Darren Walters and the Hott Band
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Darren Walters and the Hott Band

Band Country Comedy


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"A Day In The Life"

Darren Walters plunks himself into a big wooden rocking chair and peers out over the grassy hills that roll across the family farm. A warm, mid-summer sunset sparkles golden on the nearby pond, where a lone swan paddles in unhurried circles. “Beautiful night,” Darren says, rocking slowly in the chair. It’s a beautiful night for Darren in a lot of ways, beyond just the serenity of the rural sunset.

It’s a beautiful night because Darren is taking another step toward a long-held dream, and he’s doing it with the full love and support of his closest allies — his family.
For his entire life, Darren has been the musical anchor of the Walters Family Band, a dizzylingly talented clan that has been wowing audiences with their country and western shows for the past three decades.

Since 2000, the family has performed daily shows to ever-growing audiences in their dinner theatre — a converted 180-year-old barn on their property in Bright, Ontario.
And now, after playing thousands of shows with his parents and siblings, Darren is stepping out of his familial “comfort zone” to embark on a new musical journey.

“There was always an urge to step out on my own,” he says.
He glances behind him at the barn theatre for a moment, then stares straight ahead, down the long driveway that carves the property. He’s waiting for his new band-mates to arrive for rehearsal. He can hardly wait.

“I’ve always wanted to get a bunch of really talented friends together and hammer out some great tunes,” he says, “and it’s finally happening.”
It’s not that Darren has grown weary of playing the dinner theatre shows with his family. Quite the opposite, actually. They performed a matinee to a packed house earlier this day and it was “a total blast,” he says.

The Walters clan — Darren’s parents Garry and Shirley, and siblings Bradley and Kimberly — are a tight-knit bunch, which comes across onstage. Fans come by the busload to behold a talented family whose genuine love for one another emanates from the stage.

“Things have been gangbusters with the family shows,” Darren says. “We’re playing every day this month and tickets are selling like crazy.”
But there has always been a creative urge within Darren that has gone unquenched. The family band’s rigorous performance schedule, along with Darren’s studio work as a record producer, leaves him precious little time to pursue much else.
He’s a multi-instrumentalist — 10 at last count, including guitar, bass, mandolin and his trademark fiddle, which he learned on his grandfather’s lap at age four — and he has broad musical tastes.

Though he and the family are best known for playing country music, Darren’s interests span rock, bluegrass, boogie-woogie, folk and more.
He has always wanted a side-project that is uniquely his own, in which he literally won’t have to play second fiddle to anyone.
That’s why he has assembled a crew of his favourite musicians to form The Hott Band, a six-piece outfit that jumps genres during an energetic live show conceived and arranged by Darren.

The show, dubbed the Orange Blossom Special, premiered during a week-long run at the Walters’ barn theatre last summer — with a return engagement at the venue starting Sept. 8. Darren is now in the midst of booking theatre gigs around North America, and he’s confident that word of mouth with serve the band well. “There is something about this band that is very special,” he says.

A moment later, Darren spots a car rolling up the laneway and waves to its driver, steel-guitarist Doug Johnson. Johnson waves back, gets out of the car and wanders across the dewy grass to the pond, soaking up the beauty of the property in the fading sunlight.
One by one, the rest of the band members drive up to the barn — guitarist Jeremy Williams, drummer Gord Stevenson, bassist Ian Tanner and keyboardist Mark Willms. In no time at all, they’re cracking jokes and laughing hysterically.“This is the funniest bunch of guys I’ve ever met,” Darren says, “and that comes across in the show.

Shortly past 8 p.m., as the sun wanes low over the cornfields, Darren and the boys head into the barn to rehearse the show. They begin with an instrumental celtic song, followed by a raucous rendition of Cotton Eye Joe.
After the final note of that song is played, drummer Gord Stevenson shouts: “Oh my god, we are good!”He’s joking, but he’s also right.

Darren’s parents have been standing at the back of the theatre, watching and toe-tapping along with the music. They’re clearly proud of their son for following his dream of creating a solo show. And they know he’ll always stay loyal to the family band, no matter what other projects he pursues.

As the band tears into their next song, Darren’s mother dims the house lights in the theatre to create a more concert-like atmosphere.
While playing the fiddle, Darren nods in gratitude and gives his mother a wink as she heads for the door. The rehearsal will likely continue well into the night, so Shirley waves goodnight.

Jamming with his friends, yet still surrounded and supported by his family — this is Darren’s dream gig.
And he’s just getting warmed up.

- The Record

"Live Review"

"It's difficult, as a musician, to go and see a show without being maybe slightly critical about the band and their performance. What a treat it was then to see Darren Walters "Orange Blossom Special". I was completely blown away!
After the first song I realized this was one of the tightest bands I've ever seen. There was a little something for everyone in this show, and the band clearly looked like they were having the time of their lives. Darren's fingers flew over that fiddle's neck with incredible speed and precision...and his obviously competent back-up band had no problem keeping up with him. After the last note, the entire audience jumped to their feet giving these guys more than one well deserved standing ovation. Bravo!!"

- Jim Witter, The Piano Men


Darren Walters Traditionals

1 Orange Blossom Special
2 Yellow Rose Of Texas
3 Faded Love
4 I Love You Because
5 Diggy Liggy Low
6 Crazy Arms
7 Red River Valley
8 Sugar Foot Rag
9 Home On The Range
10 Singing the Blues
11 Amazing Grace



Darren started playing the fiddle at the age of four and has not looked back since. Not only a talented fiddle player, Darren is known for performing ten different instruments. He has made music his life. Darren's career started and is still going strong with his family's band, The Walters Family.

The Walters Family career began many years ago when the three young Walters children were playing instruments and singing together as "The Walters Family Trio". It all started with their Grandpa George, a fiddler, who played songs to the three siblings as young children. This greatly inspired them to learn instruments of their own, which in turn led to the onset of their musical career. Since then, they have never looked back. With the demand of bigger bookings, it didn't take long before Mom and Dad quickly learned the bass and drums to complete the family band.

The Walters Family have made music their life as they've toured the world performing on cruise ships, in concert halls, theatres and for corporate events. They've also enjoyed success as television and recording artists with many of their own television specials broadcast Canada-wide.

Eight years ago, yet another dream was fulfilled as The Walters opened their own theatre located at their family farm. Thousands of visitors come each year to share in this musical endeavor. (www.walterstheatre.com)

Now after performing with his family and many years performing with acts like Jason McCoy, George Fox, Rita McNeil, Shania Twain and others, Darren has decided to start work on his own project Darren Walters and the Hott Band. He has developed a new show called "The Orange Blossom Special" and started performances in 2007...

A Darren Walters and the Hott Band concert is so much more than just a concert or show; it is an entertainment experience. Darren and his multi-talented All-Star band will take you on an instrumental musical journey through many years of great music. You will be enticed by country music, bluegrass, western swing, celtic, gospel, broadway, classic rock and the greatest version of The Orange Blossom special that you've ever heard! If you love great pickin, a wide variety of music, and a wild sense of humor, you'll love Darren's show! Sit back, relax and embrace yourself in a truly entertaining experience like no other.