June 8, 2015

The Walking Guys Begin Walk

The Walking Guys to begin East Coast tour on July 8th

Group to conduct concert tour on foot

The Walking Guys (Benjamin Butler, Christopher Kessenich, Will Stevens, and Riley Moore) are set to begin their one-of-a-kind music/adventure tour in Portland, ME on July 8, 2015, with performances that combine original music and stories of their 1600-mile walk.  Yes, walk.  The four performers plan to walk from gig to gig, sharing their music in venues ranging from highly esteemed theaters to dive bars and around campfires. Representing the best of Southern Folk Americana, the Walking Guys will create a musical experience that will allow fans to join in their adventure of covering miles every day on foot, becoming immersed in the culture of each area they enter, and sharing their story with those who will become the next characters in it.

During their journey, the Walking Guys will rely on the hospitality of strangers, acquaintances, and their camping gear to provide lodging. They will walk 15 miles a day, stopping every three to four days for rest and/or performances.  Though they currently have three solo EPs to promote, they envision themselves growing together as one cohesive unit.  Shows at the beginning of the tour will certainly vary from those at the end as the group tightens into a single act. The Guys are especially excited to document their transformation in a web series they will release along the way.  The series will allow fans to connect to the tour in (near) real-time.  Upon completion of the tour, the series will be released as a full-length documentary along with a complete live album of performances from the tour. The tour will span a four-month period, with dates in many major cities on the East Coast planned.  A short break in the walking tour will see the group traveling by car to Appleton, WI for a performance at the Mile of Music Festival in August, with the walking tour picking back up where it left off in New York City several days later. 

Their Story

Rather than the tight-knit group one might expect to embark on a journey such as this, several members of the group have never met in person, or have known each other only for a short time.  Butler started telling his friends and family in March of 2013 that he was going to walk across the country to play music.  Not surprisingly, he was met with a barrage of, “Oh yeah?” and “Good luck, buddy,” responses.  However, he never let others’ doubts dissuade him.  He continued searching for fellow performers who were bold and skilled enough to join him. 

Two years later, Butler posted, “Looking for other musicians/videographers to go on an adventurous tour with,” on a random Nashville musicians’ Facebook group.  His persistence paid off.  Kessenich just happened to peruse the page for the very first time that day.  He saw the post and gave Butler a call.  After 15 minutes of dodging the fact, Butler finally admitted he was walking the 1600+ mile East Coast tour.  Kessenich went silent for 15 long seconds then replied confidently, “I’m in.”  They met to confirm the other was not an ax murderer and began planning. 

Next, Butler reached out to a lead guitarist (Stevens), whom he briefly met while walking the Appalachian Trail a year earlier.  Stevens discussed the tour with his wife who encouraged him to quit his job and join the bill.  As any good husband does, he took his wife’s advice.  Lastly, Moore, another recent friend of Butler’s, decided to join. Thus, after two years of hoping and dreaming, Butler found three relative strangers in a span of two weeks to help him turn his dream into a reality. 

Kessenich will be releasing a debut EP by his band, Arts Fishing Club, just weeks before the beginning of the tour and will be extensively promoting his folk-rock brand throughout the tour. Butler will also be releasing and promoting his own recently completed debut EP filled with complex songwriting guaranteed to strike a common chord with people in all walks of life. Moore, the experienced touring musician of the group, will bring years of songwriting experience and a crucial laid-back attitude to the group needed for those consecutive days of extreme mileage. Stevens, an alumnus of Berklee College of Music and a singer-songwriter himself, will round out the group as a lead guitarist and vocalist with his own style fitting more in the Southern rock genre.

The Walking Guys are modern day beatniks, living by their mantra, “Live Simple, Spread Music.”  Their thirst for life and adventure would make Kerouac proud.  )

The Walking Guys – Confirmed Tour Dates / Planned Routing

(Venues that are noted are confirmed, and other shows will be plugged in along the route.)

