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9 Questions With Jerry Jeff Walker


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Eagle Staff Writer

Country music icon Jerry Jeff Walker loves the Lone Star State. He has called Austin home since 1971 and helped revive Luckenbach -- recording his best-selling album to date, Viva Terlingua, in the town's old dance hall. But he isn't a native.

The 66-year-old songwriter, who will travel to downtown Bryan on Saturday to headline the city's Texas Reds festival, originally hailed from New York. He recorded his first few albums there but headed south after finding the Greenwich Village scene didn't quite fit. In Luckenbach, he eventually found a scene and a band that would allow him to play his music, his way.

Before Walker's move to Texas, his most successful release had been Mr. Bojangles -- a song that wouldn't peak until the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's remake hit shelves a few years later. (It also would become a hit for Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond.) However, with the release of Viva Terlingua in 1973, Walker became known as a pioneer for progressive country music.

Since that album, which went gold, Walker has released more than two dozen other offerings, some new and some consolidations of older releases. Through his four-decade career, he has published an autobiography, Gypsy Songman, and experimented with other genres such as jazz and pop.

Nowadays, Walker caters mainly to steadfast fans through his web site, www.jerryjeff.com, and his own label, Tried and True Music. He recently spoke with Spotlight.

To read the interview click here.

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