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                                                       Derrick Big Walker's biography       

Root Walking Bio

Big Walker

Born in 1953 Fort Sill Lawton, Oklahoma, where his father, Golden Glove Boxer, Roy C Walker was stationed.

In 1962 Derrick moved to San Francisco with his mother, who worked in a Community Theater, where Big also acted in several children's productions. In San Francisco during this time the new music of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane etc, influenced him and his music. He was also a big fan of Clover who had great influence on Derrick's decision to become a musician.

Derrick Walker, took some harmonica lessons from Paul Butterfield, he helped teach Derrick to sound like himself and play melodies, "not just licks". Bobby Forte - Villa Nova Dupré who played with BB King during the 60's and 70' s and Nole Juks who play with Jimmy Witherspoon gave him saxophone lessons.

 Derrick played with The Eddie Ray Rhythm And Blues Band,and the Luther Tucker Band backing artists such as Lowell Fulson, Percy MayfieldBig Mama Thornton, Sonny Roads, Jimmy McCracklin and Sugar Pie De Santos. Derrick played with Michael Bloomfield and he was on his LP recording "Cruising for a Bruising".

Derrick began playing with a band called the Soul Rebels   (1981), who were working for Bill Graham as a warm up band in Bill's nightclubs. They fronted acts such as the Dead Kennedy's, The Ramones, Greg Kihn, The Beat and many others. The bandleader was Dean Devnear, bass and drums were manned by the Stench Brothers who where a big part of Pearl Harbor and the Explosions. The Soul Rebels were considered San Francisco's most popular band at the time.

Derrick went to Europe in 1983, playing Saxophone on the streets,  small clubs and festivals with  Red Archibald. 1985 forming his own band  playing the streets and culbs in Holland, Belgium,  France, Germany and Spain. touring with Big Walker and his.

           ``The Black & White Blues Band. ``

1987-92 playing the blues harp with the ``Grinders``in  Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Germany.

He is the composer  of  "Stars in the Sky" and performed in two songs in the international film that made use of his music  "Freud leaves Home".

2000. Derrick has undertaken several  tours of  Norway and Denmark, and regular club appearances in Sweden, with his  new band the ``Blue Souls.``

 He appeared often with folk blues artist Eric Bibb and played on several of Eric's CDs, and recorded gospel with Cyndee Peters on "Songs From The Heart".

He played harmonica and acted in The Broadway musical ``Big River.``

He appeared with Blues legend Jimmy Dawkins and Singer Zora Young at The Great British R'n'B Festival in Colne as well as touring playing festivals in Denmark and Sweden.

Derrick (Big) Walker plays tenor and alto saxophone plus the ten hole diatonic and chromatic harmonica, sings and wrights his own songs.

 Derrick when not on tour with his bands teaches workshops in blues history, singing the blues, harmonica and saxophone. He often appears in movies and music videos as a support artist or film extra.


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