JD's songwriting has been described as; Genuine and easy to identify with. It's done with a raw emotion and an unflinching truth. A listener has no doubt that the subject is real and there's an absolute sincerity that comes out in his delivery.
In his young adult life, JD experienced tragedy, trauma and emotional turmoil. He opens about that private side of his life to share in this biography.
Born and raised in Missouri, he is the youngest of 3 boys. Growing up in a middle class family, his Dad was in the USAF and a Vietnam Vet. Later he worked for TWA, then American Airlines. 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 was very good friends with Ernest Tubb, Porter Wagoner, and Red Foley. 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 was signed and had a top 20 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 but like so many his career was short lived after trouble with alcohol.
It's no doubt the music was in JD's blood. JD started writing in High School and with his Uncle he wrote his first song. He started dreaming of becoming a professional songwriter, making a living with music and one day getting to perform on The Grand Ole Opry. After graduating High School he completed 2yrs of Aeronautical School for Aviation. In his young adult life he dealt with a lot of trials. It started after experiencing tragedy at a young age. A weekend before the 4th of July, JD and his childhood best friend were traveling down a gravel road in Warsaw, MO near his family's lake cabin, when his best friend was shot and killed. JD heard a couple loud bangs and thought it was fireworks. The truck accelerated rapidly, started to veer off the road. JD yelled at his friend to turn the truck and no response, before going off into a ravine, he reached over and grabbed the wheel to get it back on the road and get the truck 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 and twisted metal, sparks flying and the smell of gas, injured and bleeding, he tried to open the door, but it was stuck, he remembered saying please God and the door opened just enough for him to squeeze out. He stumbled his way around to the drivers side, opened the door, his friend was unconscious. In fear it was going to catch fire, he pulled him out from behind the wheel of the mangled truck, drug him away and laid him on the ground. After attempting CPR, it was too late, his best friend died in his arms. He had to relive that horrific night for several days when he was called to testify against the man who committed this crime. The man was convicted of 2nd degree murder and was sent to prison.
5yrs later JD met the woman that he would eventually marry after a few years of dating. As they started to settle into their new lives together they received some devastating news. She was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. She fought hard but passed away 7 months later while he was at her bedside with 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. Being brought up in a Christian home, he says he tried to hold onto his faith, but he was very hurt and angry. He admits after battling some dark times wondering why he had seen and been through so much he felt buried. It wasn't until a few years later he realized that he wasn't buried but planted in order for him to grow. He states that while people always feel sorry for what he's face. He doesn't want their sympathy, he believes that each trial was just a stepping stone to prepare him for the next battle he had 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.
As fare as his influences in music they range from Singer/Songwriters to other 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 creations come to life, he was hooked. In 2005 he thought the time had come to make the move but he ended up splitting his time between Nashville and Missouri. He done that for 3 years, working to become a better songwriter and it became harder for him to leave Tennessee. He knew where he needed to be and his heart and soul was in music. In July of 2008 he finally packed up everything and moved to Nashville to follow his dreams. He has had the opportunity to write with some 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. In order to make ends meet and still follow his dream, he ended up taking a job with FedEx Ground driving a truck, pulling double trailers up and down the interstate. Of course his Boxer "Tripp" was by his side.
In Feb. 2016, JD was involved in a serious accident. 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 while he driving for FedEx. He suffered a major injury to his neck. In April of 2016 he had neck surgery to repair a herniated disk and a constricted spinal cord which 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-sales on the line, the money had to be returned. It was released late 2016, it done pretty well overseas but it was re-released in 2018 in the United States. The album again seen success in the foreign markets. The 6 song project was produced by Kent Wells, who is a 2x Grammy Nominated Producer. Wells has worked with Reba, Brooks and Dunn and currently produces Dolly Parton. He is also Dolly's band leader and lead guitar player. JD co-wrote 5 of the 6 songs on the EP including the title track which is recorded in memory of his wife.
"I feel very blessed for all I've been through and the sacrifices I have had to make, while having the love and support from my 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 others, then it's all worth it. My ultimate goal is to Perform on The Grand Ole Opry. That's been a dream since I was a kid.
JD bought his first house in Jan, 2017 in Hendersonville, TN. He had to undergo a 2nd neck surgery in September 2017. A few hours after the surgery, there was complications and he almost died from a blood clot. He spent a couple days in ICU and it would leave him with a permanent disability. He was forced to retire early from driving a truck in Jan of 2018.
JD was recording his first Inspirational/Country Album but it was put on hold when he had to deal with the sudden loss of his Dad in February of 2018. While that was extremely difficult and has taken him a while to deal with the loss of his best friend. He states that as of now life is pretty great. He is back to working on the album and it will have 8 songs total. Along with Too Far From Heaven from the first EP and "My Last Prayer" which will be the title track. Not just picking songs he wrote or co-wrote but it's more about picking the best songs that fit this project, that people need to hear. In the meantime, he started Walker Media Group which not only has to do with the music but also Professional Real Estate Photography and Drone Photography and Video. In October of 2018 he became a FAA Certified Drone Pilot. He has captured some amazing photographs and has done aerial coverage for 3 TV shows. He currently lives in Hendersonville with his 3 dogs. 2 Boxers, Tripp and Zippy and in November of 2020 his rescued a White German Shepherd (Aspen). In his spare time he enjoys being with his dogs, fishing and being on the water and dinner with friends or watching a Predators game. There was hopes to get My Last Prayer to Radio Stations in 2020 and get to tour in the Southeast, The UK and possibly Japan. Then due to Covid the dates were cancelled and the album was put on hold. Lately he's been working on new music and he back to recording for the new album.