Episode 43: Riding the Edge with Walter Strauss

In this episode, Taraleigh and Dr. Leah talk with guitarist Walter Strauss about how he rides the edge in making music and life in general. Listeners get a music lesson as he breaks down concepts of groove, melody, rhythm, and harmony for all to understand with guitar accompaniment for experiential learning. The three discuss spontaneity and generosity in improv and live music and what it’s like for everyone to be riding that edge together. Walter talks about his upcoming solo album For Melody Wherever She May Find Me and his musical collaborations all over the world. For the “Did you Know,” Dr. Leah shares how live music can relate to attachment theory and Taraleigh encourages listeners to be inspired by their favorite musicians to repair relational breaks in the “Daily Jam.”


Walter Strauss is an innovative guitarist known for his richly textured and syncopated playing, as well as his international collaborations. A composer and songwriter in diverse genres, he also translates music from other instruments to the guitar, resulting in mind-bending guitar renditions of the music of the West African kora that legendary kora player Toumani Diabate calls “inspirational,” as well as music of other far-flung instruments of the world. 

Walter’s current solo release (out April 20) “For Melody, Wherever She May Find Me” is a guitar exploration of beautiful global song melodies and originals – from a Malian balafon melody to a Stevie Wonder song and a Shetland fiddle tune. He continues his collaborations – Mamajowali, with Wassoulou hunter’s harp player Mamadou Sidibe and American multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven, Fula Brothers with Mamadou Sidibe, and FulaMuse, the combined band of Fula Brothers and west coast songbirds MaMuse.

Walter has composed music for film, including the Ken Burns / Artemis Joukowsky documentary “Defying the Nazis”, and the “Re-evolution: The Cuban Dream” series on PBS. He has also produced and engineered records for artists like MaMuse and former Waybacks frontman Stevie Coyle.

Walter’s Bay Area CD release show is coming up at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on April 20.

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