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Walkabouts artist

photo: Hilary Harris

The Walkabouts

From 1984 to 2011 legendary Seattle group The Walkabouts released some of the best and most unique albums that have come out of the Pacific Northwest.

The Walkabouts self-released their first EP titled 22 Disasters in 1985, and their first LP See Beautiful Rattlesnake Gardens was put out by Seattle's PopLlama Records in 1988. The band was then signed to Sub Pop Records. 1989's classic Rag and Bone was their first album on the label, and although they never reached widespread audiences like other groups on Sub Pop, Walkabouts bandleader Chris Eckman's sophisticated arrangements and brilliant songwriting arguably set the template for Sub Pop's folk-rock bands that followed.

Never a standard rock band, The Walkabouts defy genres as they seamlessly fuse rock, country and folk to reveal a rich and expansive sound. Channeling Neil Young, Nick Cave and Hank Williams, to name a few influences, The Walkabouts took their inspiration and churned out original and evocative outsider epics. The rootsy, country twang in singer Carla Torgerson’s impassioned vocals is unlike anyone else, especially considering what the trends were at the time. Backed by the water tight and simultaneously loose rhythm section of Michael Wells on bass and Terri Moeller on drums, their songs are lushly orchestrated with strings, piano, organ (Glenn Slater), harmonica (Wells), mandolin, violin and accordion, to name a handful of instruments in their vast repertoire.

It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but in the 1990s, they hit their apex and issued a series of indispensable albums: New West Motel (1993), Setting the Woods on Fire (1994) and Devil's Road (1995). These records saw their sound further developing onto a cinematic scale as they hit a remarkable stride. Their last studio album to date, Travels in the Dustland (2011), saw the band continuing the impressive heights that were maintained since their early years with hardly a misstep in between.

Great artists who create timeless music are often under the radar and The Walkabouts rank among the best of them.

- Andrew Boe, 2019

Over the years the most consistent lineup of The Walkabouts was:

Travels In Dustland cover

Travels in the Dustland
Format: Digital
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Berlin cover

Berlin (Live)
Format: CD, Digital
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Acetylene cover

Acetylene
Format: CD, Digital
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Ended Up Stranger cover

Ended Up a Stranger
Format: Digital
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Trail of Stars cover

Trail of Stars
Format: Digital
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Nighttown cover

Nighttown
Format: Deluxe 2xLP, 2xCD, DIGITAL
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 Devils Road cover

Devil's Road
Format: Deluxe 2xCD, Digital
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Setting Woods On Fire cover

Setting the Woods on Fire
Format: Digital
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Satisfied Mind cover

Satisfied Mind
Format: LP, Digital
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New West Motel cover

New West Motel
Format: CD, Digital
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Scavenger cover

Scavenger
Format: Digital
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RagandBone cover

Rag & Bone
Format: EP, Digital
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Cataract cover

Cataract
Format: LP, Digital
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See Beautiful Rattlesnake Gardens cover

See Beautiful Rattlesnake Gardens
Format: LP, CD, Digital
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