Jerry Jeff Walker

YouTubeFacebookTwitter

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.

JMI HEADLINES:

Quartette Christmas Touring Across Southern Ontario (December 2, 2019)

JMI Signs Chicago Blues Legend, Jerry Portnoy (November 22, 2019)

Jake Morley and Braden Gates touring Alberta in November (November 15, 2019)

The Young’Uns to Tour Western Canada in October and November (October 24, 2019)

Martin Simpson Touring Canada in October (September 30, 2019)

Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers Canadian Dates Announced (June 26, 2019)

Lennie Gallant Receives Two Major Awards at ECMA (May 9, 2019)

Calan Win Best Band in BBC Wales Inaugural Folk Awards (April 25, 2019)

Minor Empire - Sonic Colliders Concert Series in 2020 and 2021 (April 11, 2019)

Lennie Gallant Heading to Ontario (March 31, 2019)

New York City Blues Icon Coming to the Maritimes (March 31, 2019)

Lennie Gallant visitera les marchés québécois et francophones en Ontario (March 26, 2019)

JMI Artists showcasing at Folk Alliance (February 11, 2019)

JMI Announces Exclusive Canadian Representation for Lennie Gallant (February 10, 2019)

Announcing Gumbo, Grits & Gravy (January 30, 2019)

Bay City Rollers to Tour Canada in March, 2020! (January 29, 2019)

Christmas Day on Planet Earth (December 2, 2018)

Quartette Christmas to Tour Alberta (October 29, 2018)

New Signings From JMI (September 20, 2018)

Ray Bonneville Displays His Blues & Americana Roots on New CD (September 18, 2018)

Young'Uns to Tour Maritimes and Central Canada in October (September 11, 2018)

Oysters3 Touring in October and November (September 11, 2018)

Claire Lynch Western Tour Starting in September (September 11, 2018)

Guy Davis touring Western Canada with Fabrizio Poggi in October (August 28, 2018)

Electric Strawbs Final Canadian Tour set for October (August 28, 2018)

Quartette to Tour Atlantic Canada in 2019 (August 3, 2018)

Black Umfolosi Back to Canada this August (July 23, 2018)

The Young'Uns Give Two Free Shows in Toronto in July (July 16, 2018)

James Keelaghan's Summer Festivals (July 9, 2018)

Guy Davis on the Road, Summer of 2018 (July 9, 2018)

Calan to play Hugh's Room, Summerfolk (July 9, 2018)

Martin Simpson Returns to Canada (July 2, 2018)

JMI Signs The Gift (May 20, 2018)

Tony McManus Headed West in May (May 10, 2018)

Peterborough Show Rescheduled for Keelaghan-McManus Double Bill (May 1, 2018)

James Keelaghan and Jez Lowe to Tour North America in the Fall (April 12, 2018)

And Best Album Goes to... The Young'Uns! (April 9, 2018)

JMI Signs Folk Legend, Peggy Seeger (March 23, 2018)

Ray Bonneville to Perform Western and Ontario Dates in March (February 20, 2018)

Black Umfolosi to Embark on North American Tour in February (January 27, 2018)

Australia's Shane Howard to Perform Western and Northern Dates (January 11, 2018)

See News page for more JMI news.