JPR Live Session: Seth Walker
“Sometimes you have to remind yourself why you started something in the first place,” muses Seth Walker. On his stellar new album, Gotta Get Back, he does precisely that, excavating the roots of his love affair with music and reuniting with the family that helped spark the fire all those years ago. The record is as remarkable as the story behind it, which stretches from Walker’s childhood living on a commune in North Carolina to stints in Austin, Nashville, New York and New Orleans.
Produced by The Wood Brothers’ drummer and keyboardist Jano Rix, Gotta Get Back is the ninth release in Walker’s extensive catalog, which has garnered critical acclaim around the world for nearly two decades. NPR hailed his “hard-driving” songs and “sweet tenor,” while the Washington Post praised his “soulful croon,” and the Wall Street Journal fell for his “tasty mix of blues and R&B.” He cracked the Top 20 on the Americana Chart and toured the world countless times over, from festival stages to dates with The Mavericks, The Wood Brothers, Raul Malo, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster, among others.
When it came time to record Gotta Get Back, though, Walker was caught up in the elusive dance with the muse, fatigue of the road, and the slippery slope & inevitable collision of art and business. In search of inspiration and rejuvenation, he turned to the people that taught him the joys of making music in the first place: his family. Facing doubt and uncertain of his next steps, Walker was able to dig deep and find his way by reconnecting with the place in which he grew up with the loved ones who ultimately set him on his life’s path.