Clay Walker Talks Battle With MS, Film Debut and New Music

Veteran country performer Clay Walker is making an appearance at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The occasion is the Fourth Annual Chords Of Hope benefit concert -- one that is for a cause that hits the singer close to home.

"The show will support a charity that is very close to my heart called Band Against MS," the singer told Billboard. "I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 1996, and at that time it was almost a death sentence. We’re in a great place these days, though. I’ve been in complete remission for the last fifteen years, and I plan on staying there. Fortunately, before that, there were people out there who made sure there would be something in place that would take care of me."

Now, Walker is trying to take a page from the lyrics of his hit single "The Chain Of Love" and pay the support given to him forward. "That’s what I’m trying to do. That’s what this concert is about. It’s a lot of fun. it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come with MS. I feel very blessed to give back. 'To whom much is given, much is expected," he said, quoting Luke 12. "This is my way of giving back." On the bill with Walker will be rising talents Craig Campbell and Greg Bates, as well as some surprise guests.

Walker recently added the term "author" to his job description with the publication of his recent book "Jesus Was A Country Boy," which the singer says is a testament to his faith.

"I guess the older we get, hopefully the closer you get to God. For me, I’m trying to find my way. That has given me some insight to the different walls that Christians build between themselves with different denominations. I think a lot of people that I have met have a distorted view of what Christianity is. I wanted to be able to say my peace about what Jesus is to me." Walker admits that his faith continues to grow and evolve. "Actually, I wish I had written the book closer to today because my views have changed even more since writing the book. It’s true stories that have happened to me, and experiences I’ve had. Hopefully, it's something that people can see themselves in and maybe draw from it."

Another project close to Walker's heart is a project that puts him in front of the cameras.

"'Alone Yet Not Alone' is a film I was invited to be a part of. It's a true story, which makes it more compelling. It's set in the 1700s, when the Indians had formed an alliance with us to help us beat the French. All they wanted was just a little bit of land in return. We said no, and they ended up joining forces with the French against us, and kidnapping Americans. The film is based on these two girls who were kidnapped by this tribe of Indians who were unbelievable trackers. There was no way to escape them, once you were in their camp. They could track you running wide open. It's a story of courage and Christian faith. It really goes hand in hand with where I am in life right now."

The movie will be released next spring.

When asked about new music, Walker said fans shouldn’t have to wait long. "We should have brand new music recorded in the next couple of months, and that should be out in the first quarter of 2014. I know fans have been waiting for a while."

Walker can’t wait to play Nashville again, as he says the annual concert is definitely a labor of love. "Chords Of Hope was put together by our team. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it. There are a lot of people out there who have MS who don’t really have anywhere to turn. What we’re trying to do is raise awareness and find a cure." 

 

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