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Walk the West

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At the height of their short career, the popularity of Nashville's Walk the West rivaled that of EMI labelmates Jason & the Scorchers on the Southeast circuit. Walk the West was formed in 1984 by guitarist/vocalist Paul Kirby, the son of songwriter Dave Kirby (writer of "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone?", childhood friends John and Will Golemon, and drummer Richard Ice. The band's rise in popularity echoed that of other similar mid-'80s Nashville artists like Will Rambeaux & the Delta Hurricanes, leading to a deal with EMI America that resulted in the band's lone, self-titled album in 1986, produced by Jozef Nuyens. The band's country-rock hybrid received a modicum of critical applause but failed to reach a national audience in a field dominated by cowpunks like the Beat Farmers and hometown heroes Jason & the Scorchers. In the end, the members of Walk the West found it easier to switch than to continue fighting the stigma of proving themselves as a rock band in the home of country music. Kirby and the Golemans would form the Cactus Brothers as a twangier side project, eventually taking the plunge and abandoning Walk the West while pursuing country stardom full-time in 1989. ~ Rev. Keith A. Gordon

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