The Forgotten Stars of Folk

The Walkabouts have delivered several amazing records over the past 30 years of their career. Despite the high quality of their songs and a sound that kept developing in new directions, the band from Seattle never made their big breakthrough. They were close to the great fame several times, but somehow it never really worked. That doesn’t bother their fans and The Walkabouts have left an extensive catalogue of excellent music after all.

The Forgotten Stars of Folk
The Forgotten Stars of Folk

In The Right Place At The Right Time

In 1984, the brothers Chris and Curt Eckman launched the group and named it after the film Walkabout. While Curt Eckman said goodbye after only one year, the axes Carla Torgerson and Chris Eckman quickly emerged as the dominant band members. For a long time, they were partners not only on a stage but also a couple in private life and shaped the band’s distinctive sound. In the first years of their existence, The Walkabouts released the first records that were highly praised by critics. But the big chance was still to come. At the beginning of the 1990s, her hometown Seattle was the much-noticed centre of the music world. The success of Nirvana suddenly brought the music scene of this city into the spotlight worldwide. The Walkabouts had a contract with SubPop Records, a small company that discovered Nirvana. But the sound of The Walkabouts had no match with the trendy grunge. Accordingly, everybody knew the band as the only non-grunge group from Seattle. For a short time, the music press turned the attention to the unusual band but the interest evaporated again.

Success In Europe

The Walkabouts gave up their record deal and moved to Glitterhouse in Europe where the band was much more successful than in the USA. Numerous highly acclaimed albums made The Walkabouts a fixture in the European folk-rock universe. Even the company Virgin Records became aware of the band and started to work with these musicians. However, it quickly became clear that two completely different worlds were collapsed here. The album Devil’s Road, launched in 1996, was a hit with chart breaker The Light Will Stay On, but the ideas between the indie band and the record giant were just too different. The Walkabouts returned to Glitterhouse Records and continued to work with the folk music. In the meantime, the couple Carla Torgerson and Chris Eckman started to have problems.

Folk musician
Folk musician

Over and Out

Two artists who were successful as duo Chris & Carla for many years separated and went on their own ways. When the bitter solo album by Carla Torgerson was released, the first break in the band appeared as well. While Eckman married once again and moved to Slovenia, Torgerson returned to Seattle. Despite all the circumstances, the band recorded two songs more in 2005 and 2011. The last tour was made in 2012, after which it was temporarily over. Three years later, the band members announced the final breakup of The Walkabouts. Since then, Chris Eckman has worked as a producer and guitarist in numerous bands and solo projects, while Carla Torgerson is going to release her second solo album soon.

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