Phillip Walker wants to play music as long as he's alive.
"I'll do this as long as the Good Man upstairs spares me," Walker said during a phone interview from a motel room in Manitou Springs, Colo. "But in the future, I'd like to start writing, publishing and producing younger folks' recordings."Walker will play his brand of West Coast/Texas blues at Beat-nicks, 240 25th St. in Ogden, Sept. 22. Doors open at 7 p.m.
"I was always a music fanatic," Walker confessed. "When I was 11 or 12, that was a crucial time for me. I discovered music. I mean really discovered it. I used to hang outside bars and clubs just to hear that band's playing because I was too young to go in. Then I found myself surrounded by musicians who could really play."
Walker, who has shared the stage with Etta James and Jimmy Reed, soon befriended producer Bruce Bromberg and songwriter Dennis Walker (who has worked with Robert Cray). After a string of albums throughout the '70s and '80s, Walker found himself in the '90s.
"The secret of keeping the music alive is to keep reviving the music," he said. "You also need to introduce it to younger people and get them excited about playing and listening to the music."
It all comes down to dedication. "I think of myself as a teacher. I mean, I'm still learning myself. I have gone to the best school for my music training - the live stage. But I also want to pass down what I've learned to the kids. And to do that, I think I need to be focused on where the music needs to be. I can't let the other areas - especially the pits - cloud the vision."
Walker said the secret of keeping his view of the musical road clear was attitude.
"You have to love the art to play it well," he said. "I have seen many players who know how to play well lose it when it comes to feeling the music in their soul. And audiences can sense that, too. My educational reward is not how much money I earn, but how many people I can make happy with my music."