The Walcotts play genre-bending American Rock'n'Roll.
Armed with a large lineup, the Los Angeles-based band — whose membership includes two singers, a horn section, a fiddle player, a pedal steel guitarist, a pianist, and a rhythm section — take inspiration from more than a half century's worth of American traditions. The result is a sound that nods to the Band's folk-rock, Little Feat's swampy jazz, Bruce Springsteen's heartland anthems, and everything in between. It's broad, big-sounding music, with the Walcotts swelling their lineup to as many as nine members during their acclaimed live shows.
The name, of course, is a reference to The Band's "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show," a 1970 tune that paid tribute to the traveling medicine shows of Levon Helm's youth. For a group that proudly wears its influences on its sleeve, though, the Walcotts aren't some revivalist band, stuck mimicking the retro sounds of an era that's long since past. Instead, they make roots music for a modern age, with songs that spin stories and melodies that take aim at the heart as well as the head.
Formed in 2012, The Walcotts began spreading their music through multiple TV and film placements, while also earning a well-deserved rep as one of the West Coast's best live bands. Opening dates with Honeyhoney, Steve Windwood, and Chris Isaak came first, followed by a West Coast tour with Chris Stapleton in 2015, mere days after Stapleton swept the CMA Awards. Live, the Walcotts bring the nuances of their recorded material to life, with every show building upward toward an explosion of horns, organ, guitar and dual vocals.
The Walcotts will continue building upward in 2016, when their full-length debut — featuring co-writes with John Alagia (Dave Matthews, John Mayer) and some co-production by Ross Hogarth (John Mellencamp, Melissa Etheridge) — is released.
“It might seem impossible to update sounds rooted in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but The Walcotts are the band that could do just that. Combining country, ragtime, soul and R&B, the band has an old-timey feel but writes in a fresh-sounding manner on its album Let the Devil Win, which could make Dr. John a fan of choral rock or an emo addict a fan of Leon Russell.”
- Rob Cullivan, PORTLAND TRIBUNE
“The Walcotts…play perfect driving-on-the-freeway music. The band’s rootsy, rollicking soulful sound is reminiscent of Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen, but is entirely the Walcotts’ own. The boy-girl harmonies, backed by horns, pedal steel, fiddle, and piano, feels familiar but altogether new.”
- Lilledeshan Bose, MYSPACE.COM, August 12, 2016
“…the Walcotts have quickly established themselves as a band to watch.”
- PUREVOLUME, August 11, 2016
“Los Angeles-based the Walcotts blend traditional American roots-based instruments into a raucous party for all, with male-female harmony singing, various acoustic string instruments, horns and an all-out attitude for fun.”
- Brett Bush, MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE
“Filling the main stage room of Hotel Cafe with a mighty sound, the L.A.-based ‘genre-bending’ Americana band The Walcotts performed a vigorous and robust set of music off their just-released, debut album Let The Devil Win…The 12-song album features lyrical themes that are both personal and universal aimed at both the heart and mind…The nine-piece live band…featured a melodic sonic explosion of guitars, horns, rhythm section, violin, pedal-steel and organ. The pacing, timing and arrangements were perfectly executed live and intricately coordinated but with a loose and spontaneous feel giving their high-energy set that dynamic, gritty edge throughout.”
- Harriet Kaplan, SOCALMUSICTODAY.COM, September 20, 2016