You may ask an obvious question. If they are playing Milton, Delaware how popular could they be? Well, they are touring all over the country: Waynesboro (Pennsylvania), New York City (New York), Baltimore (Maryland), Paducah (Kentucky), Chicago (Illinois) between this writing and March 8, 2015. Their first single “When Mercy Found Me” peaked at No. 15 on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart and garnered a 55th GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. Released in July 2012, Rhett Walker Band’s debut album, Come To The River, peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart. The new album “Here’s To The Ones” peaked at number 1 on the Tunes Christian Chart. So there’s that.
At 7:00pm, four unassuming men entered through the door of The Food Company proceeding to the stage. I didn’t know who was who, but the stage was preset with an electric quitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and drum set. These were everyday men without the pretense of celebrity or impersonation of some character for the stage act. There were no robes, dancers, strippers, proselytizing, conspicuous consumption, lip syncing, razzle-dazzle light show, removing of shirts, removing of pants, twerking, bibles, or any of the other gimmicks too many artists enlist. From 7:00pm to a bit after 9:00pm there was the band, the audience, and the music come together like a gathering of old friends.
Over the course of the night, Rhett Walker Band talked to us, talked to each other , told stories and, most importantly, impressively played through their music catalog. They made us laugh, think. They made us feel.Rhett Walker led as he played acoustic guitar and sang smart, passionate, sincerely lyric-ed vocals.
One example from “The Mystery” on “Here’s to the Ones”
“Cause I know that Jesus ain’t worried ‘bout tattoos and cigarettes
Or if you wear a golden cross around your neck
What about loving your neighbor and giving to the poor
I just want to love like that and nothing more”
Kenny Davis kept the timing tight and transitions smooth as he pounded the drums. Joe Kane layered the songs with impassioned electric guitar.Kevin Whitsett filled out the songs on bass guitar.
I can’t give you a set list as I’d never heard any of these songs before. However, with two albums under their belt I suspect they played most of the songs from “Come to the River”, and “Here’s to the Ones”.
Give them a listen on Spotify, or beats music , or iTunes, or Amazon, or whatever if you like sincere, southern influenced, christian themed, no gimmicks rock music, Especially catch “Dead Man”, “The Mystery”, and “Broken Man” which really stand out to me.
In any case, I was a first time listener, but expect to be a longtime fan. This is a band to watch.
Oh, one more thing for the bass players out there like me. How many really interesting bass players have you heard in the christian rock genre? Well, any genre. Not many, right? Lots of root holding, right? Kevin Whitsett is not one of those bass players. I watched him play every part of the bass neck. I like him.
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