It’s easy to say you “love” something, but it’s the route in which that emotion came from that means the most. For singer/songwriter Keith Walker, nothing could be more true. Keith loves country music, which seems odd coming from a guy raised in a picture perfect beach town at the end of the LAX runway. Yet the road in which he got here makes perfect sense.
The sounds of Hank Williams, Dolly Parton and Conway Twitty had always resonated through the walls of Keith’s California childhood home, yet it never quite clicked that it was his calling in life until he saw his brother go through the intense pain of watching his high school girlfriend fall in to a coma after a car accident. Watching someone who he always looked up to experience so much pain and seem so vulnerable led to an eye opening experience, as the one thing that made him feel better, was a song. Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take The Girl” allowed his brother to show the emotion he was never able to find the words to do so himself. “For the first time I saw the power of country music, and how true to life it really is. I was hooked.”
The radio never left the country dial, and with every song he heard, he knew more and more that this was what he was supposed to do with his life. Fast forward a few years, Keith and his guitar made their way to Nashville, and that “love” truly began to develop.
Keith spent his days in class getting his degree at Middle Tennessee State University, but his nights were filled with music… dragging his guitar around town, writing non stop and playing shows anywhere they would let him in so he could hone his energetic “keep em’ on their feet” live show. With every passing gig, every new song in his journal, it became more clear that this is what he was meant to do. Having any other career path would feel forced.
The same mindset goes along with his songwriting. “When I sit down to write a song, I always do my best to make it as real and true to myself as possible.” That honesty and emotion runs throughout Keith’s catalog and sits at the forefront of his debut EP, set to hit digital retailers in March 2013. It’s a snapshot into years of writing and consists of a gambit of emotions for the listener. A trip back to the summer you’ll never forget in “Blue Bandana” and the pain you wish you could in “I Still Do.” Or the song that came out of nowhere on a cross country flight, yet is the most honest depiction of love he’s ever written, “Home to Me.” It’s songs that define Keith Walker, and having the opportunity to finally share those experiences is something he couldn’t be more excited about.
The musical emotional of his debut EP has a little something for everyone. Keith’s vivid imagery, innate story telling ability and passionate delivery can be heard throughout the eight tracks, and can’t be confused with anything other than Music City. Whether it be in the boot stomping, beer drinking sing alongs like “Make a Liar” and “Firewater,” or his ability to relay a feeling that nearly everyone has gone through in “Miles From You” and “What a Broken Heart Can Do,” Keith lives and breathes music. Behind the baseball cap, t-shirt, tattooed sleeve and boots you’ll find a guy who is heavily rooted in the music, and finally being able to share it is the most natural and important step in this journey.
Whether it be in California or Tennessee, the songs, that love, grows the same. It’s thanks to those experiences and memories in both that he is the man, and songwriter, he is today. Come March, here’s hoping you’ll take a listen for yourself.