Doc Walker
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Doc Walker

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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Tens of thousands of miles traveled, hundreds upon hundreds of shows performed, while just as many forgotten meals and even more cups of coffee have been consumed as the lights of a small town give way to the highways that run through the rugged landscape of this vast country.
Like many artists who have come before them, the members of Doc Walker are committed to the uniquely Canadian task of doing whatever it takes to build a devoted audience via delivering their energetic brand of rockin' country to the music lovers of this nation.
The Doc Walker track record as a recording unit is just as impressive as their tenacious touring schedule. The 2001 album Curve not only produced three top ten singles in two short years, the accompanying videos for “Whoever Made Those Rules” and “She Hasn't Always Been That Way”, not to mention the smash summer hit “Rocket Girl” were a some of the most popular entries on CMT playlists for the entire year of 2002.
Whether it's writing new songs in Nashville with proven songwriters or taking another step as a performing entity, frontman Chris Thorsteinson (lead vocals, guitar) and his bandmates Dave Wasyliw (acoustic guitar, vocals), Mark Branconnier (drums, vocals), Blake Manley (bass) and new addition, Murray Pulver (electric guitar, vocals) are to a man excited about what the future holds for Doc Walker, especially with the release of thirteen new songs under the banner Everyone Aboard.
Months after songwriting sessions for Everyone Aboard wrapped, Thorsteinson and Wasyliw continue to rave about the opportunities and the results of being able to collaborate with the likes of Naiose Sheridan, Denny Carr and hitmaker Robert Ellis Orrall as well as how the Music Row writing sojourns continue reap dividends on all fronts. “We’ve been honing in on a Doc Walker sound and the work has been paying off” says Thorsteinson.
The bottom line is that the band members have come up with a slate of tunes that comfortably straddle musical boundaries, and combine influences. It makes for a unique musical personality that appeals to both dyed-in-the-wool country fans and a younger breed who love to shake, rattle and roll.
The content and inspiration behind pieces like “Empty Man”, “Just Drive”, “North Dakota Boy” and the break out single “The Show Is Free” are prime examples of story lines, emotions, and images the singers in Doc Walker can easily relate to and express. It's part of the conviction one hears in Doc Walker performances, whether studio or live. In turn, what had been a steadily growing grassroots following has suddenly taken on the traits of a wildfire.
These days it is commonplace for the members of Doc Walker to look out on a rabid crowd that is singing along to the hits that sparked the success of Curve. Reviews consistently focus on the high-energy delivery of the band and how the audiences and the band feed off each other.
"We have impressive followings in our home province of Manitoba and Alberta. But to continually go to towns we've never visited before and be on the receiving end of an unbelievable response to the music, that's what makes it so gratifying," states Thorsteinson.
The first single from Everyone Aboard, “The Show Is Free” raced up the BDS Country Radio Charts faster than any Canadian release since the chart was established in 1996. “The Show Is Free” was entrenched inside the Top 10 in only four lightning quick weeks. A remarkable feat for sure, illustrating the incredible reaction to a sound that is taking the Canada by storm.
‘"The Show Is Free” is another example of what we were able to accomplish in our sessions with Joel Feeney, who also produced Curve" says the singer who couldn't have been more comfortable in the studio when the tunes were being cut.
Dave Wasyliw, who co-writes the majority of the Doc Walker material with Thorsteinson, raves about Feeney's production ideas, brilliant calls as vocal arranger, and ability to communicate those ideas. The total sum of the musical equation is a unique sound that Wasyliw describes as "Waylon Jennings meets classic rock ala Tom Petty, with a decidedly mid-western twist."
All descriptions and comparison aside, the rise of Doc Walker is another success story straight out of the heart of our nation and one that echoes so many past glories associated with the Manitoba music community. "Perhaps being in the middle of Canada with the pulse of the country on both sides gives music from Manitoba a unique flavour. It’s something when you look at how many great Canadian acts, from The Guess Who to The Crash Test Dummies to Chantel Kreviazuk, come from Manitoba," interjects Thorsteinson.
The Canadian music industry continues to embrace the Doc Walker sound that combines magnetic hooks with instantly identifiable vocal treatments. With a 2003 Juno nomination for Best Country Recording under their belt, the band has now received
five CCMA nominations including Group of The Year and Single of The Year for “R