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After walking away from the violin for 20 years, Dick Walker returned to play music with a passion. "I don’t think I’ve ever been as good as I probably was this morning," he said during an interview after a performance. "And I don’t think I’m as good today as I’m going to be tomorrow." Photo Credit: David Jackson Photography

To book the Dick Walker Trio, to buy his CDs, or to sign up for violin lessons, contact Walker at 830-232-6540, dickwalker5@yahoo.com, www.dickwalkermusic.com.


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Dick Walker:
Play a little longer

by Phil Houseal
Jan 3, 2007

Have you ever been to a funeral that you didn't want to end?

Dick Walker is that good.

The funeral was an intimate service in a small church in Kingsland. After the praying and the remembering, Walker picked up his bow and began playing the violin (accompanied by Tim Porter on acoustic guitar - another incredible musician). The setting, the mood, and the exquisite taste and tone that came from two men playing stringed instruments was mesmerizing. I was reluctant to let the bittersweet moment go.

Now living in Leakey ("...one of the garden spots in Texas - what a fortunate man I was that my wife happened to be raised there"), Walker was born in Denver and raised "surrounded by Baptist preachers and fiddle players."

"I grew up knowing what the fiddle was supposed to sound like," he said. "My family wanted me to be the one who would do it right."

So Walker took lessons from age 7 to 18. Unfortunately, the boy and his father did not see eye to eye, leading the young musician to announce "I wasn't going to play the fiddle anymore, and I never touched it once for 20 years."

But Walker couldn't walk away that easily.

"In 1978, I hung up law enforcement. I was wondering what I was going to do with myself, when music came back into my life," he said. It came back with a passion. He earned a master's degree and did graduate work in violin performance. "Nothing has ever consumed me like playing the violin. It's not that I’m obsessed with it, it just happens to be the one thing in life that I’m damned good at."

By 1989, Walker had moved to Texas permanently. He performs regularly with Geronimo Trevino III, and also teaches, something he has had to acquire a taste for doing.

"When I first started teaching I didn’t like it all," he said. "Being an introvert, I just wanted to stay in my own bubble. I've come to find out that teaching people to play violin is a relationship I build, not only with my students, but also with the people around them."

But with Walker, everything comes back to his relationship to the violin.

"I’ll be 68 this year, and for the first time in my life I’m starting to say I’ll be 70," he said. "I had a really good friend who got to this age long before I did. He said, you know when you get to my age, you are going to need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. For me, that is music."

As the Dick Walker Trio (with Porter and Gary Hatch on upright bass), he has some strong opinions on how a performance should go.

"At the beginning of our concert, I take a few minutes to talk, because when we start playing, I probably won’t say another word," Walker said. "I tell the audience up front there are two things we are going to do. One, I want you to leave here wishing I’d have turned up the sound system. Two, I want you leaving here wishing I’d have stayed longer."

Even if he happens to be playing at a funeral.