7/8 – Portland, ME / Dogfish Bar & Grille

7/9 – Portland, ME / Andy’s

7/10 – Portland, ME / Acoustic Artisans

7/11 – Biddeford, ME

7/12 – Wells, ME

7/13 – Portsmouth, NH

7/14 – Portsmouth, NH / The Press Room

7/15 – Seabrook, NH

7/16 – Willowdale, NH

7/17 – Seabrook, NH / Chop Shop Pub

7/18 – Boston, MA

7/19 – Boston, MA / Cuisine en Locale

7/20 – 7/21 – Boston, MA

7/22 – Providence, RI

7/23 – Fall River, MA

7/24 – Newport, RI

7/25 – Newport, RI / house concert

7/26 – 7/27 – Newport, RI

7/28 – Block Island, RI

7/29 – Montauk, NY

7/30 – East Hampton, NY

7/31 – Hampton Bay, NY

8/1 – New York, NY

8/2 – Brooklyn, NY / Bushwick Public House

8/3 – New York, NY

8/4 – Brooklyn, NY / King County Saloon

8/4 – Brooklyn, NY / The Way Station

8/5 – 8/9 – Appleton, WI / Mile of Music Festival

8/10 – New York, NY / Flatiron Hotel

8/11 – New Brunswick, NJ

8/12 – 8/13 – Princeton, NJ

8/14 – Trenton, NJ

8/15 – Bensalem, PA / Mugg’s on Main St.

8/16 – Philadelphia, PA / The Nail

8/17 – Philadelphia, PA

8/18 – Philadelphia, PA / Raven Lounge

8/19 – Chester, PA

8/20 – Wilmington, DE

8/21 – White Clay Creek State Park, DE

8/22 – Rising Sun, MD

8/23 – Darlington, MD

8/24 – 8/25 – Bel Air, MD

8/26 – Overlea, MD

8/27 – 8/29 – Baltimore, MD

8/30 – Arlington, MD / Cabaret at Germano’s

8/31 – Hyattsville, MD

9/1 – 9/3 – Washington, DC

9/4 – Newington, VA

9/5 – Dumfries, VA

9/6 – Fredericksburg, VA

9/7 – Pendleton Golf Course, Ruther Glen, VA

9/8 – 9/9 – Doswell, VA

9/10 – Glen Allen, VA

9/11 – 9/12 – Richmond, VA

9/13 – Colonial Heights, VA

9/14 – Dinwiddie, VA

9/15 – Lake Rawlings, VA

9/16 – Southside Virginia College, VA

9/17 – Alberta, VA

9/18 – South Hill, VA

9/19 – North Bend Park, VA

9/20 – Henderson , NC

9/21 – Franklinton, NC

9/22 – Wake Forest, NC

9/23 – 9/24 – Raleigh, NC

9/25 – 9/26 – Durham, NC

9/27 – Chapel Hill, NC

9/28 – Chapel Hill, NC / Johnny’s 901

9/29 – Swepsonville, NC

9/30 – Elon University, Elon, NC

10/1 – 10/2 – Greensboro, NC

10/3 – 10/ 5 – Asheville, NC

10/6 – Hendersonville, NC

10/7 – Spring Creek, NC

10/8 – 10/9 – Greenville, SC

10/10 – Williamston, SC

10/11 – Anderson, SC

10/12 – Iva, SC

10/13 – Bowman, GA

10/14 – Colbert, GA

10/15 – 10/17 – Athens, GA

10/18 – somewhere on Highway 78

10/19 – Loganville, GA

10/20 – 10/24 – Atlanta, GA

10/25 – Marietta, GA

10/26 – Cartersville, GA

10/27 – Adairsville, GA

10/28 – somewhere on Highway 41

10/29 – Ringgold, GA

10/30 – 10/31 – Chattanooga, TN

11/1 – Prentice Cooper, TN

11/2 – somewhere on Highway 41

11/3 – Tracy City, TN

11/4 – Hillsboro, TN

11/5 – Beech Grove, TN

11/6 – 11/7 – Murfreesboro, TN

11/8 – Antioch, TN

11/9 – Nashville, TN


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