Country singer and Alabama native Bradley Walker's sophomore release, Call Me Old-Fashioned (Gaither Music Group/Farmhouse Recordings), produced by longtime friend, singer and songwriter Rory Feek (Joey+Rory) opens at No. 4 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart. The set sold over 4,000. It also begins at No. 9 on Top Country Albums.
A well-loved performer for years among country and bluegrass music circles, Walker is a storyteller. His unmistakable baritone vocals are at once refreshing yet warmly familiar as are his songs about life, love, family and his Christian faith.
"I think of this as a gospel record for people who don't go to church," Walker says, adding that he thinks the church crowd will embrace it as well; but he wants to do more than sing to the choir. "I hope this can be an inspiration not only to people who are in church because I believe that's where we all need to be, but I want to reach people also who aren't in church and get them thinking about life. These are songs about real life."
When it come to real-life songs, this longtime fan of country music legends like Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin, Keith Whitley, George Jones, Gene Watson, Mel Street and George Strait knew just how to find lyrical gems he can't wait to share.
The title cut, penned by Dave Turnbull and Jerry Salley, captures Walker's love of tradition; and"The Toolbox," written by Dennis Duff, is a quintessential country tale with beautiful analogy. Friends and award-winining group The Isaacs joined Walker for the gospel classic "Sweet Beulah Land," and Walker showcases his signature style on the Kris Kristofferson-penned "Why Me."
A student of country music lyrics for many years, Walker put his own life story to music alongside Feek and the late Tim Johnson with the song "I Feel Sorry for Them," a poignant ballad that reflects Walker's life journey in a wheelchair and defines the strength and grace that people know as Bradley Walker.
The song begins, "From the day that I was born I've learned to live with how things are. I'll never step up to the microphone or strum my own guitar. For over 30 years now, I've been sitting in this chair. When people stop and ask me if I think life's been unfair, I say... I feel sorry for the hard-working mother raising children on her own. And I feel sorry for the one who has to call cold underpass his home. And all the lonely people out there who cannot find a friend, I feel sorry for them."
"Bradley has a story to tell," stated Feek. "A unique story that God is telling with his life...and with his voice and his wheelchair and his muscular dystrophy and especially...his wonderful heart. And just as I know Joey would be, I am so honored to be a small part of the big things that are coming together for Bradley. He so, so deserves it."
Feek and his late wife, Joey, have long been a part of Walker's story. The three recorded songs together and performed on various stages around the country. Joey requested Walker sing the old hymn "Leave It There" at her funeral. That performance caught the ear of gospel music legend Bill Gaither, and Gaither Music Group teamed up with Walker and Feek for the new CD and DVD recordings.
"Bradley Walker has one of those voices that stops you in your tracks," stated Gaither. "His music offers the rare combination of talent, substance, and good old-fashioned values that make him a standout."
As the new studio recording came into being, it seemed fitting for Walker to "sing with Joey" one more time. Feek and Walker put together a special duet of the song "In the Time That You Gave Me," featuring Walker and Joey.The songs from the new recording are also featured on an all-new DVD, filmed in the barn at Joey+Rory's farm outside of Nashville, TN. Feek hosted the evening, which features a guest appearance from The Isaacs. The DVD also includes behind-the-scenes footage with Feek and Walker who discuss life, love and the music they hold dear.
"I hope these songs are blessings to people," the former IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year stated regarding his unique brand of faith-infused country music. "I hope the songs make them think about their life in a way that they hadn't thought about it before. I want to record songs that say something...."
The Call Me Old-Fashioned recording will be featured as a TV special in the coming months on networks including RFD-TV, PBS, Gaither TV (DISH TV Channel 276), TBN, Family Net, CTN, The Walk TV (formerly Legacy), TCT and TLN and also in Canada on Vision TV, CTS, Grace TVand the Miracle Channel. The DVD will be featured on Gaither TV (Roku, Google and the Internet).
Call Me Old-Fashioned is exclusively distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution and will be available throughout general market stores and the Christian marketplace in addition to online retailers including iTunes, Amazon and www.gaither.com.