The Desert Pulse artists spotlight on Blackhawk Walters.
Name: Blackhawk Walters
Genre: Outlaw Country, Americana, Native American Rock, Southern Rock
Founded: 2007(First Album Release)
Home: Apple Valley, UT
Influences: Eric Clapton, Eddie Money, The Eagles, George Harrison, Bon Jovi and so many more.
How do you summarize a man that has done it all in a brief artist spotlight? Perhaps, just by saying, Blackhawk Walters truly is one of those that has packed several lifetimes in his life and shows every sign of adding a couple more.
At five-years old, Blackhawk Walters started training in the Martial Arts. He obtained the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt. A career in professional kickboxing resulted in a record of 43 wins 7 losses, with 35 wins via knockout. As if that were not impressive enough, he won four World Kickboxing Championships. He was the first martial artist to be syndicated nationwide teaching karate to over 12 million homes with his TV show “Blackhawk Warriors.”
Blackhawk Walters has always had a diversity of interests calling for his attention. He and his wife wrote, directed, and starred in the movie “Shadow Hawk On Sacred Ground.’ In addition, Blackhawk has played the lead in several plays including “A Comanche’s Sacred Love.” His passion for writing has resulted in authoring four books including “Legends of the Chiefs” which is also an e-book. He was even a Professional Firefighter for over twenty-five years.
After a slip and twist of a knee in a non-fighting injury, Blackhawk retired from fighting at the top of his game. It was here he found his passion for music. He started playing guitar and mandolin along with writing, performing, and recording music.
“I played Indian drums with a group called “Eastern Sky” for several years,” Blackhawk shared. “We played Pow Wows all across the East Coast. I was a pretty successful Native American Dancer at the Pow Wows. One time I was doing ‘Fancy Dancing’ which is the hardest American Indian dancing to do. Physically, it is tough and almost all dancers are in their early 20’s and almost always retire by the age of thirty-five. I was competing in a contest at the age of forty-five. They had gotten the contest down to the last three dancers and could not decide who was best. So they took Five Dollar bills crumpled them up and dropped them all over the arena. Then, told the dancers whoever collected the most bills in a short dance session would be the winner. But, the rule was you could not use your hands. When the drum music started, I danced over to the bills on the ground and would drop into the splits and pick the money up with my mouth. At the end of the competition I had more five-dollar bills than any competitor and won the contest.”
Upon deciding to follow his passion in music, Blackhawk Walters was determined to learn to play the guitar. He began taking lessons and started finding he could do it well. His love for the sound of the mandolin created a desire to learn to play it, also. However, his instructor told him he was too old and it was too difficult. This lit a fire of determination under Blackhawk. He practiced and played until his fingers were raw in order to prove to himself he could play it and play it well. The result was his instructor being astonished at his ability, motivation, and determination.
While his musical abilities are what has put him into the music scene, it is his gregarious personality and genuine love for people and their success that has earned him the respect of his peers. Blackhawk is relentless in his promoting, supporting, and encouraging of other artists. He is continually offering positive comments and love for others. It is no wonder why others appreciate, love, and respect him so much. One of the people Blackhawk gives a great deal of credit to in his exploration and learning in music is John Houston. The two of them have not only created a partnership where music flows freely–they have become close friends–more like brothers.
“When everyone heard I was doing music, they all said, ‘You have to meet John Houston,’ shared Blackhawk. “So I called him and got a meeting. We hit it off right away. In fact, he’s one of my best friends. We recorded a song the first day and almost every month for 9 years we are recording new songs. He is an amazing musician and has made my transition from a fighter to a musician a wonderful journey.”
Blackhawk’s newest album, “Half Breed,” was released In March 2016, Listeners will hear his mastering of both the mandolin and guitar as he plays with precision. In addition, his impeccable gift of song writing is showcased in the lyrics in which he wrote or co-wrote ten of the 15 songs packed into the album. The remaining 5 songs are covers of some of his favorite songs he stylizes them to make them his own.
The album “Half Breed” can be listened to and downloaded here. In addition, he has several music videos for the songs on the album including: Half Breed, Hawk’s Hallelujah, You Win, Medicine Man, and When The Whistle Blows. Blackhawk Walters is a man of action and has demonstrated this in every endeavor he has sincerely pursued. Watching his growth in music and anticipating what he has coming next, is exciting and educational. But, it is Blackhawk Walters’ love and commitment shown to others that may very well be the truest measure of his success.