JD's music has been described as; genuine and easy to identify with. It's done with a raw emotion and an unflinching truth. There's an absolute sincerity that comes out in his voice.
In his young adult life, JD experienced tragedy, trauma and emotional turmoil. He opens about that private side of his life to share his story in hopes with all he's faced, his story along with his music will help others.
JD was born and raised in Missouri, he is the youngest of 3 boys. Growing up in a middle class family, his Dad was a Vietnam Vet from USAF. He worked for TWA, then American Airlines until he retired in 2006. His Mom was a Nurse and cared for the elderly. Like any American kid he enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping and riding dirt bikes on the trails with his Dad and brothers.
JD's Grandfather, Andrew Stonewall Jackson Walker was very good friends with the one and only Ernest Tubb along with Porter Wagoner, and Red Foley. They all hung around together around the Ozarks. JD's Uncle was a Singer/Songwriter and Recording Artist. His Uncle performed around the Ozark's and was a regular on the Ozark Jubilee which led to an appearance on the Porter Wagoner show. With the help of Porter and Ernest Tubb he found his own spot in Country Music. His Uncle had a top 30 hit on country radio. He opened up for legendary artist such as Don Williams, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. He was well on his way in that era but his career fell short due to trouble with alcohol.
It's no doubt, music is in JD's blood. He started writing in High School and with his Uncle he wrote his first song. He dreamed of becoming a professional songwriter, making a living with music and getting to perform on The Grand Ole Opry. After High School he completed 2yrs of Aeronautical School for Aviation. He was force to deal with a lot of trials. He had his first experience with tragedy at 19. Just before the 4th of July, JD and his childhood best friend were traveling down a gravel road near Warsaw, MO by his family's lake cabin, when his best friend was shot and killed while driving the truck. He heard a couple loud bangs and thought it was fireworks. The truck accelerated rapidly, started to veer off the road. JD yelled for him to turn the truck, no response, before going off into a ravine, JD reached over grabbed the steering wheel to get it back on the road and under control but they hit a tree head on at 60 mph. The truck came to a rest stretched across the road. Through all the broken glass, twisted metal, sparks flying and the smell of gas, JD was injured and bleeding, he tried to get out but the door was stuck, he states he remembered praying while pushing on the door and after a few attempts it opened enough for him to squeeze out. He stumbled his way around to the drivers side, opened the door, his friend head was unconscious. In fear the truck was going to catch on fire, he made the decision to pull him out from behind the wheel of the mangled truck. He drug him away and after attempting CPR, it was too late, his best friend died in his arms, from a gun shot would to the back of the head. He had to relive that horrific night for several days when he was called to testify in the trial. The man was convicted of 2nd degree murder and was sent to prison, many years later died from a heart attack.
5yrs later JD met Tina, the woman he would eventually marry after dating a few years. After they were married and started to settle into their new lives, a month and a half later she was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. Which as you can imagine was quite the shock to both of them. Tina fought hard but passed away 7 months after the diagnosis while JD was at her bedside with her Dad and his parents. Dealing with the loss of his wife and trying to find a way to go on without her, just 10 months later he had to face the untimely death of his oldest brother who he lost to suicide. Being brought up in a Christian home, he says he tried to hold onto his faith, but he was hurt and angry. He admits after battling some dark times wondering why he had been through so much, he felt buried. It wasn't until a few years later, he realized that he wasn't buried. He felt like God planted him for him to continue to grow. He states that while people always say they're sorry for what he's faced. He doesn't want their sympathy, he believes that each trial was a stepping stone to prepare him for the next battle he was forced to face. His faith grew stronger, he and his parents grew closer and they became his 2 best friends. Music, Songwriting and practicing the Martial Arts of Aikido/Jujitsu was his release. Now he feels like with what he's been through and overcame Thanks to the Lord, he can share his story along with his music.
When asked about his musical influences they range from Singer/Songwriters to Recording Artist and some of those include; George Strait, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Chris LeDoux, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Songwriters Tim Nichols, Dean Dillon and the late Kim Williams.
