy mood. Very cool, and a definite emotional drop after the fun of the previous song, but at almost 10 minutes, it probably won’t receive as much airplay. Still, very atmospheric and theatrical.

Photo of me joining Bobby on Grim Reaper
A surprise song, May I Have This Dance, is next, and I say surprise as this is a real departure for BlackHat and the Band. This is a sweet country song that is delivered with assurance and verve. It’s more like old-school country, and one I would like to hear being picked up and covered by more traditional acts. It’s been said that you’ll never know what you’ll get at a Bobby BlackHat show, and apparently that goes for his albums as well! Enjoy.

The group is back to some swinging blues with Back To Cleveland. A love letter to BlackHat’s hometown, it’s got a strong backbeat and some sweet keyboards from Kilpatrick before BlackHat’s harp takes over. It’s a fun song, and let’s face it, kind of a rarity considering most blues songs evoke Memphis or Chicago. Nice to see Cleveland get a shout out.

He drops the tempo for the emotional When I Cry It’s Ugly. In an era of toxic masculinity, it’s nice to hear a song with a sensitive male approach. Behlmar’s creative drumming sets the tone for the song and Euler’s guitar break makes for a sentimental connection. A delightful and affecting number. Just let it wash over you.

Next up is You Got Me Runnin’, a faster paced number that the entire band gets a chance to shine. A more traditional shuffle tune that sets up a good dance groove and should get the audience moving and shaking. Guest artist Hamlin’s organ work adds a nice touch to the song.

The album closes with a 10 ½ minute version of I Hear Mama’s Voice that is guaranteed to bring tears to just about everyone’s eyes. Walters wrote the song not long after his own mother passed and he began to hear her voice in his head whenever he needed advice. For those lucky enough to have had a good mother in their lives, you know how comforting her voice and her words can be. This is another song that is a highlight of a Bobby BlackHat live performance.
Put On Your Red Shoes is the album that’s going to bring a lot of attention to Bobby BlackHat. He’s well-known here in the Mid-Atlantic area and thanks to his strong performance at the IBCs, he’s a favorite among blues musicians worldwide. Now that he’s getting more airplay, other fans around the country are discovering him for themselves.

Check him out, he’s one of the best – as well as being one of the best people in music. The world needs a few more like him, but there are very few to be found. I recommend the album without reserve – traditional fans will be attracted to his approach as will those who like a little experimentation in their music. One thing though, I don’t think any album can contain the joy that one experiences at a Bobby BlackHat performance. Those just have to be experienced to be believed. - Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint

"Bobby "BlackHat" Walters CD Review"

By Bill “Big Dog” van Elburg

You Changed Your Mind Again
2007 Independent

It isn’t often that a person gets a chance to write a review of a CD put out by a musician they have not just heard play live, but actually know personally. I have gotten to know Bobby “BlackHat” Walters through the Natchel’ Blues Network. I’ve heard him play and sing at a number of fundraiser jams and in Williamsburg where he and Tommy Parker had a Wednesday night gig at The Backfin Restaurant this past summer. It was there I first heard a number of the songs on this CD like the title song, “You Changed Your Mind Again,”
“Put On Your Red Shoes,” “Please Give Me a Clue,” and “Nursery Rhyme Shuffle.” I especially like “I Hear Mama’s Voice” and “Grim Reaper,” with its ominous guitar riff.
I’m continually impressed and amazed by his tasteful playing, thoughtful and intelligent lyrics, and smooth singing style. I could probably compare Bobby to few bluesmen past and present, like Sonny Boy Williamson, whose
song “Help Me” Bobby covers on this CD, but that would be a disservice to him and his unique talent so I won’t even try. Buy this CD and decide for yourself. Bobby BlackHat is the man!! - Natchel` Blues Network

"Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro CD Review"

Bobby "BlackHat" Walters
"You Changed Your Mind Again"
G.E.M.S. Recording and Production

Now before I even get started here, let me say a word to all of the married men that may read this review. Although you may find this hard to believe, when BOBBY "BLACKHAT" WALTERS wrote "YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND AGAIN", it wasn't only "your" wife he was writing about. Mrs. Blewzzman, as well as all of our wives, will attest to that. Can I get an "Amen" on that?

One of the things I love most about what I do here is the fact that I am constantly getting introduced to new musicians from all over the world. Musicians, who perhaps, I possibly may never have had the pleasure of listening to their wonderful music. Those incredibly good local or regional players who - due to the business being so tough - may never get well known outside of their own environment. BOBBY "BLACKHAT" WALTERS is one of those musicians.

