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Chickin' Pickin' with Robbie Walden—Live on High Plains Morning

Thanks to Robbie Walden (of The Robbie Walden Band) for playing us a few songs on air today on High Plains Morning. He promised to stop and play a show next time he’s on the High Plains, but if you want to find out more about his music, check him out on his website or Facebook. Click below to hear the interview and live, in-studio performance.

The Robbie Walden Band is:

Robbie Walden (vocals, baritone guitar)

Gabe Burdett (drums, backing vocals)

John Coker (lead guitar, backing vocals)

Dan Tyack (pedal steel)

Blake Flemming (bass)

Horns:  Diego Ruiz (sax, trumpet), Austin Long (sax), Jacob Herring (trombone) and Colby Sander (utility player)

MORE ABOUT THE ROBBIE WALDEN BAND: When the Rooster Crows is the Robbie Walden Band’s 3rd full length album release that will signal the sunrise on February 2019. Over the years speculations have been made about the band’s strong similarities to Texas/Red Dirt music, something Robbie himself considers a great compliment feeling that Texas leads the charge in the indie world; Randy Rogers, Jason Eady, and Jason Boland being among his biggest influences. The recipe of this 5-piece band, however, is four parts Washington and one part Idaho, lives cultivated in the big sky country under the constant influence of the working man. And while their combined mental chemistry is the very definition of the American West, their story driven and harmonic soaked sound is the absolute definition of Americana.

It’s important to understand that a majority of the band members are ex-military, important because that inner code directly translates to their live show experience. The Robbie Walden Band is a bona fide jam band, the kind from days long past when a premeditated stage set just meant the location of where the drums, mic stands and amps would be set down that night.  It’s a place where brand new songs are often tried out for the first time allowing crowds a front row seat to the band’s creative process and to ride shotgun through its completion.  The ultimate trust between the band and the fans allows an organic experience to escalate at each show; everyone all huddled together in the trenches while the sparks fly overhead.  It’s the reason you will find most of their Pacific Northwest shows sold out. It’s also the reason their new album was recorded live at Pacific Studios in Tacoma, Washington. It’s an authentic representation of their most revered feature; full band performances the way albums used to be recorded before the age of dubbing.

When The Rooster Crows heralds another kind of ambience from days long past; a concept album that reads like a memoir of Walden’s life over the last five years. His experiences growing up in Alaska and then Washington, his service in the military, his enduring discipline as an athlete, and a brief stint as a signed recording artist with Sidewalk Records under the Curb umbrella are all the elements that make up his soul’s foundation. And when it comes to his music, it’s all about the writing.  “Country music to me is chicken pickin’ harmonies and stories.  First and foremost it’s about the story. I want people laughing and crying.” A keen storyteller with a stalwart approach to recording, Walden self-produced this album as he did on his previous releases along with Mark Simmons. The result is a true Americana treasure peppered with a pinch of soul. The album sets a bold pace with the opening track “50 Years Too Late,” a statement about who Walden is living in the 21st century with old fashioned values, cloaked in the homespun pride of his upbringing.  From there you get a first class tour through all the sinuous sounds the album has to offer as it meanders through Walden’s personal come-full-circle wisdom.

The bitterness of divorce is a full-bodied taste on “Dark Days” and the chain gang mood of “Chains And Shackles.” At this point you are introduced to one of the most striking characteristics of the album with the addition of horns brought to the forefront adding to the album’s soulful style.  By the time Walden gets to the “self-honesty phase” of his journey, the horns are in full evidence on “Thank God For You” and “I’m To Blame.”  The prominent bass pulse is a tangible pleasure that can be felt under the floor and up through the body, which is the hallmark of this release.  The chickin’ pickin’ muscle never flexes more than on “Take Me Back,” the fast talkin’ plights of the dating scene and all its nitwitted antics. The title track is the new day, the new hope served up with an acoustic feel like the gentle rising of an early morning sun. The rest of the album talks of the purity of newfound love, the nurturing of said love and the souls who covet it.  By the end you are deep in Walden’s perfect world in “Big Sky Country,” the theme of the album, and as a whole, its requisite closure.

Jenny Inzerillo joined HPPR in 2015 as the host of High Plains Morning, our live music program that airs weekdays at 9 am to noon CST. Broadcasting from KJJP in beautiful downtown Amarillo, she helps listeners wake up with inspired music from our region and beyond. Tune in for new voices in folk/Americana, deep cuts from your favorite artists, soulful tracks from singer/songwriters across the world, and toe-tapping classics dating as far back as the 1920s. Plus, discover underground greats that just might be your new favorite band.