Robert Walter Launches ‘Better Feathers’ Digital 45 Series

Up first is single "Or Else" featuring Stanton Moore & Craig Brodhead backed by "Franklin" featuring Moore.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 30, 2021 10:45 am PDT

Keyboardist Robert Walter announced Better Feathers, a series of six new “digital 45s” featuring a total of 12 tracks he’s putting out through Royal Potato Family starting today and continuing through October. Today, Walter released “Or Else” and “Franklin,” the first installment of Better Feathers.

Walter wrote and recorded each of the 12 tracks while quarantining at home in 2020 and 2021. “It was time to shift gears and think of the situation as a positive and not a negative; an unexpected abundance of time to emerge with something of value,” Robert said regarding the decision to immerse himself in writing and recording to keep busy and stay creative during the forced hiatus from the road.

The keyboardist recruited a number of musical friends to contribute remotely to Better Feathers tracks including band mates Mike Gordon, John Kimock and Chris Stillwell as well as Jake Najor, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and Turkuaz guitarist/keyboardist Craig Brodhead. Moore appears on both “Or Else” and “Franklin,” while the former also features Brodhead.

“Or Else” serves as the “a-side” on the series’ first digital 45. “It was influenced by early ’80s dance records by artists like Grace Jones and Le Chic,” explained Walter. “The melody was conceived in the spirit of the dub melodica explorations of Augustus Pablo—pure tropical funk and summer vibes. It was the first tune I wrote for the sessions.”

“Franklin” shares its name with Robert’s elementary school and is influenced by his memories of those days. “There was a certain time during the mid-’70s where it seemed like everything in pop culture was funky. Saturday morning cartoons, television commercials and most of the music on the radio had absorbed (and sometimes bastardized) the sounds of James Brown, Sly Stone and the Jackson 5,” added Walter. “It’s an attempt to do the Bernie Worrell trick of overdubbing lots of different keyboards that all snake in and out of each other’s way in just the nick of time.”

Better Feathers continues on July 21 with “Saucerman” featuring Mike Gordon and Moore adding to its “b-side” “Devices Of Similar Size.” Stream “Or Else” and “Franklin” from Robert Walter’s Better Feathers digital 45 series below:

Or Else

Franklin

Better Feathers Release Schedule

  • June 30: “Or Else” (w/ Stanton Moore & Craig Brodhead) / “Franklin” (w/ Stanton Moore)
  • July 21: “Saucermen” (w/ Mike Gordon) / “Devices Of Similar Size” (w/ Stanton Moore)
  • August 18: “Bloodstar” (w/ Craig Brodhead) / “Better Feathers” (w/ Stanton Moore)
  • September 1: “Security” (w/ John Kimock) / “It’s Not What”
  • September 22: “Wet From The Press” (w/ Jake Najor) / “Feeder, Doctor, Talker” (w/ Jake Najor & Chris Stillwell)
  • October 27: “Hellhound” (w/ Chris Stillwell) / “Loomis”
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