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Gene Watson's peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers who were contacted during 2007 were most gracious with their time and words. It is here, within this special part of the Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Bradley Walker, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 14 March 2007.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Bradley Walker who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 14 March 2007.
'When it comes to classic country singers who can still really cut it after so many years, Gene Watson always stands out, to me.
Gene's music and his style is a big influence on my singing'.
Thank you, Bradley Walker, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Bradley Walker...
Bradley Walker had already performed on the Grand Ole Opry, appeared on national television and sung at some of America’s leading bluegrass festivals prior to the release of his highly acclaimed debut album 'Highway Of Dreams' (Rounder Records, 2006).
Bradley Walker's 'Highway Of Dreams' (Rounder Records, 2006) includes Shawn Camp's 'Lost At Sea' (co-written with John Scott Sherrill) and Shawn Camp's 'We Know Where He Is' (co-written with Buddy Cannon).
Bradley Walker was hailed as 'simply one of the greatest young country singers alive'; he belongs to a tradition that includes such outstanding stylists as Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 - Tuesday 28 April 2009), Merle Haggard, Mel Street (Monday 21 October 1935 - Saturday 21 October 1978), Gene Watson, George Jones, Lefty Frizzell (Saturday 31 March 1928 - Saturday 19 July 1975) and Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989).
On 'Highway Of Dreams' (Rounder Records, 2006), Bradley Walker is backed by some of Nashville’s greatest acoustic players, under the direction of producer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Carl Jackson.
Carl Jackson, who has worked with everyone from Emmylou Harris to Glen Campbell and whose resume includes recording sessions with Ricky Skaggs, Jim & Jesse, Garth Brooks and Vince Gill amongst others, reserves extra praise for Bradley Walker, who he considers to be 'a special person, as well as a talent'.
Rounder Records co-founder Ken Irwin also has high praise for Bradley Walker; the fact that he (Bradley) drove alone from his hometown of Athens, Alabama to Nashville for the recording sessions is itself a wonder.
Bradley Walker was born with muscular dystrophy and has been in a wheelchair his entire life. He is, however, as fiercely independent as he is musically gifted. He built his own home in Alabama, designing it for maximum mobility and comfort. Bradley is also completely at ease in his customised van and has been working a day job ever since his high-school graduation, in addition to singing and travelling to festivals regularly.
Bradley Walker's parents, Tom Walker and Sherl Putman, both loved music deeply. The radio played constantly at home and they always had plenty of records around. Tom sometimes sang and Sherl once worked in a record shop.
Bradley Walker was born in 1978 and was singing not long afterward. When he was three years old, Bradley's parents took him to a local Oak Ridge Boys concert. Backstage, the tot sang 'Elvira' to the quartet, beginning a friendship that lasts to this day.
Trips to Nashville were common. When he was ten years old, his family brought him to the Oak Ridge Boys’ fan club party. This time, Bradley sang 'Elvira' with the quartet. The group was so impressed that the following year, in March 1989, he was invited to appear on the national cable show 'Nashville Now' with The Oak Ridge Boys.
Bradley Walker started out playing dance halls not long after he graduated from high school in 1996. It was around this time that he began to gain a deep love of bluegrass music.
Bradley Walker and Ray Edwards formed the Trinity Mountain Boys with brothers Tim, Scotty and Kirk Terry, the nephews of fiddler Gordon Terry; the band debuted at a bluegrass festival staged in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1998. Former Sawyer Brown member Bobby Randall spotted Bradley at a bluegrass festival and asked him to come to Nashville to sing song demos. This was Bradley Walker’s introduction to the recording studio. In 1999, The Trinity Mountain Boys self-produced their album 'Breaking New Ground'.
The Atlanta-based bluegrass group Lost Horizon invited Bradley Walker to become its lead singer in 2001, so he began commuting to Georgia for rehearsals. The group took second place at the SPBGMA convention in Nashville that year and then Lost Horizon was invited to Los Angeles to appear on the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
As a result, Bradley Walker's circle of musical friends widened and he was soon sharing the stage with bands such as IIIrd Tyme Out, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Lonesome River Band.
In 2002, the members of IIIrd Tyme Out invited him to appear with them at the Grand Ole Opry. He sang the Jimmy Martin classic 'Drink Up And Go Home' and drew a standing ovation. Bradley has since been on the Opry several more times as the guest of Alecia Nugent and country music artists such as Vince Gill and Mark Wills.
It was also in 2002 that Bradley Walker went to work at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in northern Alabama, where he took up the position of material analyst there, supporting warehouse inventory and purchasing.
Bradley Walker was honoured in September 2005 when Bluegrass Unlimited magazine published a feature story, headlining him as 'The Next Great Voice of Bluegrass Music'. The Nashville Scene once hailed him as 'the best singer in bluegrass today not yet signed to a record deal'.
Bradley Walker came to many listeners’ attention as a result of the track 'When It Comes Down To Us (It's All U To You)' (written by Carl Jackson), a duet with Alecia Nugent that appeared on Alecia's 'A Little Girl…A Big Four Lane' (Rounder Records, 2006).