Even if you've never met Chris Walker, there's a decent chance you have felt him. And I don't mean that crudely. Chris has been a go-to bass player in town for years now, providing the bottom end for a ridiculous amount of bands, so if you go out to hear live music, you might well have been moved by Chris' sublime bass rumble. The differences in the artists he has performed with are a testament to Chris' elastic versatility and, even more so, to his musical abilities. From Rock and Punk groups in high school to Heavy Weather (the popular local group he founded with his sister, Carole) to The Walker Project (also founded with Carole) to his vital supporting roles in bands as different as Hip Hop/Jazz fusionists IsWhat?!, Roots rockers Big Whiskey, Pop/Rock group The Whitney Barricklow Band, bluesers Conrail Saints, R&B band the Derrick Sanders Soul Expression, Jazz Fusion crew The Naked Redheads ... you get the picture. Chris' reputation for being able to play anything really well is only preceded by the seemingly universal assessment that he's a genuinely warm, caring, lovely soul, devoid of pretentiousness and completely down to earth.
When Chris was seriously injured in a car accident near Indianapolis on Sept. 14 — an accident that tragically claimed the life of his travel partner, Julie Martin, who worked at the local YWCA Battered Women's Shelter — the immediate, stunning shock was followed quickly by action, as fellow artists (whether they knew him or not) lined up to not only offer condolences but also help. Logically, a number of benefit concerts have popped up. This almost familial jump-to-action instinct, a desire to protect and assist peers without thinking twice is what makes it a genuine music "community."
"Friends for Chris Walker" on MySpace (The Seedy Seeds perform with The Sheds for the debut party (taking place in the venue's upstairs Emerald Room), along with guests Drexel (from Dayton), Minor Planets (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Leah D. (Ypsilanti, Mich.). The Sheds plan on returning as a live band in the spring. (myspace.com/theshedsmusic)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen(at)citybeat.com