Walker Shepard

Sam's second son was named Samuel Walker Shepard but is called Walker. He was born on June 14, 1987 in Scottsville, Virginia. His mother is actress Jessica Lange. After graduating from college, he joined a band called The Dust Busters. In 2013 the band changed its name to the Down Hill Strugglers and lost one of its members, Craig Judelman.

The Down Hill Strugglers are an old-time string band based out of Brooklyn, NY. Besides Walker, who sings and plays fiddle, banjo, guitar and harmonica, its present members include Jackson Lynch on fiddle, banjo, guitar and voice, and Eli Smith on banjo, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, Jews harp, pump organ, and voice.

The band strives to integrate a wide range of old-time songs, ballads, fiddle tunes and jug band blues into every performance, infused with the old-time feeling and freewheelin’ high energy that characterized early string bands such as The Skillet Lickers, Dykes Magic City Trio, The Mississippi Sheiks, and J.E. Mainer’s Mountaineers, among many others. They are influenced and inspired by the direct fusion of Scots-Irish and African music that took place in Appalachia, the Western states and the Deep South from the earliest colonial times through the Second World War. By carrying this music forward with authenticity and creativity

They have appeared at venues including Club Passim and the Jalopy Theater and have played at festivals such as The Brooklyn Folk Festival and the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival and appeared on radio shows such as Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour and Sound Check with John Schaefer, WNYC 93.9fm.

They bring back the true spirit of Old Time Music, where every singer invented his own performance. Besides being excellent musicians, they sing with the high voices that echo the sounds of young artists heard on the old 78s , evoking the spirit of the 'Golden Era' of recording, and the mystery of their own identity. They have built their repertoire from some of the best music of the past and they keep it alive and lively. They have found resonance with the intensity of rural music, while delighting in the nuances that preserve the individual uniqueness of the genre. This is music that will keep your mind dancing.


Walker and his band provided the music for the after party on the premiere of his father's play, HEARTLESS, on August 27, 2012.