Scott Walker

 
 

Home

The Story of The Rock House Project

In 2016 I was living near Hainesville, Texas when I took a notion to record some of my songs. I’ve always wanted to make a record at a remote location. For me, there’s no place more magical than the Chihuahuan Desert. The Big Bend was my stomping grounds in my twenties, when my mind was on fire with ideas, and me and my compadres were wild and free. Wouldn’t it be fun to get some great musicians together and go the desert to record some songs? I started making phone calls.

I’d met the Axberg brothers back in my wild west days. They’re my honky tonk heroes and good friends. I asked them if they’d be the rhythm section. I was playing in a band with Clayton Jones. He’s a genius and we got us some chemistry so I asked him. Paul Logan and I grew up playing music together and we’re tight like brothers so I asked him to come. And I called Jimmy Smith because he has more talent in his earlobe than all of us put together. Somehow I convinced him to come too. Our friends Matt Hager and Deb Taylor drove a camper all the way from Florida to help us.

Our destination was 750 miles west. To Presidio County on the Mexican border. There’s a one room house that used to be a trading post. It sits on a bluff overlooking the Rio Grande and the mountains of northern Chihuahua. The Rock House.

For two weeks we lived with each other and made music every day. We played and laughed and ate and drank like kings. The ladies hung out on the porch while we recorded in the house. The river rolled by. The sunsets were amazing. Every now and then a car would pass by on the road to Presidio.

Meanwhile back in east Texas, a pipeline was going through our home there. The oilfield was ramping up all around us. Without mineral rights, we had no way to defend our property. So Missy and I made the hard decision to move. We had fallen in love with the Big Bend and the people here, so we sold the farm and moved to Terlingua.

For two years these songs sat on the hard drive. We packed up everything we owned and made many trips across Texas, twelve hours each way. We put everything aside so we could move here. We found out the hard way it takes a long time to build something in the desert.

That’s when I met Bill Palmer. I needed help getting this project back on track, and Bill was just the man for the job. He came to Terlingua from Santa Fe to help me finish the record. We worked in a trailer house, often huddled around the little electric heater between takes. Jon Graboff and Karina Wilson played in Santa Fe and sent their tracks over the internet. That was cool. Here in Terlingua, Steve Nathanson, Chet O’Keefe and Sarah Burton all contributed their parts. We even recorded overdubs at Bill’s dad’s house In Red Springs. Johnny Simmons played his harmonica parts there. Paul Logan sent his harmony part on I-35 from his studio in Cedar Park. Bill and I mixed the record in our little makeshift studio here in Terlingua.

Now it’s August 2019 and I still can’t believe I’m living in Terlingua. The songs are finished and the artwork is done and everything has been sent to the manufacturers and I’m beginning to find out how much work it is releasing a record. I thought the hard part was done already. I was wrong.

I hope you’ll give The Rock House Project a listen. If you like it, please tell people about it. Soon I’ll be out in the real world touring and promoting. I’ll try to keep y’all informed as to my whereabouts and I hope you’ll come out and see a show.