Having served over twenty-six years in the Coast Guard - to which I tip my hat and say "Thank You Bobby" - BOBBY "BLACKHAT" WALTERS is now ready to make his mark on the blues scene, and for us fanatics - that's a good thing. On his first CD, "YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND AGAIN", BOBBY, on harp and vocals, is joined by LARRY BERWALD & MARK HOPKINS on guitar, VON JOSE` ROBERTS on bass, MARTY GERMAIN on drums, TOMMY FISHER on keyboards and JACKIE SCOTT on vocals.

On the title track,"YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND AGAIN", BOBBY offers his male listeners some very good advice by warning us all that "It's a woman's prerogative to have a change of mind, and that all a man can do is hang on for the ride". I'm hangin' Bobby. This is a hot shuffle featuring outstanding vocals and some sharp harp from BOBBY, all while being backed up with great rhythm from VON & MARTY. A very good first impression.

BOBBY seems to be fond of a particular pair, as he tells his lady "PUT ON YOUR RED SHOES". How quickly he forgets. After she does put on the red shoes, she'll probably change her mind and switch to the green ones and then change her mind again and switch to the yellow ones. More smooth stuff from BOBBY, good guitar work and some sexy vocals by JACKIE highlight this one.

Ya just gotta love a musician who can turn nursery rhymes into a song that makes you want to get up and dance. That's exactly what BOBBY does on the "NURSERY RHYME SHUFFLE". I've never, ever heard E...I...E...I...O sound so damn G...O...O...D. Get ready to boogie on this one - the band certainly did.

"I HEAR MAMA'S VOICE" is unquestionably the bluest track of all. The scorching guitar riffs, the smoking harp and the melancholy sounding vocals all come perfectly together on what I'm calling the discs best track.

Other tracks on "YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND AGAIN", which consists of mostly original stuff, are: "HELP ME", "NO ROOM FOR YOU", "PLEASE GIVE ME A CLUE", "OUT LATE WITH THE DEVIL" and "GRIM REAPER".

If you like stepping outside the box and venture listening to someone new, check out BOBBY "BLACKHAT" WALTERS. I'm betting my reputation that you'll be glad you did. You can visit him - and purchase a CD - by going to And please, make sure ya tell him the Blewzzman sent ya.


"Bobby BlackHat"

Gotta send props to Bobby BlackHat upon the release of the Virginian’s self-released, self-produced, mostly self-written (with the exception of Jimmy Reed’s 1959 “You Got Me Runnin’” and Leonard Cohen’s 1984 “Hallelujah”) Put On Your Red Shoes where he leads his stellar band on his humorous and funky originals like “I Smell Another Man On You,” “Overdose Of The Blues,” “When I Cry It’s Ugly” and the 9:43 highlight “Grim Reaper.” Mr. BlackHat is a harmonicat, a singer/songwriter, percussionist, comedian and actor. His bass/guitar/drum/keybs band is augmented by some pedal steel and background vocals. The result is a swinging stew fit to party over. Knock yourselves out. - Goldmine

"USJFCOM employee to showcase talent in Memphis"

A USJFCOM civilian employee, Robert “Bobby Blackhat” Walters, will showcase his musical talent in the 24th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., which begins Jan. 31. MCC(SW/AW) Chris Hoffpauir has the story.

Narrated by MCC(SW/AW) Chris Hoffpauir, USJFCOM Public Affairs
Featuring: Robert "Bobby Blackhat" Walters, USJFCOM Strategy and Policy Directorate.

Robert Walters is a civilian employee of U.S. Joint Forces Command by day, but on his own time he’s Bobby Blackhat – blues harmonica player, vocalist, and songwriter.

I told my wife that when I was going to have my mid-life crisis I was going to buy a red Corvette. And then I kind of got to going with this and said “well, maybe I’ll just become a bluesman.”

She said “that’s OK. That’s a lot cheaper than a Corvette!”

Walters and musical partner, guitarist Larry Berwald, won the solo/duo category at the Natchel’ Blues Network Battle of the Bands competition in Virginia Beach, Va., in October, earning them entry into the 24th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., which begins Jan. 31.

The International Blues Challenge is a contest that gives unsigned blues talent from around the world a chance for exposure.

Walters is a relative newcomer to live performance, though his interest in music goes back to 1972.

In Cleveland, Ohio, I’d gone to see War at a theater there and Lee Oscar was the harmonica player, and I really just fell in love with the sound – the way he was playing.

We had a music store not far from the university, saw these harmonicas and said OK, I’ll buy a harmonica. Bought a couple – didn’t know what they did, what the keys were, I just bought ‘em. And from about that time on I always had ‘em around, but I didn't know how to play 'em. I could probably play Home on the Range, and that was about as fancy as I got.

