Melbourne Singer/Songwriter Van Walker has released his first new acoustic song in over 7 years - the instantly classic Happy Dogs.
And with this fantastic new track he has once again created a sound both old and new. Happy Dogs hits your ears with a laconic familiarity that speaks to the heart with an effortless intimacy.
"I wrote the song years ago on tour while on a brief stop at a friends farm for a few days, watching the farm dogs run free and just bursting with energy and love of life. All the philosophy in the world can't explain life like a dog can: chase it down and hump it silly: it's that easy."
Happy Dogs features Aryo Hall on Tuba and was recorded during a marathon two day session with Dave Walker and Phil Georges from Green South Records which yielded 48 new recordings, the bulk of which was previously unrecorded new material.
"My mother continued to suggest I record it. I'm rapt anyone's interested in any of my songs, so I'm more than pleased to oblige any repeated request. Plus, who doesn't love a good doggo?"
This is the first of many 'new' songs Green South Records will be releasing on Van’s behalf over the coming months and we can’t wait!
"Meeting Dave has been a huge boon for me, as a fellow artist and friend, he has been nothing but impressive, hard working and hands-on. Green South is the kind of label musicians dream of being apart of and to say I'm excited about working with them is an enormous understatement. I think regards my work, working with Dave and Phil, the best is yet to come."
“Van Walker writes songs with the ease the rest of us breath.” JB HiFi Magazine.
Born & raised on the windswept prairies of north-west coast Tasmania, Van first heard the music of Bob Dylan around adolescence & began picking guitar & writing songs. Some hundreds of songs later and a hell-bent pick, he moved to Melbourne to form bands such as The Swedish Magazines, Goatpiss Gasoline and The Livingstone Daisies, and sing his unique hillbilly stuff on the side.
The first collection of these beguilingly simple songs came out in 2008 entitled The Celestial Railroad, & in 2009 three separate sessions were released, The Last Record Store (Jan) Greetings from Penguin Tasmania (Aug) & Love Fate (Oct). Drawing on the grand storytelling tradition of artists such as Ray Davies, Townes Van Zandt, Leon Payne & John Prine and the acoustic finger-styles of John Fahey & Mississippi John Hurt, Van created a sound both old & new, with a laconic familiarity that speaks to the heart with an intimacy more effortless than contrived.
“Words & Music flow out of Van Walker like the rivers that sometimes set the scene for his wonderful storytelling.” 4 1/2 stars ~ Martin Boulton, The AGE
He took to the road with a cache of seemingly myriad original compositions & began finding his audience in the most unlikely places, even writing songs while standing on stages, composing ditties to people he’d only just met, & delivering albums with these dedications on them. Songs for local independent record stores (The Last Record Store), pubs nestled deep within the southern wilderness (Blackout), books found & read on lonely train rides (Timbuktu) & even odes dedicated to itinerant musicians doing the very same (Living Like a Gypsy).
Along with these came songs of lovelorn spies (The Singing Detective) downtrodden bus-drivers (Old Joe) transient serial murders (Travelin Man) & drunken rabbits (Wildgrass) to name a few.
“The Oscar Wilde of the Aussie music scene,” says ex-Daddy Cool drummer Gary Young.
By August of 2010 the latest full-length album Bush League Bard was released to more rave reviews. A collection of both new, unheard songs & unrecorded live favourites, teaming up with the same musicians whom graced his debut, BLB was be his last for a while as he awaited the release of a retrospective from The Fuse Music Group entitled UNDERNEATH THE RADAR 2008 ~ 2010, a compilation of songs from his first 5 albums, in an attempt to harness this mercurial torrent of productivity into a digestible overview of an artist unblocked, released October 28th 2011 to more positive press.
“A devoted songwriter…Walker is a much revered, almost cult figure locally.” RHYTHMS, Nov 2011
Since then Van has been busy touring Europe in 2013, 2014, & 2018, writing and releasing two albums with the powerpop outfit The Livingstone Daisies (2013, PBS Album of the Year) (2014 4.5 Stars AGE EG) with Liz Stringer, his brother Callan, and Michael Barclay (Paul Kelly/Mick Thomas), forming and recording the rocknroll record Heartbrokers Vol.10 featuring Jeff Lang, Ezra Lee, Ash Davies(Off the Hip/Rubber); forming the three piece blues outfit Goatpiss Gasoline; while also writing and performing as a member of the critically acclaimed Vandemonian Lags stage production.