Saturday, November 15, 2014

Butch Walker at Carnegie Hall

Bradley "Butch" Walker grew up in Cartersville, Georgia, and in the 1980s and 1990s played guitar in Southgang, Floyd's Funk Revival, the Floyds and Marvelous 3 and other rock bands. Walker then launched a solo career in 2002, while singing in 1969 and Butch Walker & the Black Widows. Walker has co-written or co-produced songs for Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Anberlin, Saosin, Avril Lavigne, Tommy Lee, Sevendust, Pete Yorn, the All-American Rejects, The Academy Is..., Never Shout Never, Dashboard Confessional, All Time Low, Katy Perry, and P!nk. In 2007, Walker lost all of his possessions, including the masters to every song he had ever recorded, when the home he was renting from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers burned down in a Southern California wildfire. Walker published an autobiography entitled Drinking with Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt in 2011 and starred in 2012's Out of Focus, a documentary on his life and music. Walker's seventh album, Afraid of Ghosts, produced by Ryan Adams, will be released on February 3, 2015.

Walker has performed on New York stages many times over the years, including shows at the Highline Ballroom and Joe's Pub, but tonight was special in that he was the opening act for Ryan Adams at Carnegie Hall. Performing solo on acoustic guitar, he sang only five songs, but the brief performance was impressive. The opener, "21+," from his forthcoming album, articulated the frustrations of wanting to grow out of a small town life. He closed with "Father's Day," exploring misunderstandings with his father, who passed away last year. Walker sang songs of angst from a wounded place deep within himself, but between songs he was light, personable and humorous. Tonight's singer-songwriter approach served as a revealing insight into a performer who usually rocks a band.

Butch Walker again opens for Ryan Adams both at Carnegie Hall on November 17 and at the Hammerstein Ballroom on November 22 & 23. Visit Walker at www.butchwalker.com.