Hal Walker is an internet sensation. In his 50’s he probably never expected to be the cool guy on the internet, but his cool spirit, determination, and penchant for ancient instruments have made him a star.
Low Key Gliding on the Khaen
Hal’s ticket to internet stardom started when he shared a video playing an ancient instrument from Laos called the Khaen – an ancient predecessor to the modern harmonica. The song became a TikTok hit, and it’s been remixed, sampled,and spread across the interwebs faster than “Gangnam Style” back in 2013.
80-90 percent bedridden
Hal sufferers from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, abbreviated as ME/CFS. He’s in pain, and struggles with fatigue. His story is both tragic and beautiful as he fights to keep creating and making his art.
Hal Walker on the Manlihood ManCast
Hal talks with Josh about his illness, about his journey, about his music, and it’s an inspiring and intriguing listen.
JD Casper released his new song, Living in the Past this week, and Manlihood has an exclusive first look.
We sat down for an interview with JD Casper, and we’re excited to share his new song with you for our Creative Thursday feature!
Living in the Past is like walking into your grandfather’s house after he’s passed on, and as you’re cleaning out the cupboards, you find a coffee can loaded with cash. There’s the blessing of finding a rich treasure, but also the nostalgia of a simpler time, and grandpa’s old wisdom. JD Casper builds on an old tradition of folk and country music with his tender acoustic musical arrangement, but the depth of his lyrics are in the simple truths they communicate.
“Don’t look back in anger, hold on to your memories. Learn from your mistakes and all your apologies. With good help and company, a soul can be set free with a good melody you can make your dreams reality. Hindsight staring through the glass Broken hearts can heal without a cast. They say good times come from living like each day could be your last. Oh what’s the point of living in the past.”
JD Casper, “Living in the Past”
Check out the video for JD Casper’s “Living in the Past”
Manlihood: Your new song, “Living in the Past” has so much depth. There’s a message you want us to hear – tell me about that.
JD Casper: For me, the song serves as a modest reminder to be present everyday. Engage with your loved ones and don’t dwell on the past. You’re not your childhood traumas. You’re not the bad decisions or the bad break ups you’ve went through. Your hardships don’t define you. There’s always hope for a better tomorrow. For all of us.
Manlihood: There’s an earnest and rich earthiness to your music – it could have been recorded yesterday or 100 years ago. What is it about that folk style that drew you in?
JD Casper: As a child, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He’s had country radio on in his living room and garage 24/7 since before I was born. I think it was imprinted into my subconscious for better or worse. But I really started to embrace the sound about 10 years ago. I like music that bleeds emotion.
Manlihood:Is music your full time gig? What does that look like for you? Is it hard work?
JD Casper: Music has been my full time gig for about 5 years now. My schedule has been pretty consistent. I play six shows a week. It’s a lot of singing, strumming, and stomping. But I get paid well and get to spend the maximum amount of time with my family. Which is very important to me having a son that’s turning 3 this month.
Manlihood: You’ve been a musician since you were young. Did you ever dream it would look like what it looks like now?
JD Casper: If you had told me, the 12 year old boy from Lewis Run, PA that this was going to be my life at 27, I don’t think I would’ve believed it. I’m living my dream. Truly.
Manlihood: This song dropped this week, where can I buy it?
JD Casper: You can get it everywhere! Stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon music, or download it on iTunes, or the YouTube video. There will be a bigger EP coming soon with 5 or 6 more songs. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
I haven’t listened to Beck in a while, and in my mind… Beck is still “Two Turntables and a Microphone” kinda crazy funky hip hop alternative stuff.
But Morning Phase is nothing of the sort. It’s got spring-loaded reverby guitars spreading space dust while a simple acoustic chord structure chugs along like a slow train to Georgia, or somewhere West, maybe.
Lots of dreamy falsetto, and it’s a big mellow pot of 70’s lite rock with lots of grunge left over from the last meal.
To me, Beck is usually a good soundtrack for skate punks and parkour… energetic and singable, with jaded lyrics. This album is what happens after those skate punks retire from skating and get hooked on percoset – then lay down in a high grass field and look at the clouds.
I LIKE it – don’t get me wrong – but it’s definitely not what I expected when I clicked “Play” on a Beck album.