Before Walters began his work as a bluesman, he served his country as a career Coast Guard officer. Walters was a “mustang” – an officer who rose from the enlisted ranks. He was a chief hospital corpsman before he received his commission through officer candidate school and retired as a commander in 2003.

He played for his own entertainment for 30 years, until a friend convinced him to take the plunge into performing at an open mic night in 2002.

A friend of mine was in a band here, a local band, and he invited my wife and I out to hear the band. They had a harmonica player, and this guy was really good. During one of the breaks I just kind of started chatting with him, saying “I love the harmonica and I wish I could play, and I’ve had one all these years.”

He said “well, if you’ve had one all these years you probably can play.”

He said “why don’t you bring it out sometime and let me hear what you can do and I’ll give you some tips.” So I did that.

About a week later I got together with him and we went out and he listened to me play. He said “you sound OK. You just need to start thinking about it in terms of actually playing it, as opposed to playing at it and just start playing it.”

Then the other friend in the band said “why don’t you come out to an open mic,” which is essentially just an open forum where people come in and they just kind of jam. He said “bring your harmonicas along and see what happens.”

So we get to this place and he’s up there on stage – he’s having a good time and he’s just singing – and all of a sudden he says “I’m going to bring my friend up here.”

He literally drug me up on the stage, stuck me in front of a microphone while the band is playing. And I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I mean none.

I had never been on a stage to play a harmonica like that. I had no clue, anything about blues riffs or anything else. I was just on stage and he stuck this microphone in front of me, and so I said “OK.” I just kind of tooted – I mean literally found a spot and went ‘toot-toot,’ you know, just enough to be heard but not enough to be heard.

Everything was going great and I thought I was getting along, and he said “OK Bob take it away!” and threw me this solo. I’m like “oh-no.” I was literally like a deer in the headlights – I just froze right there.

The band kept giving me a little “come on, come on, come on,” so I just tooted a little more, you know, and got through 12 bars of that and they said “alright” and everybody clapped, and I sat down, just like whoa, I’ll never do that again.

But then the bug hit me. At that point I was hooked.

Since then Walters has been a fixture in the local blues scene. As part of the Black Rose Blues Band he’s opened for a variety of acts, including blues legends B.B. King, Taj Mahal, and Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin.

Once I left the Black Rose Blues Band I pretty much went into a freelance mode. I play with a lot of other bands. I sit in with bands all the time. I play with enough people, and I k - US Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, VA

"Przemek Draheim (Poland)"

With tons of blues-rock CDs being released recently it is a pleasure to listen to some real, down-home blues played with a classic ensemble approach. No killer guitar solos here, no fusion harmonica sounds, just the blues played with grit and deep understanding. Bobby is a strong front man and his harp playing brings to mind those classic players from 1950s and 60s. He can make people moving with his faster numbers but the ones where he really shines are two slow blues numbers close to the end of the CD, especially “I Hear My Mama’s Voice”, this set’s highlight. For classic blues lovers this is a CD to have! -

"Review of Bobby BlackHat "Put On Your Red Shoes By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro"

"Put On Your Red Shoes" is Bobby BlackHat's sixth release and I am honored to say that I have reviewed every one of them. As a matter of fact, Bobby is so much a part of Mary4Music that when you go to our website and search his name, it almost comes up as much as when you search mine. Since 2006, in addition to reviewing a CD of his on an average of every two years, Bobby has also had a song on three of our "Mary4Music Presents: Keeping the Blues Alive" compilation discs and he's been the recipient of two "Blewzzy Awards".

The premise of "Put On Your Red Shoes" is: "something old; something new; something borrowed; and something blues." That said, of the disc's twelve tracks: some of the ten originals are from previous releases; the rest of the ten originals are newly written tracks for this project; two of the tracks are covers; and all of them are something very blues.

The Bobby BlackHat Band is: Bobby BlackHat Walters on harp, vocals and percussion; Brian Eubanks on bass and background vocals; Tom Euler on guitar and background vocals; Michael Belmar on drums and background vocals; and Lucy Lawrence Kirkpatrick on keyboards. Special guests include: Cal Hamlin on organ and background vocals; Larry Berwald on guitar and pedal steel; and Lucius Bennett III as a featured and background vocalist.

More often than not, It's just about impossible for a listener to know if an artist's original songs were written from a true life experience or if they're purely mythical. On the other hand, knowing Mrs. BlackHat as well as I do, you can take it to the bank that the disc's opening track, "I Smell Another Man On You," is indeed mythical. Right from the opening exchange of blues licks coming out of Bobby's harp and Tom's guitar, this nearly six minute track is loaded with the blues - especially during the two-and-a-half minute mid song tirade that Larry, Lucy and Bobby respectively release on their slide guitar, piano and harp leads. Then there's Bobby, and that patented Baritone voice of his, crooning out the disc's melancholy lyrics and yessiree, this is something blues.

