Kevin Walters
Kevin Walters

Remembering... Kevin Walters

Kevin, larger than life in his element, at a festival outside of Winnipeg

By Julian Taylor

Once in awhile it becomes exceedingly clear why being an artist is so important. It’s easy to forget when you are forced to face the reality that maybe you aren’t saving the world one person at a time as doctors and firemen do. It raises the question “are musicians truly lifesavers?”

The answer is yes!  

We all need the arts. They help define who we are as individuals and sometimes, if our beliefs are strong enough while we are living, they carry on when we are gone. Which brings me to how my CMW 2015 came to end on a very special note.

Kevin Walters sadly lost his life last year in a battle with cancer.  He was a beloved and important man in the Canadian Music industry and every interaction I had with him was awesome. Without his efforts many acts like The Watchmen would not have been given the opportunity to succeed. My bandmates and I were invited by our friends from The Agency Group to share the stage with the iconic Winnipeg quartet and take part in the celebration of Kevin’s life.

All proceeds from the show have been donated to the Kevin Walters Foundation. A foundation that lives on through the love and dedication of Kevin’s wife, family and friends. A foundation that has been set up to help new artists realize their dreams. I was humble to be there as were the rest of the members of JTB.

The Watchmen blew me and everyone at The Horseshoe away with an emotionally charged set. Danny’s vocals are impeccable. He has one of the strongest pipes in the country and his delivery is poignant. Ken on bass leans back and it’s as if that effect that he has physical transforms into the groovy bottom end that helps hold the band together so well. Joey’s guitar slices through the mix and helps lift the music while Sammy on the drums drives it all home.

The highlight for me was the big sing-a-long chorus of “Any Day Now”. One of my personal faves. They ended their set with “Stereo” and the audience exploded into a heartfelt and genuine applause.

It’s so amazing when music transforms into something more than it is initially intended to be. It happens when memories take over and all that is left is the place in our hearts that recalls that time. That moment went everything clicked and made sense. That’s what being at The Horseshoe Tavern felt like and I will cherish and remember it always.


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