With Fathers Day right around the corner, local musician, Ben Walz, discussed something very heavy on his heart. His father.
"He died almost 8 years ago but I still find myself wishing I could bounce ideas off him or ask him for advise about life," said Walz. "Fathers try to pass on wisdom and knowledge to their kids but kids are often reluctant to take the advise when they are young. Hopefully, more often than not, kids realize how valuable and important the advise becomes later in life when they have their own families. Good parenting doesn't always have an immediate pay off because kids don't have the world experience to think any further than their present situation. I'd like to think that with my own kids they will eventually be able to understand the things I am telling them now."
Walz has recorded a new song called "Looking To You" for Father's Day. The song will be available for free by June 20th. Download will be available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/
"The song was inspired by the death of my father and the generational linkage between fathers and their kids, he said.
Walz has been performing music for the last 22 years. He has performed in various places in those years and has even been the opening act for some of the industries biggest stars.
"I have been performing live since 1993," Walz said. "I have performed in Italy, Chile, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Vegas. I've played with Jimmy Buffet at Riverbend in 1995 and have opened up for Ted Nugent, Lynrd Skynrd and Deep Purple. Additionally, I sing "God Bless America" for the Reds at Great American Ballpark every year."
When asked about support for local musicians, Walz has much to say.
"Well...you're writing about me so I think it's great. I believe there is support for local music but the industry is changing and attention spans are shrinking. You have to view the area for what it is and not what it isn't. The music in our area is primarily entertainment and not really an industry like it is in Nashville, New York, L.A. and such. This means the population here (generally speaking) are more interested in being entertained than in the discovery of new talent. There are some very talented musicians in this area and the great thing is that technology today makes recording and sharing music accessible to almost anyone."
Walz has a sound that is often familiar, but he has such an original stamp on his music that the genre has been hard to categorize.
"I just like good music period...whatever genre it comes in," he said. "A great, well-written song will either move your body or your soul. Maybe even both. I am inspired to write when I hear a great song. I think a lot of songwriters hear someone elses material and go "Why didn't I think of that?". That's the beauty of songwriting. We all share the same life experiences but no two people experience them the same way."
Walz plans to release a 5-6 song EP this Fall.
"I just turned 40 the other day so I have no delusions about being the next pop star" he added. "I continue to write with the ultimate goal of getting a publishing deal. I'd love to see established artists sing my songs. I think that would allow me to be around the excitement of the industry without the grueling demands of being a touring artist."