Grey hair has forever been symbolic of wisdom. As a matter of fact, in just about every one of the many versions/translations/editions of the bible, proverbs like "Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the ways of righteousness." can be found. Even Bobby BlackHat's a believer. As he tells it......
"This Grey Beard" I've earned throughout my life;
oh the stories it can tell, happiness, joy, pain and strife.
This grey beard, this grey beard, this grey beard of mine."
Everything about this song is absolutely beautiful: the heartwarming and sometimes humorous lyrics; Bobby's sincere and heartfelt vocals; and Larry and Tom's fabulous acoustic guitar duet. Excellent performance and production.

I've seen and heard Bobby perform "Put On Your Red Shoes" many, many times and each and every one of those times, the excitement those red shoes create has always been evident in Bobby's voice. That said, on the verse that Lucius is featured on, he takes the excitement to a whole other level. Damn guys, I gotta get the Blewzzlady a pair of them red shoes.

Admittedly - yet not necessarily proud - it's been a while since I've been to a Sunday mass. With that said, during all the years that I was a church goer, I don’t ever remember a harmonica being a part of the choir. This instrumental rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is now making me wonder why. With a delicate and heavenly rhythm and acoustic guitar performance in the background, Bobby takes us to church with what is by far the most hymnal like performance these ears have ever heard from a harmonica player. Bobby, take a bow my friend.

Waking up in the morning and seeing the "Grim Reaper" looking down at you is not a good sign. Inasmuch as the story being told here is heavyhearted, it's presentation is applaudable. Bobby's voice and singing style are so suited for these type of songs and he flat out nails it on this one. Additionally, the eerie rhythm created a perfectly bleak and sinister mood and the chilling harp and guitar leads totally gave this track it's life.....or should I say death?

I just love it when I hear an album from a harmonica player that features a song from one of my all-time favorite harmonica players - Jimmy Reed. On "You Got Me Running", Bobby not only does justice to the harp leads but he's also killing with his up-tempo vocals. The track also features an outstanding organ performance from Cal and a guitar standout that is some of Tom's best work.

So earlier in this review I said something to the affect that I was 100% sure that the particular song I was discussing was mythical. Now I'm telling you that I'm 100% sure that this song is about a true life experience. On what I feel has become Bobby's anthem, I do believe him when he says "'I Hear Mama's Voice', she talks to me every day. Although mama's dead and gone she still has a lot to say." Of course it's symbolical, but it's a testament to the inspirational woman she was and the righteous characteristics she instilled in her son. Musically, it's as captivating as it is vocally and lyrically. Good job everyone and you too Mama BlackHat.

Other tracks on another stellar release by Bobby BlackHat include: "Overdose Of The Blues".....(which we all no there is no such thing), "Baby Mama Drama Blues," "May I Have This Dance?" "Back To Cleveland" and "When I Cry It's Ugly."

For more about my dear friend Bobby BlackHat - and to get a copy of "Put On Your Red Shoes" - just go to Of course, he'll know the Blewzzman sent you but tell him anyway. Thanks. -










Bobby "BlackHat" Walters, recording artist, harmonica player, vocalist,  songwriter, comedian, and actor hails from Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Newport News, VA.  He has been playing harp for over 40 years.  Bobby is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander with 27 years of distinguished service which included serving as Military Aide to President Clinton and being awarded the Coast Guard Medal for Heroism.  

Bobby has had the honor of opening for Blues Legends B.B King, Taj Mahal, and Steady Rollin Bob Margolin.  Bobby has performed with Eddie Shaw, Ruthie Foster, Kenny Neal, Jackie Scott, Tas Cru, Jason Ricci, Slam Allen, Fernando Jones, and Memphis Gold.

  • 2019, VEER Music Award for “Best Blues”
  • 2017, Winner USAA/We Are The Mighty Mission:Music nationwide competition
  • 2016, International Blues Challenge Finalist
  • 2016, VEER Music Awards for "Best Blues" and "Song of the Year" (HRBT Blues)
  • 2015, Blewzzy Award for "Song of the Year" (Please Mr. BlackHat ) 
  • 2012, Blewzzy Award for "Song of the Year" (I Hear Mama's Voice)

Bobby BlackHat brings together the finest blues musicians in Hampton Roads to perform original, contemporary, and classic blues that will keep your toes tappin', fingers poppin', and hips shakin' all night long.  You Never Know What's Gonna Happen at a Bobby BlackHat Show!

Band Members