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Andy Coats & the Bank Walkers was formed in mid-2007, starting off as a trio, and then developing into a 4 piece powerhouse. They have an extremely broad range of influences, all of which meld together into a genre that Andy calls “R, R, and B” – Roots, Rock, and Blues. This includes everything from gut-bucket blues songs a la Charley Patton to Beatles-tinged originals.
As for the name, “The Bank Walkers,” that’s something Andy picked up from local columnist A.C. Snow:
"The expression grew out of the sociology of the old swimming hole, in which boys swam, 'buck nekkid,' .... "Most of us stayed modestly submerged in the waters, but a few of the better-blessed liked to strut around on the banks. Hence, "bank walkers.' " (Full story at: www.newsobserver.com/lifestyles/snow/2007/story/564423.html)
Andy and his fellow Bank Walkers come from a variety of musical backgrounds and interests: Andy Coats —guitar and vocals—is perhaps best known as a solo blues performer, having won blues challenges and performed throughout the US at festivals like The King Biscuit Blues Festival. But he grew up on classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix, and these influences almost always shine through, especially in Andy’s songwriting.
Charlie Foote shares guitar duties for the band. A highly skilled and versatile musician, Charlie spent his early years playing the heavy metal of the ‘80s, but since then has branched out in ways that surprise even himself. He has played in several lineups of worship band, a community theater production of the songs of Harry Chapin, Andy’s solo CD release parties, and many more.
Bassist Alex Little joined the Bank Walkers in Summer of 2008. Alex is a truly seasoned veteran of the music scene in Raleigh, having played in a wide variety of lineups and genres – including a Chapel Hill jazz combo, a folk duo with Tokyo Rosenthal, and Honky Tonk band Joe Swank & the Zen Pirates. A genuine “musician’s musician”, Alex can often be found listening to and supporting other bands on the local circuit.
Drummer Matt Jenkins is the newest of the Bank Walkers, having joined the band in Spring of 2009. He has an extensive background as both a performer and instructor, and possesses a musicality that sets him apart from most other drummers. His motivation is always to advance the song being performed, by figuring out what works best, and complementing it perfectly. He’s got the chops to play flashy fills, when needed, but also the restraint to lay back and play a simple beat.
Though not easy to categorize, the Bank Walkers pride themselves on the versatility and energy they bring to their songs and their performances. You’ll be surprised at the ease with which they go from Piedmont Blues to Gypsy Jazz, and then start all over again.