Last night was one of those night you just kind of stumble upon and realize how good life can be when you slow down a bit. Walt Wilkins, a favorite of mine, was in town this week playing with the great Tommy Alverson. He did a show in East Parker County on Tuesday night and then a show in North Richland Hills last night.
I’ve mentioned Walt in several of my blogs and just can’t seem to get enough of his music. Each show I find something that I did not see or hear before. Last night was no different. The show took place at the Big Barn Barbeque in North Richland Hills. It consisted of Tommy, Walt, two guitars and songs traded between the two. The set list was a variety of covers and original music from each. There was plenty of good natured banter between the two as well as considerable amount of talking to and from the crowd.
Walt’s music has a timeless feel to it with poignant lyrics about love, loss, and the varying stages of life. His voice is comfortable and familiar with a hint of wisdom. Walt’s honey dripped tenor is the embodiment of Texas. Rich, smooth, with just the right amount of twang.
Tommy Alverson is no slouch in the vocal arena and is a mighty fine guitarist. His voice is warm and inviting with just a hint of mischief. Promoting his new album Texas One More Time, his ninth studio album, Alverson played a few cuts from the album, as well as several fan favorites like “Una Mas Cerveza”.
There was much discussion from each on how they just love to play and how much music has meant to each. They covered songs from the likes of Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, and an impressive show closing cover of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic”.
The night had two defining moments for me:
- When B3, the current pseudonym of my bonus child, mentioned that she hoped that Walt would play his song “Poetry”, which has covered by Pat Green on his album Wave On Wave. After some gentle prodding and a few words of encouragement from her mother and me, B3 marched up to the stage and politely asked Mr. Wilkins if he would play Poetry for her. He responded with a hearty “Yes I Can” and lo and behold, the next song played was “Poetry”! The ear to ear grin that washed over her face was pure bliss. Even better was the 6-7 minute version that he sang, talked to the crowd, and did impromptu lyrical changes.
- As the show is winding down, Tommy and Walt are talking to the group and Tommy mentions that no one can sing this next song like Walt. Walt begins strumming his guitar and then you hear the familiar word “We were born before the wind” and off he went into a beautiful Texas style version of “Into the Mystic”. I just sat back in awe of what Ii was witnessing. I’m a huge Van Morrison fan and am sometimes critical of the various covers of his music. Not this one, he absolutely nailed it, played with complete reverence, and still made it all his own.
If you ever get a chance to see either Walt Wilkins or Tommy Alverson, take the time, drive the distance, and enjoy what music can do in the span of an hour or two.
Great music awaits!