A working musician since the age of 13, walker first began honing his lyrical talents after the death of his beloved grandfather. “my granddad’s the one who got me into music, and I wrote a song called ‘fondly’ in the parking lot of the hospital he was in,” recalls walker, who was 19 at the time. “back then I was mostly playing rock and punk and blues and metal, but I quickly realized that the songs I was writing were country songs.” raised on bluegrass, he lists Texas legends like guy clark and billy joe shaver among his essential inspirations, but also notes the undeniable influence of country superstars like alan jackson and george strait (“all those ’90s country songs were so hook-driven, they really bored into my brain,” he says). With the arrival of wish you were here (an album that spent 12 consecutive weeks on the americana radio albums chart), walker won lavish praise from outlets like npr music and began opening for such artists as colter wall and charley crockett, in addition to headlining tours in the A.S. and Europe.