Ian Walker is now based in Eaglesham Village but he was raised three stairs up in a Glasgow tenement with his deeper family roots stretching back to the bothies of Banffshire and the Ayrshire of Robert Burns’ time. As a youngster, Ian had a fascinating introduction to the wider world of music, the theatre and entertainment through contact with the acclaimed Scottish actor and entertainer Jimmy Logan.
In the early 1960s, Ian regularly visited The Glasgow Folk Centre where he first sang and where he was introduced to the unsurpassable delights of the five-string banjo.
In the 1970s, Ian found success singing in one of well-known Scottish impresario, Archie McCulloch’s, “Stars of Tomorrow” talent shows in Kilmarnock. At this time he also attended the Kilmarnock Traditional Folk Club where he took part in their travelling road shows and where he received his first solo booking. The late 1970s saw Ian getting awards for singing at, for example, the Kinross Festival (Bothy Ballad) and at the Thurso Festival (Jeannie Robertson Memorial Trophy for Traditional Singing). Song writing started in the late 1970s and by the mid 1980s, Ian Walker’s writing had become more prolific and songs like “Some Hae Meat”, “Roses in December” and “Hawks and Eagles” were being picked up by other singers.
In 1985, Ian Walker’s first album, “Roses in December”, was recorded by Gavin Livingstone (of the band “Tonight at Noon”). This was followed in 1987 by “Flying High” on Fellside Recordings. The Music Retailers Association (MRA) in London voted “Flying High” the outright winner in their Folk and Country music award category in 1988. Ian collected the award, on behalf of Fellside, from TV astronomer Sir Patrick Moore at their awards ceremony in the Café Royale, London. From 1987 to 1991, Ian had the privilege of singing and song writing with Glasgow singer/songwriter Ian Bruce. During this period they wrote about a dozen songs together many of which have since been recorded. In 1989, Ian released another album on Fellside Recordings called “Shadows in Time”.
Since 1993, Ian has jointly recorded “Crossing the Borderlines” (on Fellside Recordings) and sung in concert with the Lanarkshire based Scots/Irish band Setanta. He has also sung and recorded with the Country Gospel singer Jimmy Scott at a wide range events in diverse venues throughout the UK. George Hamilton 1V of Nashville, Tennessee, America’s “Ambassador of Country Music” endorsed and was inspired by their last album called “Only Remembered”.
Since 2003, under the auspices of The New Makars Trust, Ian became involved with schools and with older people developing new songs in communities throughout Scotland. His book/CD “Washdays” contains many of the new songs written in schools during this period.
Ian Walker’s songs have proved popular with the public and have been sung and/or recorded by many other artists including: - Roy Bailey, Black Eyed Biddy, Ronnie Browne - of the Corries (a co write with Ian Bruce), Cilla Fisher and Artie Trezise, Douglas Craik, Bruce Davies, Eurydice, Fieldwork (Nottingham), The Fisher Family, Tich Frier, Richard Grainger, Enoch Kent, Dick Gaughan, John Graham and Jim Jack, Mabsant, The McCalmans, Alastair McDonald, North Sea Gas, Stephen Quigg, Ragged Glory, Ben Sands, The Auld Toon Band, The Sands Family, Bram Taylor, Tog Mor, Tryst, The Wilsons, The Yetties, The Zydeco Ceilidh Band.
Ian’s songs have also been published in books and magazines including The Red and Green Song Book and in America´s “Sing Out!” Magazine. In 2011, he was nominated for the British Country Music Association Awards in London and in 2013 and reached the semi finals of the International Songwriters Competition in Nashville. His songs have also been sung before world figures such as Nelson Mandela and Arun Manilal Gandhi.
In 2010, Ian teamed up once again with Ian Bruce after 25 years+. The duo received a tremendous response at venues throughout the UK and abroad. They released a CD/DVD called “Born to Rottenrow” on Greentrax Recordings, Edinburgh in February 2014.
Ian has now formed his own Band, “THE IAN WALKER BAND” comprising Moe Walker, Jimmy Scott and Ian with additional musicians and singers joining as the events dictate. The Band plays at a very wide variety of venues and the response has been very positive. The Band released an album called “JUST ONE MORE CHORUS” in late 2017 and it has been receiving warm reviews including “Album of the Week” status on radio. John Graham of The Clydesiders supported the Band on the album with fiddle, bass and mandolin and Ken Russell also contributed with Northumbrian Small pipes on one track.
In 2017, Ian diversified becoming Musical Director for a Dave Dewar play about the life of Joseph Thomson, Dumfriesshire’s African explorer from the 1800s. Ian acted in and wrote 9 new songs for the play in which Wendy Weatherby and William Williamson also took part and which was well received at the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival 2017.
In 2018, Ian was once again Musical Director providing music, acting and writing 10 new songs for another Dave Dewar play about the life of Langholm born Thomas Telford, the first Civil Engineer. The play was presented at the Dumfries Arts Festival in June 2018 (as well as at other venues). The play again featured Wendy Weatherby, Scotland’s top cellist and traditional singer as well as Dumfriesshire’s popular singer, entertainer and Scottish Country Dance specialist William Williamson.
In late 2018, Ian took part in another Dewar play about First World War Doctor, Surgeon and Suffragist, Elsie Inglis. The play was presented at the prestigious Dumfries House, Cumnock as well as in The Memorial Chapel in Glasgow University and in Elsie’s home city, Edinburgh. The cast included Sharon Osdin (leading actor), Shona Riley, (actor), Wendy Weatherby, (acting, cello and vocals), Fiona Cuthill, (fiddle), Stevie Lawrence, (guitar, bouzouki and percussion), Stan Graham, (acting, songwriter, guitar and vocals), Billy Stewart, (acting, songwriter, guitar and vocals), Stephen Devine, (piano and music writer), Moe Walker, (vocals), David Hogg, (War Diary Reader), Dave Dewar, (Narrator) and Ian Walker (acting, songwriter, banjo, guitar, autoharp and vocals)