Troubadour: one of a class of lyric poets and poet-musicians often of knightly rank who flourished from the 11th to the end of the 13th century chiefly in the south of France and the north of Italy and whose major theme was courtly love.
Today the Troubadours still exist making their living from their music one night at a time. Walter Finley is a great example of a Modern Day Troubadour. I asked him what it felt like to have his sole income be generated by his voice and the instrument in his hand, what does his day to day life look like… “I am a troubadour, I travel around to different towns and cities looking for places to play. I literally walk into venues and say can I play here just like the poet-musician’s of times past. Nobody knows my name when I get started, I have to play a few cover songs to win them over and get them to like me, I have to start up some kind of dialogue and get them involved which is when I am able to introduce my original music. I love to tell the stories behind the songs.”
What’s your biggest high when you’re out playing? “…when I'm playing songs I have written I can't help but pour my heart into it and I feel the audience and myself become one for a few minutes that gets me higher than anything I know.”
What is the toughest part of what you do? “When I play a show and become background music. In the same respect that it’s exhilarating to have those moments when you and the audience become one it’s very difficult to poor your
your heart out to a room full of people and just be viewed as some kind of noise that they have to rise above to have a conversation, those moments feel very lonely.”
Why do you do it? It seems like a hard way to carve out your spot in this world. “Because at the end of the day, whether I was background noise for a moment, the star of my own one man show for 30 people or standing on stage in front of thousands… those moments when you hear a crowd singing your song back to you, when someone comes up to me and lets me know that they loved one of my songs, that the words touched them it makes me feel good and I know I made a difference.”
The Troubadour still exists, going from town to town, place to place, making a living pouring their heart out through their music one night at a time.
“Walk with Me” – An Inspirational Video
Listening to the radio while doing my homework, it doesn’t matter what generation you are from, homework was a drag! But when you listened to pop and country songs back then the singers, the groups, and the bands really had the ability to make you feel good – they were inspirational, moving, entertaining, and just plain fun to listen to. They had a way of motivating and lifting your spirits. They were good times, they were fun times and they were entertaining times.
Get your copy of the song “Walk With Me” by clicking here
Through the years music has changed in many ways as has the industry but one thing will never change – beautiful music as it continues to evolve! It never ceases to amaze me as to the never endless stream of originality coming from talented artists – I guess that’s why it’s called art, which by the way, does not have to be limited to the visual form alone. Art may commonly be defined as an expression of human creative skill and imagination in visual form such as paintings or sculptures, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power, but I think everyone can agree music is far more stimulating than any inanimate object. When both visual and audio is combined, emotions are experienced at a much greater level and that is precisely what happened when I watched “Walk with Me” by Walter Finley for the first time.
I had an opportunity to sit down with this amazing artist who has created some beautiful songs that literally tug at your heartstrings and I was able to learn more about his inspiration behind the song… I was surprised at the story behind the making of the video. First, Walter’s Experience.
“Walk with Me” – The Inspiration: When I was talking with Walter I asked him to explain the story behind the making of “Walk with Me”, his answer was twofold.
First: “The song poured out at me sometime during 2014 while in the studio, and to me it was my interpretation of God saying ‘Walk with Me’ because my life had been so hard and the ‘burned down house of your life’ was my life that was trashed. I pictured His hand reaching down and helping me out of the house… Stay close to Me, and we will walk together and we’ll get through this and figure it out…” During the same time period, Diane (now Walter’s fiancé) was going through a very rough time in her life with both her mother and father passing. Diane had to leave Walter to take care of family matters but one thing Walter said that stuck with Diane was just before her leaving “I will never leave you” which is referenced in the song “I won’t leave your side”. She left and they didn’t see each other except for once in a while but they kept their relationship alive. The song “Walk with Me” had such a profound impact both his and Diane’s life “it is like our wedding song now.” The song represents the time where Walter and Diane were apart but by staying close to God “… you’re not alone, and together you will climb, climb through the wreckage of your life.”
Walter said “… when I played it for her (Diane) first, I told her I felt that God gave me these words, it was His song and there was nothing we had to do to it. When I went into the studio to record an album of slow music, a lot of people were against it, but Ben Wisch (producer of my EP) knew what I wanted to do and believed in the songs. ”Walter was tenacious in his decision, he wanted to do something special with an album that would have an inspirational impact on people, his fans, and anyone looking for music that would take them to a different spiritual level. “Music and song originally came about as prayer… much of the music today is nothing like that so I purposely took a chance to create something completely different.” But is it really “completely different”?
Walter went on to talk about trends “… if you look at the trends, everything is trending to ballads right now. When you watched the New Year’s Eve show, all the bands were playing ballads.” Walter also wanted to make sure his album was open to all to “feel the love, feel relaxed, and feel at peace.” And isn’t that what we need more of in this world?
Second: Walter is very involved in helping people, both from a personal hands-on approach and as a role model, he strives to inspire others through his music and unique style. Walter would like to see more people getting behind artists presenting messages of togetherness and hope “because the world is becoming unhinged at the seams again… we need music that will help bring people together, not separate people. That is why I didn’t originally put a religious context on the song – I want everyone to enjoy it without any specific religious connection, I want “everyone” to feel connected and together. And music does that. We had problems back in the 70’s, right… 60’s? And they had musicians write songs to bring people together.”
When asked about the making of his video I was quite surprised by Walter’s answer – he had no part in the making of the video, it was the inspiration of Mr. Chuck Fargione. Chuck has been following Walter and his musical career for a few years now, and I had the opportunity to catch up with Chuck for his story, what inspired him, what was it about Walter’s song “Walk with Me” that stimulated his creative juices.
“Walk with Me” – The Video: Probably the most intriguing observation I took away from my interview with Chuck Fargione was his view that when too many people get involved in decision making it takes away the “creativity” and ability to be able to see things the way the world sees them because there is an audience that your trying to attract and make happy. Too many people involved removes that creativity and ability to meet and respond to the right audience. “It’s really kinda nice to sit by yourself and line up all the special moments in life…” and that is exactly what Chuck was able to do with Walter’s song, he lined up and matched all those special moments of “Walk with Me” with visuals and put together an extremely touching video.
Chuck’s ability in creating his video from Walter’s song speaks volumes about Walter’s creativity and talent in not only writing a powerful story, but having it accompanied by a very emotional piece of music. I hope that creativity and style such as seen in Walter’s music will become more mainstream with the younger generation of musicians, bands, groups, and song writers… music that will bring back those days with songs that are inspirational, moving, entertaining, and mostly just plain fun to listen to – music that will once again find ways to motivate and lift our spirits like “Walk with Me” did to me. I will tell you this, when I asked my wife Cheryl to come in and watch the video for the first time… she had tears running down her face at the end and to me was verification of what a great song and video this is and that is what the audience is in search of! Beautiful song and great Video… and in Chucks own words “Music should speak for itself!” “Walk with Me” certainly does speak for itself.
-Bruce I. Swartz