Band: Chris Walker Band
Members: Chris Walker (vocals, guitar); Ramon Crespo (bass); Sam Farmer (drums)
Base of operation: Lakeland
When formed: 2009
Style/genre of music: Eclectic blues rock
Bio: Chris Walker formed his own band (Chris Walker Band) and performed at Sarasota-area nightclubs when he was 13 years old, having acquired a guitar at age 12.
That’s also when he began writing and recording his own music.
Since then, Walker amassed a 70-song library, attaining sponsorship by Player Built Guitars, collaborating and touring with multiple ensembles (including a 13-piece show band) and continually resurrecting the CWB in various formations.
While attending USF in Tampa a few years ago, Walker found that his bookings frequently emanated from Lakeland — even after he returned to Englewood — so he relocated there permanently last May.
Once situated, he formed the latest version of CWB with Crespo and Farmer, whom he describes as being so talented he can debut a song they’ve never heard — live — and, in his words, “it's never been a train wreck yet.”
Walker believes music “should be experienced in a new way” at each performance, manifesting that at CWB performances by transforming songs from the recorded versions, jam-band-style.
Shortly after they got together, CWB recorded nine songs plus an intro track (all composed/produced by Walker) onto its self-titled debut CD, revealed late last month.
Highlights include a dedication to war veterans in “Can You Hear Me,” and a tribute to Orlando musician Ralph Ameduri (“Ralphsong”), who was slain in September outside a Winter Haven bar while taking a break from his set (CWB opened for his band that night).
The hometown CD release party is Friday, March 9 (see below).
Quote: “We are eclectic because of our influences (from Hendrix to Coltrane). I've heard rock, blues, jazz, ‘virtuoso guitar awesomeness,’ even reggae used to describe our sound. I like to call it Florida music myself. "
Where to see: The third annual PODS Englewood Music Festival (Paul Morris Park, 1401 S. River Road, 473-0231), 6:30 p.m. Friday (March 9). The two-day festival benefiting the Englewood Youth Foundation also features locals Tuk’r Hill, Tayzer and Seek The Reason, among others. Friday: 3-10 p.m.; Saturday (March 10): 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; $15 daily, or $20 for a weekend pass ($5 for students under age 20, free for children under age five); $5 parking.
Where to buy music: Website and at shows ($15)
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