Seth Walker grew up in rural North Carolina and went to art school at East Carolina University before he discovered blues guitar and decamped to Austin, Texas. He’s a road-seasoned singer/songwriter who’s opened for Willie Nelson and other Americana icons, as well as headlining plenty of stages on his own (including a Feb. 14 outing at the local ISIS Music Hall). During his time in Texas, the musician periodically returned to his first love, painting, creating the oil-on-canvas “Blue Throne,” among other works. And last year, “after I found myself staring out of my window, stripped of gigs,” as Walker tells Asheville Made, he realized he’d have to reinvent himself yet again. So he became a triple threat, writing Your Van is On Fire: The Miscellaneous Meanderings of a Musician (Ostinato Muse Press, Nashville) — a hybrid memoir where poetry, lyrics, and paintings frame humorous essays on the troubadour lifestyle. Walker’s prose is punchy, his hooks on point: “I stood at adjacent urinals with Calep Emphry Jr., B.B. King’s drummer, in a back-stage bathroom one night in Corpus Christi, Texas. We shared some small talk about a threatening thunderstorm and life on the road with the King of the Blues,” begins one chapter. Regarding the eponymous throne of his early painting, Walker comments, “Painting that piece, along with a collection of others from that period, illuminated a new side of my creativity and served as a bounding springboard back into music. Writing this book has done the same thing for me, tenfold … serv[ing] as another much-needed artistic counterpoint … and ignit[ing] some new inspiration as I find myself again back in the sweet depths of recording a new album.”
Seth Walker, Asheville. Your Van is On Fire is available at royalpotatofamily.com/product/seth-walker-your-van-is-on-fire/ and sethwalker.com.