Kevin Walker started playing the bass because the guy across the street had one. Kevin was a big Jackson Five fan and always wanted to be in the Jackson Five. When he saw this guy’s bass he just wanted to touch it – see what it felt like to hold the instrument. Once he had the bass in his hands, he told my mom he had to have it, so she bought it for him for $30. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kevin’s family was full of musicians. His mother was a singer and his uncle was a trumpet player. In elementary school he played the flute and saxophone until he picked the bass up around the 7th grade.
Kevin got his big break in high school while in his first band, “The Wiz of Us.” Roy Pope, vice principal of the school, was the brother of the musical director for Wilson Pickett. One day Roy received a call from his brother saying Wilson’s bass player was sick and that they needed a bass player right away. With permission from his mom – Kevin was only 14 – he flew to Texas and did the gig that weekend. From there, he started touring with Wilson Pickett every weekend.
Kevin has performed with Wilson Pickett, Patti LaBelle, Jodeci, Regina Belle, Pieces of a Dream, Najee, Angela Bofill, Tevon Campbell, Aaliyah, Marion Meadows, Justin Timberlake, Prince, Chaka Kahn, Ledisi, Mike Phillips, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, Candy Dulpher, and the list goes on and on.
One of his biggest musical thrills was playing for the first time with Prince at a party after a Madison Square Garden gig. Larry Graham was no where to be found so the drummer and Kevin’s friend, Kirk Johnson, said, “get on the bass and just fill in, cause we’ve got to start now.” Say Kevin, “eventually, Prince turned around and saw me playing the bass and was shocked because he was expecting to see Larry Graham. We ended up jammin and I got to take a solo.”
Kevin’s favorite bass players are Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clark, Marcus Miller, Byron Miller, Jeff Berlin just to name a few. He draws inspiration for his bass playing by listening to a lot of different musical genres.
Kevin plays Brubaker basses custom built for him by Kevin Brubaker through a TecAmp amplifier into Schroeder cabinets and uses a Rockready Ultrastrap.
Welcome on board, Kevin!
Check out Kevin here on his Facebook page.