Since transplanting to New Orleans after stints in North Carolina, Texas and Tennessee, bluesman Seth Walker has built bridges with some of the city’s preeminent musicians. Self-described as a “southern roots troubadour,” Walker gathered the talents of Johnny Vidacovich, John Medeski, Myles Weeks and Doug Belote for “Spirits Moving.” Recorded at The Shed, the song was produced by Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers and is built upon a deep syncopated groove with lyrics that speak to the connection Walker feels to his adopted hometown and the wellspring of inspiration he draws from its musical heritage. Today (November 9), the music video for “Spirits Moving” premieres at OffBeat.com.
“‘Spirits Moving’ was originally inspired by a live video I saw of Nina Simone summoning the spirits in her own unique way—the never ending search for the portal into the stream of inspiration,” Walker explains. “I wrote this down in New Orleans, where spirits are always on the move, so the slip-sliding street beat feel came naturally. Jazzfest 2017 was upon us, so we had the idea of getting Johnny Vidacovich and John Medeski into the mix on the recording. It was a first for them in the studio together. My friend and collaborator, Myles Weeks, is another Louisiana-native who joined in to played to round out the session so we were firmly planted in the mud. With the help of Doug Belote on a second drum part and Jano Rix in the producer chair, I feel we captured a little magic here. Hope it moves you as it did us.”
Of the experience, Belote tells OffBeat “Seth asked me to come record double drums on ‘Spirits Moving’ with Johnny V. He played the song for me once and I thought, ‘Awe shit, New Orleans done got a hold of Seth’s soul.’ Once it bites you, there’s no turning back to being normal again.”
To be released as a digital exclusive single on November 10 via record label, Royal Potato Family, “Spirits Moving” is one of Walker’s funkiest, most inspired songs yet in a repertoire that’s already rich with some of modern Americana’s most respected and soulful songwriting.
Walker has a handful of shows in Texas and Arkansas before the end of the year. They’ll then open 2018 with a three-month stint on the road, including shows in Florida, as well as Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beaches Cruise. Following that, they’ll head West for performances across the Western U.S. before jumping the pond for a tour of Europe. A live album and a new studio album are also in the works for release next year.