Don Walker
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Don Walker


Band Country Blues


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He can paint a picture, Don Walker, better than any other contemporary songsmith. As the evening progresses, the memories come flooding back, from Cold Chisel’s Merry Go Round, to the sublime double bass skip on Johnny’s Gone (from the second Catfish album) and even a ‘cover’ of Tex, Don and Charlie’s Harry Was A Bad Bugger. And during that particular lyric of yet another ne’er-do-well, Rivers quietens his guitar to almost nothing, Walker commands the stage as the tale unfolds and the truly admiring Manchester Lane patrons are simply spellbound.
- Inpress Magazine – 19th July 2006

If Don Walker’s music was a painting, it would have a prominent place in the National Gallery of Australia. Such is the songwriter’s ability to bleed the color out of our vast brown land and bring his laconic lyrics to life.

- Canberra Times – July 2006

Walker may not have the silky vocals of Perkins, but he is best at telling his own tales of love, loners and losers, bouncers, coppers, townies and female faces with “The bones of an Egyptian dynasty”. Walker’s empathy with and insight into the Australian character make him our equivalent of Tom Waits.

- The Age – 28th July 2006

Don Walker sings songs that draw their blood and guts from this wide brown land as vividly as any singer ever has. Most of his songs are set in regional towns and the spaces between.

They’re about good people, often with bad troubles and long, scarred memories that wander and fester between former wives and dead mates and the inevitable larger questions that settle in their wake.

In between the illicit drag racing thrill of his Cold Chisel rocker “Yakuza Girls” and the baleful piano blues of “At The Piccolo Bar”, chances are you know some of the people Don Walker means.

- Studio 5 Live – 13th July 2006

You can imagine these songs lived in rural towns, or told looking down into an empty glass on a country pub bar. Together the voice and the songs become a powerful iconic union for intelligent insightful emotion charged reflections. Every song is a little movie, and whether Don speaks it (as in No Reason) or sings it, he’s the perfect narrator.
- Howlspace – 4th August 2006


"Cutting Back" (2006)
"All Is Forgiven" (2005) (Tex, Don & Charlie)
"We're All Gunna Die" (1995)
"Monday Morning Coming Down" (1995) (Tex, Don and Charlie)
"Sad But True" (1993) (Tex, Don and Charlie)
"Unlimited Address" (1988) (Catfish)
"Ruby" (1991) (Catfish)
"Freedom Soundtrack" (1981)




Don Walker was born in Ayr, North Queensland, in 1951.

As a member of and main songwriter for Cold Chisel between 1973 and 1983 he wrote "Saturday Night", "Cheap Wine", "Standing on the Outside", "Four Walls", "Khe Sahn" along with many others, and co-wrote "Flame Trees". He also wrote and produced the soundtrack for the Scott Hicks movie "Freedom" in 1981, featuring most of Cold Chisel and then unknown INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

In 1989, after a break from music spent traveling, he released "Unlimited Address", a set of songs under the band name Catfish, recorded with producer/guitar player Peter Walker and harmonica player David Blight. As a touring band Catfish also included guitar player Charlie Owen, whom he had met through Louis Tillet.

In 1991 the second Catfish album, "Ruby", was released, recorded with James Brown's rhythm section of drummer Tony Cook and guitar player Ron Laster. The songs were more Australian in content. Slim Dusty had a hit with his version of "Charleville", which he then invited Don to re-record as a duet.

In 1993 the Tex, Don and Charlie album, "Sad But True" was released in Australia and Europe. A collaboration with Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen, "Sad But True" showed the first results of the songwriting Walker had been doing in Nashville the previous two years. Tex, Don and Charlie toured, recording and releasing the live album "Monday Morning Coming Down".

In 1994 Don Walker recorded his first solo album "We're All Gunna Die" over four days at Electric Avenue Studios in Sydney, with a touring band featuring David Blight and Red Rivers on guitar. Released in 1995, it was reviewed as "a masterpiece" and "possibly the best Australian album released in years".

That same year Origin Records re-released the Freedom soundtrack.

In 1998 Cold Chisel released their first studio album for fifteen years entitled "The Last Wave of Summer", which entered the national charts in the top spot, and followed it up with a 22 date national tour.

Over the years Don has occasionally written songs for other people. In 2000 he wrote the title song for Slim Dusty’s hundredth album "Looking Forward, Looking Back".

In 2005 Don, Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen recorded and released the widely acclaimed “All Is Forgiven”, their first album together for twelve years, and completed a sold- out tour to showcase that album. In 2006 “All Is Forgiven” was nominated for the inaugural Australian Music Prize.

In July 2006 Don’s second solo album, “Cutting Back”, was released by Warners, and he has been touring live with the Suave Fucks, featuring Red Rivers on guitar.