“The Rectifiers draw material from the Chicago masters but also look to the early melding of gospel, rock-a-billy, blues, and country that can be found in the early Sun and Excello recordings. The personnel behind Jay’s harp varies, but the lineup is guaranteed to be top notch.”
Minnesota Blues Society webpage article
Jay Walter Wilkins has been fronting some kind of roots/blues band around the Twin Cities for close to 30 years. He started off in 1989 when he got laid off from his day job, and a friend was playing in the house band at the old Blues Saloon jam. Jay became a regular there as well as a frequent participant in RJ Mischo’s jam at The Whiskey Junction. His first bands could be described as blues rock outfits. Like many roots/blues guys, he kept digging deeper into the original stuff, and eventually wanted to hook up with a more traditional and harp centric blues band.
In 2000 he was fortunate enough to be asked to front a band made up of Jeff Hester (guitar), Jack Taylor (bass), and Dave Larson (drums). These guys are all seasoned veterans of the Twin Cities blues scene and at one time or another had been in one of RJ’s bands – among others. Jack was leading a house jam band at the time under the name “The Blues Kings,” so they settled on that for their moniker.
“The Blues Kings” released two self-produced records. The first was simply called “Blues Kings”, and the second titled “Keep on Rollin’.” “Keep on Rollin'” included four original songs and was recorded at Jeremy Johnson’s studio. Jeremy also contributed drums and guitar on a couple songs while Phil Schmidt helped out on second guitar throughout the recording. Both of these excellent musicians are members of George Jackson’s band and play with touring musicians who come through town.
In the fall of 2007, “The Blues Kings” disbanded after a pretty good run. Jay then decided to put another band together under his own name, hence – “Jay Walter and The Rectifiers.” In 2010 his day job became significantly more time consuming and the band began gigging very sporadically, in fact, basically not at all the last few years except for a few private parties. That situation changed however, when in September 2016 Jay was able to retire from his day job and put a band back together. After using a rotating cast of characters for a few months, he has solidified the line-up with old Blues Kings bandmates Hester and Taylor, as well as Marty Bryduck on drums. Marty is also a veteran of the TC scene and has played with many of the top blues/R-n-B bands over the years.
So, “Jay Walter and The Rectifiers” are back gigging regularly in the Twin Cities and beyond. Come on out and see the band sometime!
“The personnel behind Jay’s harp varies, but the lineup is guaranteed to be top notch.”
These are folks I’ve shared a stage or studio with:
Alex “Crankshaft” Larson
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