Success is often directly proportionate to the amount of work someone’s willing to put in. Hard work has been synonymous with the Rhett Walker Band since they released their debut in 2012. The last few years have proven all four members have a relentless work ethic, rarely witnessed in new bands. Road warriors, the group spends every spare minute off-stage developing their craft.
Since their debut album Come to the River, the band has toured non-stop, spending more time on the road than at home. “We’ve always been that blue collar kind of band that’s just hard work and dreams; and you put them together and make something happen,” says Rhett. The debut effort generated the band’s first Top 5 hit, “When Mercy Found Me,” and garnered Rhett a Grammy nomination. Since its inception, the band has been invited numerous times to perform on the Grand Ole Opry—a stage they’re comfortable on since a blend of country and southern rock define their well-honed sound.
The band members’ southern breeding shows up in their music. Rhett hails from South Carolina, while Kenny Davis (drums) is a Texas native. Kevin Whitsett (bass) is from North Carolina and Joe Kane (guitar) grew up in Oklahoma. The four men met in Nashville, drawn together by a collective love of music and a desire to pursue a career recording and touring.
“Where we’re from, it’s trucks and tractors and dirt roads,” Rhett shares. “Everybody grows up and works around the same place and no one really leaves that town.” They may have grown up hog hunting and fishing but the members of the Rhett Walker Band all individually discovered a love of music early on. Their diverse influences range from Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Marshall Tucker Band to Tonic and The Wallflowers and are expertly woven throughout their music.
Rhett and his bandmates are grateful to do something they love and entertain and inspire audiences along the way. “We have the opportunity to make music for a living and travel around and put on shows and say things that we hope change people’s lives,” he reflects. “To be able to do that at 27 and make a living off of what I’ve always wanted to do, I can’t help but stand amazed at that.”
Rhett Walker Band is living out the dreams each of the four men have carried since they were small-town kids, and they couldn’t imagine doing anything else, with anyone else. “Sometimes dreams take a while to get to, and sometimes it takes a lot of hard work, [but] hard work pays off,” Rhett says. “We’re just men trying to make a living by telling a story. I think as long as you keep faith, family and country upfront, things will always work out.”
"We have the opportunity to make music for a living and travel around and put on shows and say things that we hope change people’s lives.”