Jerry Jeff Walker

What do Hunter S. Thompson, Jimmy Buffet and the president of the United States have in common?  They are all Jerry Jeff Walker fans.

Jerry Jeff Walker has carved out an enviable career over the past three decades, creating great songs without ever compromising his music to suit the whims of the music industry.  Walker blew out of Oneonta, NY as a teenager in the early 1960s, with a Stella guitar on his back , a tattered copy of Dylan Thomas' Welsh Mysticism in his hip pocket and an eye that wandered restlessly to the skyline.  In 1971, the vagabond singer set up shop in Austin, Texas, and he continues to reside in the Lone Star State to this day.

By that time, Jerry Jeff had already established a national reputation as a performer with a deft lyrical touch and a way with the folks out there in the dark.  One night in 1968, a Manhattan disc jockey spun a new song called Mr. Bojangles.  It's composer heard the broadcast, and soon Jerry Jeff was in the studio, discoursing on the song he hadn't written, so much as lived - a wastrel's tale of a wino and his dog.  He could not know then that the song would go on to become a benchmark of American popular music.

The records began to come in 1967, first with a short-lived psychedelic folk/rock group called Circus Maximus, and then under his own moniker.  The early albums like Driftin' Way of Life and Bein' Free were collections of road songs and picturesque love songs; sometimes it was hard to tell the two apart.  But his first self-titled album for MCA Records marked a distinct departure in the way Walker chose to conduct his career.

Using indigenous Austin sidemen, and some right coast immigrants, and recorded mostly in a primitive downtown Austin studio, the 1972 album, which contained songs like L.A. Freeway and Charlie Dunn, was Jerry Jeff's musical declaration of independence.  In Austin, he found a creative community that let him mix folk, rock, country and anything else that caught his ear.  Along with fellow Austinites like Willie Nelson, Asleep At The Wheel and Michael Martin Murphy, he became one of the arbiters of the progressive country movement of the mid-1970s.

In 1986 Walker formed an independent record label called Tried & True Music, with wife and manager Susan Walker serving as president, manager and booking agent.  Their first effort, Gypsy Songman, was recorded largely in Walker's den, and reprised songs from across the entire breadth of his career.  The resulting album was acquired for international distribution and released on CD by the Rykodisc label in 1987.  The Tried & True Music/Rykodisc partnership continues to this day.

Through it all, Jerry Jeff continued to tour and play.  Jerry Jeff's Birthday Weekend celebration in Austin each March has become a fixture on the calendars of his fans across the country, and in 1993, he added a week's worth of performances in Belize to his annual itinerary; he dreams someday of being able to walk out of his back door barefooted and play for whoever happens to be on the beach.

Jerry Jeff continues to be an uncompromising troubadour who has never let the music industry entrap him.  His music - elastic, unqualifable, uniquely emphatic, has retained the power to touch two generations of listeners.


James Keelaghan Heading West in April (March 19, 2017)

Goitse Western Dates in March (February 22, 2017)

Quartette has Two Northern Ontario Shows in February (February 15, 2017)

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin Part of Official State Visit to the Kingdom of Sweden (February 13, 2017)

Two Major Award Nominations for Ten Strings And A Goat Skin (February 11, 2017)

Three New Central and Western Canada Tours from JMI! (January 25, 2017)

Quartette Christmas to Tour Atlantic Canada in 2017 (January 23, 2017)

Ray Bonneville to Tour Central and Western Canada in 2018 (December 20, 2016)

Triple Grammy Award Nominee Claire Lynch to Tour Central Canada Next Fall (December 14, 2016)

Grammy Nomination for JMI's Claire Lynch (December 6, 2016)

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin Awarded Album of The Year With Penguin Eggs Magazine (December 5, 2016)

Quartette Christmas Set to Tour Ontario and Western Canada (October 30, 2016)

Coig Christmas to Tour the Maritimes (October 22, 2016)

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin Headed West in November (October 15, 2016)

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin – Flying On Top Of The World (October 14, 2016)

JMI Signs Denmark's Jonah Blacksmith (October 3, 2016)

James Keelaghan in Alberta & BC in October (September 25, 2016)

Guy Davis Returns to Western Canada in October (September 24, 2016)

Black Umfolosi to Tour Canada in February 2018 (September 24, 2016)

Three Fantastic New Tours! (August 26, 2016)

Strawbs to Tour Central and Eastern Canada in the Fall (August 15, 2016)

Black Umfolosi Coming to Alberta and BC (July 22, 2016)

Young'uns Are Headed to Canada (July 13, 2016)

CBC's Tom Power Picks Moulettes as Best Act at Winnipeg Folk Festival (July 12, 2016)

Vishtèn has Busy Summer in Canada and America (July 9, 2016)

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin’s New Video Pays Homage to the Worker (July 9, 2016)

Skipper's Alley to Make Canadian Debut (June 28, 2016)

Claire Lynch En Route to the Maritimes (June 22, 2016)

Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin Cover Sylvia Tyson (June 22, 2016

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin Have Busy Summer (June 22, 2016)

The British Are Coming! (June 22, 2016)

Còig to Spend most of July in Ontario (June 13, 2016)

Award Winning Music Executive Bernie Finkelstein Joins Tablerock Media Board of Directors (June 9, 2016)

Oysterband Coming to Canada in July (June 9, 2016)

Dublin's Irish Music Magazine Gives High Praise to Goitse (June 7, 2016)

Moulettes to Tour Canada in June (June 6, 2016)

Celtic Guitar Hero Tony McManus to tour Western Canada in October, 2017 (May 18, 2016)

Vishtèn to Tour Atlantic Canada in 2018 (May 2, 2016)

See News page for more JMI news.