Roots run deep for Tricia Walker. This Mississippi native is planted firmly in the genre of Southern music — derived from the musical heritage below the Mason-Dixon line. Her style is noticeably influenced by Memphis R&B, Texas swing, New Orleans jazz, black gospel, and ’60s radio.
Tricia has worked as a backing musician for Grand Ole Opry star Connie Smith, Paul Overstreet, Russ Taff, and Shania Twain. She was key in forming the original “Women In The Round,” a songwriter group which includes Pam Tillis, Ashley Cleveland, and Karen Staley.
Her focus, however remains on her own music. Tricia always offers an entertaining slice of her places and times, delivered with a beautiful voice and the ease of a veteran entertainer. Southern style never had it so good.
Tricia Walker is a singer and songwriter whose songs are steeped in the passion, pain and grace of the American South. Born and raised in Mississippi, Tricia has become one of the clearest voices of her own time and place. Her music has been recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss, whose performance of Tricia’s Looking in the Eyes of Love earned a Grammy. A recording artist herself, Tricia’s newest CD, The Heart of Dixie, thoughtfully captures the songwriter’s view of the South with well-placed lyrics and music reflecting her folk, R & B and storytelling influences.
“Culture is a precious, living thing,” Tricia says. “It has to be nurtured if it’s going to survive. Any artist or creative thinker has a responsibility to help chronicle his or her own time, place and people. That’s the surest way to keep a culture from disappearing.”
Before moving to Nashville in the 1980s, Tricia earned a degree in Music Education from Delta State University. While working on her Master’s Degree, she performed at clubs and festivals in Mississippi and Louisiana. She won American Song Festival and Mississippi Song Festival awards and moved to Music City to sign with giant gospel music publisher Word, Inc. As her songs were recorded on Grammy-nominated discs by Kathy Troccoli, Debby Boone, and The Imperials, her reputation as a songwriter spread. Well-respected producer Jerry Kennedy signed Tricia to his Polygram Group stable of writers, further solidifying her credibility.
Tricia’s instrumental skills earned her a spot backing Grand Ole Opry star Connie Smith, with whom she played for six years. She also toured extensively with Shania Twain and Paul Overstreet as a keyboard player and vocalist. Along with Pam Tillis, Karen Staley and Ashley Cleveland, Tricia was a founding member of “Women in the Round,” one of the most celebrated foursomes at Nashville’s prestigious Bluebird Café.
She has performed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tin Pan South Songwriting Festival in Nashville, was a New Folk Winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas and featured at Austin’s South by Southwest Music Festival.
Recent musical highlights included singing at Robert Redford’s Christmas Cantata at Sundance Resort in Utah as well as a live performance during a newly choreographed work for the Nashville Ballet entitled “All the Way Home,” co-written by Tricia and Kate Campbell.
Her “Down in Capetown,” reflecting on apartheid, and “Halfway Around the World,” written after the Tianemen Square uprising in China, illustrate how important songs with a conscience are to Tricia. Her uplifting “What a Wonderful Day!” was written at the request of a friend for breast cancer survivors and sold over 25,000 copies.
It was Tricia’s belief that the South in which she was raised has been misrepresented in some ways that led to the creation of The Heart of Dixie. The thoughtful collection of songs will be debuted at a CD release concert at the Bluebird Café in Nashville September 29, 2004.
Tricia Walker offers an entertaining slice of her places and times, delivered with a beautiful voice, strong musicianship and the ease of a veteran entertainer. Southern style never had it so good.