Dulcet River blends original music with a variety of musical genres, performing songs from musicians like George Strait, Dylan, Radiohead, Alison Krauss and Coldplay — just to name a …
Dulcet River blends original music with a variety of musical genres, performing songs from musicians like George Strait, Dylan, Radiohead, Alison Krauss and Coldplay — just to name a few.
“We offer a pretty wide mix of musical genres with a focus on creative acoustic arrangements and strong vocals,” said Tom Walker, who performs with his wife, Kathy, as Dulcet River. “We lean toward songs that tug on us emotionally, but we do lots of upbeat music as well.”
The duo doesn’t want to be pigeonholed to a single genre or era.
“We may be boomers and acoustic-driven, but covering nothing but ‘70s singer/songwriters would be my idea of torture,” Walker said.
One of the couple’s most popular songs is an arrangement Walker put together of Passenger’s “Let Her Go.”
“My youngest son had the radio in my truck tuned to a pop station a few years back and that song came on as I was driving to town,” he said. “I knew I could do something with it and we’ve been performing it ever since.”
The same is true for REM’s “To The One I Love,” Radiohead’s “High And Dry” and Cindi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”
“I like taking pop and rock songs and rearranging them with an unplugged acoustic treatment,” Walker said, adding, “I enjoy the challenge of taking the unexpected and making it work.”
Dulcet River will be performing on the Pepsi Free Stage at the Park County Fair.
Up until four years ago, most of Walker’s musical experience was in churches. He worked as a music minister in several churches over the years in the couple’s home state of Florida, then in Atlanta and finally in Park County, where they moved in 2003.
The couple has been performing together for years.
“Kathy and I began performing together before we were married, which was more years ago than I care to admit here,” Walker said.
In 1994, they recorded an album of 10 original songs in Nashville in the Christian contemporary genre.
“Several of those songs received airplay on Christian radio stations around the South, and one of those, a song called ‘Silver Night,’ is still in our set list,” Walker said.
Walker cut a four-song EP in Nashville in 2010 of songs he’d written since moving out to Wyoming, and he said those originals continue to find their way into Dulcet River’s shows, along with several he’s written since then.
In 2017, the couple visited Atlanta and provided music for their former church’s 20th anniversary celebration. Following that trip, Walker said he decided to try his hand at playing in local live music venues.
“I played my first show at the Chamberlin Inn [in Cody] that summer, and I’ve been playing steadily in the Cody/Powell area ever since,” he said. “Kathy joined me two summers ago and we became a duo once again.”
Up until last year, the couple just went by their names when performing, but Walker decided they needed a better stage name.
“Choosing a stage name these days is no easy task,” he said. “The internet and social media has made it necessary to consider the entire country local, so our name needed to be unique not only in Park County but in Dubuque, Iowa, and Bangor, Maine as well.”
The name Dulcet River stems from the word dulcet, which means pleasant to the ear. River is a word the Walkers have used often in their music over the years, “so it has historical meaning for us.”
“The name, Dulcet River, worked out perfectly … after a year now, it seems folks are starting to identify us with the name,” Walker said.
Following four years of playing in front of mostly Cody audiences, Walker felt like they were ready to gain a little more exposure.
“ … Playing at the Pepsi Free Stage at the fair this year will be a good opportunity to get in front of folks we don’t normally see,” he said.
The duo’s main goal in all their performances is to connect in some way with the audience.
“That’s not always easy. A noisy restaurant can be a real challenge, but it only takes one or two people making eye contact with us and smiling, or coming up afterward and telling us how much a song or how we performed it meant to them,” Walker said. “That’s the power of music and live performance, and that’s what it’s all about for us.”