Van Walker was born & raised on the windswept prairies of north-west coast Tasmania. Between lashings of hallucinogenic cheese & Magic Johnson and weenings on William Blake & Ribald magazine, Van first heard the music of Bob Dylan around adolescence & began picking guitar & writing songs.
Some hundreds of songs later and a hell-bent pick, he moved to Melbourne to form the rocknroll outfit The Swedish Magazines, and sing his unique hillbilly stuff on the side.
Soon enough he's prolific songwriting productivity has delt him 'cult figure status' in his adopted Melbourne, having written over 500 songs across many genres, realising 6 full length albums between 2008 & 2010
"Literary vigour and scathing social commentary, if there is any justice in this world, Underneath the Radar will provoke a radical awareness & appreciation of Van Walker’s songwriting talents."Mess & Noise
The first collection of these beguilingly simple songs came out in 2008 entitled The Celestial Railroad, & in 2009 three separate sessions were released, The Last Record Store (Jan) Greetings from Penguin Tasmania (Aug) & Love Fate (Oct). Drawing on the grand storytelling tradition of artists such as Ray Davies, Townes Van Zandt, Leon Payne & John Prine, & the acoustic finger-styles of John Fahey & Mississippi John Hurt, Van created a sound both old & new, with a laconic familiarity that speaks to the heart with an intimacy more effortless than contrived.
Since 2010, Van has been busy touring nationally and internationally writing and releasing two albums with the powerpop outfit The Livingstone Daisies (2013, PBS Album of the Year) (2014 4.5 Stars AGE EG) with Liz Stringer, his brother Callan, and Michael Barclay (Paul Kelly), recording VOL.1O with Jeff Lang, Ezra Lee & Ash Davies as Van Walker's Heartbrokers; forming the three piece blues outfit Goatpiss Gasoline; while also writing and performing as a member of the critically acclaimed Vandemonian Lags stage production.
2020 sees Van back on the road with the highly anticipated release of his first solo album in 10 years, Ghosting (GreenSouthRecords).
Catch him performing Saturday 25th April, preceding the morning's ANZAC memorial.