Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Seth Walker!
“My whole family was very musically and artistically inclined, and it goes back generations” explains Walker. “My grandfather was in the Navy band and served in WWII aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier in the South Pacific. He later became a band and choir director, and got my father into music, who now teaches cello and Irish fiddle. My mother also came from an amazingly broad minded, forward-thinking family that encouraged the arts and and she became a violinist and talented artist. A sense of expression was coming from all sides”
From an early age, Walker and his sister trained on cello and violin, but they were exposed to a wide variety of musical influences living communally with another family.
“There were nine of us living in this log house together,” says Walker, “and the father of the other family that we lived with loved Texas country music such as Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Guy Clark. The honesty of that music unknowingly left a real mark on me.”
One of Walker’s uncles is an accomplished jazz bassist who hosted a blues radio show in Jacksonville, Florida. Each week he would faithfully send the young budding musician cassette tapes of the broadcasts, exposing him to legends T-Bone Walker, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Son House, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, to mention a few. Another uncle is an incredible luthier with Moriah Guitarworks, and Walker recruited him to build a custom acoustic guitar for him.
“I lived in Austin for 15 years, and as I got more into songwriting, I was led me to music hub of Nashville. But ultimately, the raw, inspired, blues and jazz of the southland called me to New Orleans,” explains Walker. “The city is just so perfectly crooked. It’s kind of unhinged down there, there’s not much calculation, and that can be a really good thing as an artist to help you get that looseness back. I think I unlearned some things in a good way there.”
“My family always encouraged me, from my childhood, to the early dive bars, to the open mic days (when I’m sure they had their doubts), to where the journey has taken me now,” reflects Walker. “They have been the engine and inspiration that drives me to continue this zany beautiful life of music. I think that the communal feeling of making this record with these people takes me back to my early roots in North Carolina. We all gotta take our turn tending to the garden.”
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