JD got his start working behind the scenes as security at concerts. He completed formal training and became certified in Celebrity, Executive and Dignitary Protection. He was certified in hand to hand combat. For several years he worked as a Professional Handler (Bodyguard) for some major recording artist. When a couple of them found out he was also a songwriter they invited him to Nashville. Once he was introduced to the business, being in the recording studio and having one of his songs come to life, he was hooked. In 2005 he wanted to move but after a severe injury to his ankle he split his time between Nashville and Missouri. He done that for 3 years, working to become a better writer. It became harder for him to leave. In 2008 he packed up everything and moved to Nashville. He has had the opportunity to write with some major hit songwriters. JD worked at the famous Losers Bar where he met most of his friends and that led to opening many doors for him. After being a managing partner in a Limo Company for a few years, he decided in order to pay the bills and record music he took a job with FedEx Ground. He drove a truck pulling double trailers up the interstate and his Boxer "Tripp" was by his side.
In Feb. 2016, JD was involved in a serious accident while driving a truck for FedEx Ground. The state of Illinois was plowing snow and ice. They pushed it off an over pass and as he was passing underneath it went through the windshield of his truck and the impact snapped his head back into the seat and he sustained a serious injury to his neck. In April of 2016 he underwent surgery to repair the herniated disks that was constricting his spinal cord in 2 places. That left him on 4 months of vocal rest with the possibility that he would never sing again. Thankfully his first EP was already recorded. With a many prayers his voice made a full recovery. The EP release was delayed 3 months with all the pre-sale money returned. It was released late 2016, it seen a little success in the overseas market and it was re-released in 2018 in the United States. With no money for promotion, the album didn't make it on the charts but again seen more success in the foreign markets. JD co-wrote 5 of the 6 songs on the EP including the title track which is recorded in memory of his late wife.
"I feel very blessed for all I've been through. We all have to make sacrifices for what we want but it's easier when you have the love and support from family "For me, it's not about money or fame but reaching and touching people. If my story or one of my songs can help just 1 person then that song done it's job. I get a lot of satisfaction when someone tells me my song helped them or my story has helped them. My dream is to Perform on The Grand Ole Opry. I'm closer now than ever and I'm praying that happens in 2022. It's been a dream for a long time.
In Jan 2017, JD bought his first house in Hendersonville, TN. He had to undergo a 2nd neck surgery in September 2017. A few hours after the surgery, there was complications due to a blood clot and the Drs said they almost lost him on the table. Once again he's here for a reason. He spent a couple days in ICU and it would leave him with a permanent disability. He was forced to retire early in Jan of 2018.
He started working on his first Christian Country album but it was put on hold when he had to deal with the sudden loss of his Dad in February of 2018 which was extremely hard since they were so close. Not being able to make it on early retirement with the help of some friends, in October of 2018 he started Walker Media Group which not only handles the music, but they do Professional Real Estate Photography, Drone Photography and Video. He has captured some amazing photographs. He has had the opportunity to work on 3 tv shows and his drone video has been featured Nationally on the news. He says right now life is pretty great. Jesus has definitely blessed me by putting the right people in my life.
The new album and it will have 12 songs total. Along with Too Far From Heaven from the first EP and "My Last Prayer" which will be the title track. He decided to not just take songs he wrote or co-wrote but now it's about picking the best songs that people need to hear. There was hopes to get My Last Prayer to Radio Stations in 2020 and get to tour and performing at Churches and Festivals in the Southeast and Southwest along with the UK and possibly Japan. Due to Covid the dates were cancelled and the album was put on hold. Now he currently has all the tracks recorded for the new album and will soon start recording. The new album could be released mid to late 2022.
It was the idea to share my entire story with you to help you understand that God is there to lead you and help you no matter your circumstances or suffering. He has a unique purpose and plan for each one of our lives.
Thank you for reading. May God lay on your hearts and mind his purpose and plan for your life. May we always know what our next step is. God Bless You.